Raising Opportunities for Jobs in Gramin areas for Rural Incomes (ROJGARI)
The Rojgari project is working with marginalised young people (dalits and women) who have limited access to finance and education. The project helps to build confidence, skills and networks to utilise technical and vocational training for initiating their own enterprise or seeking gainful employment within the country so that they don’t leave Nepal as migrants.
In Nepal almost 300,000 young people enter the labour market each year, but only 50,000 of those receive any skills training. Nepal generates a pool of unskilled workers for lower rung jobs, but lacks people with higher technical skills. Young people in rural areas have little access to information on the types of vocational training that the market demands. Poverty is persistent, acute and entrenched in rural communities and is particularly acute in western Nepal where many young men and women travel abroad to work, leaving their areas with little opportunity for economic revival.
Practical Action has been implementing this project in 16 areas of Achham, Doti and Kailali Districts since June 2011. Through participatory methods 5,000 young people were selected for the programme. An assessment of the Technical and Vocational Training Centres (TVTCs) of theproject area was also carried out and six were chosen to assist the project. A job market study identified a range of jobs and skills in demand and these were used to design short term skill development training programmes.
A Local Enterprise Network was set up in each project area to implement activities. These are composed of potential entrepreneurs and young people and co-ordinate with project staff to motivate the young people to recognise their potential and to provide opportunities for training and access to finance.
The project has started a job information portal targeting the rural population. The portal will provide information on available opportunities to unemployed youths and information to employers about the skilled human resources. Eight Job Resource Centres (JRCs) within six TVTCs and two cooperatives have been established to collect information for the project.
The Better Life Options Programme (BLOP) was started to counsel and motivate rural youths towards employment and self-employment activities. The 92 BLOP centres act as entry points for the jobless seeking employment. A total of 1,236 girls and 1.177 boys 1,177) are attending BLOP classes run by facilitators, 46 of whom were trained in this skill. 16 enterprise development facilitators, one each from project VDC were provided five day training on business start-up to enable them to start their own business. The facilitators help them to prepare business plans . Already 275 young people have started up their own business.
A workshop in each district undertook a market mapping exercise to investigate the current job market. These focused on key market actors, market systems and the opportunities and strengths of the labour market system. One workshop, attended by more than 100 young people concluded that India is the major labour market for rural youths of Doti, Achham and Kailali.
I never thought I would be an Entrepreneur
Bhim Bahadur B.K (30), a bamboo goods maker, is an inhabitant of Durgamandau VDC of Doti District. He has responsibility of taking care of six dependents of his family. Earlier, he worked as the migrant labour in India to earn a living. A year ago, he returned from India because of low payment, physically unsafe work and untimely payment. Life then became further difficult for him as had to walk hours to reach another village in search of occasional jobs. He never thought of using his embedded skills of bamboo products making for income.
In January 2012, the ROJGARI project formed an entrepreneurs group in his village. He participated in a three day SIYB training, he was counselled by trained EDFs. The training provided him skills on how to select and start appropriate enterprises and prepare business plan. He chose bamboo product making enterprise as he knew this will be appropriate for him and had potential too. The project equipped him with the basic toolkit necessary for the bamboo product making (knives, hammer, cutter, etc). Now, he is buying bamboo from local women and is making different household utensils such as doko (bamboo basket), nanglo (grain cleaner) and bhakari (grain storage). He now earns an average of NPR 10,000.00 monthly. Bhim Bahadur and his family are happy now as they are getting better food, clothes and education. With a hopeful smile on his face, Bhim Bahadur says- “I never imagined that my skill will one day become basic and reliable means of earning. The project built my confidence that helped me produce more products in less time”.