Demo Finland and the UN Development Programme UNDP, in cooperation with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, organised a training programme on development issues for Finnish youth and student politicians in spring 2013. The programme was now organised for the third time, and youth or student organisations of all the Finnish parliamentary parties were represented. The programme consisted of an intensive course in Helsinki and of a study trip to Nepal for eight participants. The week-long study trip offered the participants an opportunity to get to know the work of Demo and UNDP and also Finland’s development programmes in Nepal.
In the beginning of the trip, the participants were familiarized with the current political situation and political parties of Nepal. In the first evening they met young Finnish development experts working on different fields and organisations in Nepal. The diverse programme of the week included several meetings, for example with the Chairman of Council of Ministers, Rt. Honorable Khil Raj Regmi, the Chief Election Commissioner, Mr. Neel Kantha Uprety, employees of the national human rights committee and Nepalese youth and student politicians. The participants also visited a vocational training institution supported by the Finnish Embassy and shared experiences with young Nepalese female politicians.
The programme in Nepal also included getting to know UNDP’s renewable energy project and micro enterprise development programme. The participants especially appreciated the field trip to a mountain village where they could see the concrete impact of development projects in local people’s lives. They also got to know other UNDP activities, like supporting local governance and elections.
According to the feedback from the participants, the study trip was successful. The youth politicians say that the study trip helped them understand many development issues better and also brought many issues of the training programme to a concrete level. Some also described that the experience changed their worldview. Participation in the training programme also resulted in a mutual statement on development politics that the youth and student organisations signed on May 24th. In the statement, they demand that the Finnish government and foreign policy leadership enhance their promotion of women’s rights and gender equality.
More photos from Nepal on Demo’s Facebook page.
Read also: UNDP Nepal’s article on Finnish youth politicians’ visit.