The Nepali youth club formation program was conducted to bring all the Nepali youth together in order to provide a space for them to connect and voice how they would like their community to look like in the future. The objective of the program was a platform where they can share, discuss their everyday life and the issues they face as an ethnic minority and help them create a forum to support themselves. These ideas will further help them organize events and programs which provide a sense of belonging for them and lessen the intergenerational gap.
The Oak Neighbourhood grant supported us to conduct our workshop program for Nepali youths successfully. Youths from the age group of 13 to 25 years of age were included in the program. There were 16 enthusiastic active participants. Among them 5 were boys and 11 were girls.
The workshop started with registration and allocating them in different groups. Then a team building activity was conducted with an introduction game which acted as an ice breaker to the group. They were introduced to each other and in the meanwhile it was like an ice breaker to them and they enjoyed the game very much. The participants were broadly divided into four groups consisting of 4 people in each group for the group discussion. There was a lively discussion among the youths on the activities they want to conduct through this youth club. The four group first discussed among themselves and then shared their ideas with the whole group.
The discussion from the group generally suggested that these kinds of platform helped them to come together and share their ideas and issues with their Nepali peers in a wider group. They shared they usually only meet smaller crowd in family and friends. They discussed about their ethnic identity and how to balance them with the mainstream culture, they also shared the problems they face as youths and don’t know where to get support.
They discussed about different activities for the club to make it more interesting. Mostly their focus was conducting team building and fun programs. Among the activities suggested 6 common activities listed were like ice skating, laser tagging, PNE visit, hiking and camping, field trips to different places and discussion on body image. Among them they voted two most popular activities which were: visit to PNE, and discussion on body image was selected for this year to conduct.
Visit to PNE was popularly selected by the 13-16 age group, for them it is a team building event and hanging out building relationship with their peer group as well as organizing the program building their leadership qualities.
The other group was from 17-20 age group. They shared that they want to conduct a talk program interacting with the parent groups on body images, youth mental health and sexual health issues. These topics as they discussed are often avoided at their household as well as in the majority of the Nepali household, the youths feel that they need to discuss and share this information with their parents, so their parents are aware of the problem they are facing and be able to help them.
Their active participation shows that these youths are very keen on organizing different activities to create a platform for themselves which will help them to reconnect and share their issues through this group and find solutions. It also made them realize that they share common interest.
This program helped the youths to get connected starting a communication, generating ideas and develop a platform sharing the issues important to them, reconnecting with their peers from similar ethnic background. We believe program like these helps to build the foundation of a strong and accepting community.
The enthusiasm of these youths were amazing to want to be connected to their ethnic identity and they wanted to learn more about it.
They shared openly that they have to face issues like body image , mental and sexual health issues and how they feel that they don’t know where to share it. They don’t feel comfortable sharing with their parents and some said their parent don’t believe that young people can have mental health issues, their sharing gave me a deeper sense of understanding where we need to focus in order to help our youths in the community. The things they have shared openly is very admirable as Nepali society is a very closed one which hardly voice these issues openly and coming from the younger ones its time now we have to address this issues openly in our community.