SUPPORTING THE POLITICAL DIALOGUE OF THE YOUTH
In Nepal, Demo Finland works with the Joint Youth and Student Platform (JYSP) that brings together 20 most important Nepalese political youth and student organisations. JYSP is a platform for co-operation that was established in 2007 with the support of Demo Finland. Since the beginning the co-operation is aiming to increase the opportunities for political participation for youth, and to promote a constructive dialogue across party lines. The work takes place within a country with a recent history of civil war and relatively little experience of peaceful political co-operation. The JYSP has stabilised its position as a neutral and equal space for political co-operation and dialogue. Nepalese politics are traditionally very hierarchical and tense, and young people have had difficulties in getting their voices heard. Despite the varied backgrounds and political ideologies of its members, JYSP has helped young people raise awareness and actively make an impact together in issues important to them, with some young people even rising to the constituent assembly. Work is done both within the leadership level of the organisations in Kathmandu as well as on a local level in different areas of the country. The JYSP organises training and seminars and also puts together awareness campaigns. In the recent years some thematic focus areas have been education, tourism and agriculture. In 2013 JYSP, together with Demo Finland and UNDP, put together a successful campaign to prevent electoral violence. JYSP and Demo Finland emphasize participation of women in democratic decision-making with the goal of getting more young women to actively take part in politics, and to help them find their way to leadership roles within party organisations. JYSP and Demo Finland have been able to significantly strengthen these efforts with a three-year funding (2013–2015) from the European Union. Demo Finland ended its co-operation in Nepal in August 2015.