Thirty trainees from socially excluded groups who joined the UN in March 2011 completed their 11-month long traineeship period. The programme was initiated by the UN in Nepal for the first time to enhance personal skills and competencies of the socially excluded and marginalized groups with less opportunity to build their capacity.
It is expected that this traineeship experience with the UN will open wider opportunities for them to get good employment and livelihood opportunities. The trainees were spread in eight UN agencies UNICEF, OHCHR, UNFPA, FAO, UNESCO, WHO, UNCHR and UNDP and the Office of the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator.
UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Robert Piper handed out the completion certificates and congratulated all the graduating trainees. The trainees also shared their experiences and launched their Newsletter— New Horizons. The traineeship Programme continues and a new batch of trainees is expected to join in June this year.
Mr. Robert Piper said, “This scheme has been a pilot and based on its success, we have decided to continue to give members of traditionally excluded communities an opportunity to gain experience from working at the United Nations in Nepal. Our decision to continue, is not least, based on the results we have seen from this first cohort of extraordinary individuals. I wish them all success in their future endeavours.”
Many of the trainees under the Joint UN Traineeship Programme came to know about this program through colleges and some got the information from local NGOs. Foundation for Development Management (FDM) went to colleges and many NGOs to advertise the Traineeship Programme and as a result, over 700 youths applied for this Program. Some of the trainees were fresh graduates whereas some were teachers, social mobilisers, housewives or pursuing different jobs. There was an extensive screening procedure to select only 31 individuals. All of them joined with the hope that it will provide a platform for their future career. Being associated with many UN agencies, it was only natural to think that the 11 months spend will give them a much needed impetus for their career.
Many trainees came from a modest background and worked hard for their studies and this Traineeship program came as an opportunity for a better future. It was not easy for the individuals from historically and culturally excluded communities to compete freely in the modern work environment. To fit in the international organization is quite farfetched. However, with the learning from this program and many professional acquaintances they have developed; there is a hope for a better career.
Pratik Bickram Rana, Program Specialist at Foundation for Development Management (FDM) said, “We had to bear in mind that the quality of education was not of the same grade for all trainees. Some were quite privileged to be educated in good schools and colleges in Kathmandu whereas some of them studied from government schools and colleges with poor standard of education. He added, “Since UN is an international organization, it required English as means of communication-written or spoken. This was also a learning experience in terms of written and spoken ability. I believe the 11 months structured full time training imparted to trainees helped develop expertise in their area of work, communication skills, building team work, drive for result etc. Instilling in trainees such virtues would be pivotal for their growth in their professional and personal life.”