This pioneering program helps needy children explore their strengths and identify careers where they can excel. The Nepal Youth Foundation sponsors children in vocational courses and helps them find jobs so they can be self-sufficient.
Vocational counseling is severely lacking in Nepal, and the unemployment rate in Nepal hovers around a staggering 50%. Higher education is not the same stepping-stone to job opportunities that it is in most Western countries; even people with advanced university degrees have difficulty finding jobs. For some children, guidance and training in a specific career path is far more helpful than years of higher education.
The Vocational Education and Career Counseling center (VECC) has sponsored children in training programs for 20 different careers, such as electrician, lab technician, cook, and midwife, and the number continues to grow. The child and staff together reach the decision for a child to pursue job training rather than higher education, after several discussions and a number of assessments and tests. The Nepal Youth Foundation has conducted extensive research into vocational schools throughout Nepal. VECC staff identifies the best training program for the child’s chosen field, pays for the cost of training, and helps them to find employment following the completion of their course.
In addition to vocational training, VECC provides career counseling to needy children. Not only do the children lack the family connections that are necessary for getting many jobs in Nepal, they do not know how to go about finding jobs, and many feel insecure about this. VECC teaches these kids general life skills such as compromise and negotiation, as well as specific skills for searching for employment.