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It is five o’clock in the morning as seventeen-year-old Bikash Kathyat is waking up in the room where all six members of his family sleep. Bikash said, “Although it is comfortable, I would love to have my own room.” He rises at the same time every day to work in his family’s café, cooking pakoras and making tea for an hour before school starts.

“My work doesn’t affect my studies because I still have time to go to school”. Bikash’s family moved to Tikabhairav four years ago, from the town of Makwanpur, in pursuit of a better education for him and his two brothers. In his old home in Makeanpur, his school was far away and there was a lack of transport. Bikash said he would have gained more knowledge and chances if there was sufficient equipment for study at his previous school.

Bikash with his Brother, Sister and mother.

The room where Bikash and his family sleep

Here is where Bikash’s family cook their food

Bikash doing his choirs in typical Nepalese outside tap

Bikash first got involved with International Citizen Service (ICS) through the ‘livelihood’ sessions delivered by volunteers in his Grade Eight class in Shree Buddha School. ICS is an international youth led development programme which currently operates across eight countries. Restless Development is one of the three agencies implementing ICS, alongside VSO and Raleigh, empowering youth and focusing on livelihood in Nepal.

Through these sessions, Bikash learned new skills on the topics of income and expenditure, money management and how to build a CV. Bikash’s enthusiasm shone through the class, and he soon expressed an interest in participating in extracurricular activities, such as football practice.

Because of this, the ICS volunteers organised a week-long football training camp, ending in an Inter-School Football Tournament. The students learned key football skills, as well as teamwork and communication. Despite the heavy rain and muddy conditions of the pitch, the students persevered, with Bikash being a stand out member of the winning team!

After the tournament, Bikash was pleased to say he felt he had “developed [his] football skills from training, and now knows how to work as a team”.

Bikash playing football during the tournament

Bikash has dreams of becoming a professional football player but understands that the salary may not financially support his future. Therefore, he aspires to gain business skill development alongside his education. His parents hope to see “Bikash progress, learn new things and achieve his dreams”.

Through his partiticpation in ICS events in his community, Bikash feels encouraged and wants to take action on issues he sees in Tikabhairav. With his ongoing development, Bikash is working towards the future him and his family dream of.

Bikash Kathyat wearing his football medal in front of his shop

Written by Nathan, an international ICS volunteer and Youth Reporter currently on his placement in Nepal. 

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