Skip to Main Navigation

Building Resilience and Dignity: Nepal Youth Employment Transformation Initiative

A woman stands in front of a newly constructed toilet

Sita Lama from Rainas Municipality, Lamjung, Gandaki Province, Nepal

World Bank/Sabrina Dangol

Resuming Life Post-COVID19 Pandemic

Sita Lama is a resident of Rainas Municipality in Lamjung of Gandaki Province. Sita lives mostly alone as her son is studying in Chitwan and her daughter is married off. Like many families, the COVID-19 pandemic was a turning point for her family.

Sita’s husband who worked aboard as a security guard had to return to Nepal after it got more difficult to sustain his job. He searched for a job in nearby districts in Nepal but to no avail. In 2021 her son underwent medical treatment after contracting Corona virus which added to the family's financial woes.  She says, “We had to put our land as collateral for loan to pay for his treatment.” In desperation, Sita's husband went to India in search of employment and hasn't returned since. 

In these trying times, the temporary employment program supported by the Youth Employment Transformation Initiative (YETI) Project came as a blessing to Sita.

She joined the project in 2022 and worked with her group on maintaining community infrastructure such as canals and roads. They also worked on the reconstruction of their community monastery damaged in the earthquake of 2015, including the restrooms in the monastry. 

Sita is grateful for the work opportunities provided by the program, and she wants to continue working. She hopes that if she can save money and start something of her own, so that her husband won’t have to keep going abroad for work. 


I hope I can save some money and start something of my own, so that my husband won’t have to keep going abroad for work.
Sita Lama
Lamjung, Nepal
A woman from Nepal stands on a corridor and smiles

Lalita Devi Paswan from Loharpatti Municipality, Mahottari, Madhesh Province, Nepal. 

World Bank/Sabrina Dangol

Self-earned Income Brings Dignity  

Lalita Devi Paswan from Loharpatti Municipality, Mahottari of Madhesh Province shares about the challenges women in her community face when it comes to working outside homes.

“ A married woman here is conditioned to stay home and do household chores.  She is expected to veil her head in presence of elder male members,” says Lalita.  “Although the confinement goes easy year by year, women are still frowned on when they go out for work,” she adds. 

As Lalita’s family size increased, her husband’s sole income as an agriculture labourer was insufficient to sustain the family.   She then decided to go out and work which tantamounted to breaching societal gender norms.

After some time, she learned about the Youth Employment Transformation Initiative (YETI) Project and got enrolled under its temporary employment program.

Initially, Lalita’s own family members, neighbors and relatives shamed her decision to join the programme.  She says, “Some of my relatives stopped talking to me and inviting me to family functions. They used to tease us when we went to work and call us mean names.”

She continued with her work regardless of the discouragement that came in the beginning. Lalita’s self-confidence increased as she started to earn an income. 

Working since 2021 she has earned around Rs 50,000 (about $388) in 100 days. She says, “It was the first time I didn’t have to ask for money from my husband.” She spent the money to buy groceries, some clothes and stationery for her children.

Gradually, other women in her community got inspired by her persistence. They have been following her lead and seeking out employment opportunities for financial independence. 

It was the first time I didn’t have to ask for money from my husband
Lalita Devi Paswan
Mahottari, Nepal

Sita Lama and Lalita Devi Paswan are two of the 135,000  beneficiaries of the Youth Employment Transformation Initiative (YETI) Project being implemented by Nepal’s Ministry of Labor, Employment, and Social Security and financed by the World Bank Group’s International Development Association (IDA). 

The YETI project is helping strengthen the Nepal government’s Prime Minister Employment Program with a focus on improving employment services and labor market outcomes for youth, especially women from the poor and marginalized communities. 

During the COVID pandemic, the YETI project provided temporary employment support to an additional 44,000 people who had lost employment.  

The YETI project also supports strengthening systems and longer-term provision of employment services through employment service centers in all 753 local levels and a National Employment Management Information System (NEMIS). 


    loader image


    loader image