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I often have the opportunity to meet and interact with local youths and young adults, all with immense potential but somehow, astonishingly, all lacking life aspirations.

At their stages of lives, they should instead be a propelled to think widely, looking at broaden and yet not well defined horizon that lies ahead.

After all they are all in a crucial stage of their lives when important decisions will be taken, all playing a role in shaping their future.

We know that decision making is not easy especially if you are at the end of your high school and you start planning the next steps in your life.

There will be failures after failures, disappointments after disappointments but also small incremental success stories that count a lot.

It is a bumpy path and any youth going through this should be able to rely on a safety net aimed at providing support, active listening, empathy but also firmness and some sort of financial shield if things turn wrong.

I am talking about an array of elements that can really make the difference in the lives of such youth and young adults: from supportive parents and relatives, to outstanding teachers that see their job as a mission and vocation rather than “just a job” to good friends and other positive relationships providing comfort in hard times but also candid advices and suggestions.

At such age money are not the most important factor but with no doubt, they are also important especially as, in a very practical way, they are the enabling factors for so many decisions that a youth must take.

For a youth, decision making is a hard job and counting on “standby” supporting elements always makes the difference when important times come.

Yet the youths and young adults I am working with are on their own, lacking such backing and overall guidance on how to weather small and big crises. On their own, they do not dare to think big, their aspirations shattered by daily worries.

For many of them such situation is certainly not for want of supportive families but rather is the byproduct of more structural issues that characterize many developing societies.

If your family is beset by economic and other kind of challenges since childhood, your pathway towards the future, instead of being a highway, becomes a nightmare of road: scary, dangerous and full of many unwanted and unplanned breakdowns.

Vulnerability creeps in day in and day out, often fuelling discrimination. As result, inequality becomes one of the foundation pillars of the society.

Such perverse cycle determines the ways relationships between different groups unfold and get shaped, creating rigid silos in the society between those who have and the remaining ones who do not.

It is true, the economy is booming at least apparently and there is an emerging middle class, all very positive developments for Nepal.

Unfortunately dynamics underpinning such macro-trends are not impacting marginalized youths in any ways, at least not yet.

One of such youths is Beg Tamang that will soon start his undergraduate study. Last year he failed few subjects in his XII class examinations and for him it was a shock and humiliation, a huge disappointment.

Luckily for him, Beg could count on good friends that share many of his own challenges and helped him to fight back and take this huge setback as a learning opportunity.

Learning by mistakes is so important at this stage and Bed did it in the right way, working hard all year old, improving his habits, getting more focused and serious about his studies.

Resilience is shaped by such episodes of life: a person is able to muster the right support and determination to look ahead in the future with the confidence to know that good things, when you work hard, can happen.

Beg has been through a lot in his life with his family back in a village in Dhading. He always shows a great smile that he often uses to hide inner worries and remain positive.

Beg lives independently in Kathmandu because conditions in his village are too dire for him.

Yet despite bouncing back, Beg struggles to see ahead in his life and the flames of hope, his personal conviction that future will lead to great things for him are very thin or almost inexistent.

Vulnerability is a broad concept and is so pervasive that affects, almost invisibly, thousands of youths in Nepal.

It is because of their caste or ethnic group, it is because of their disabilities or as we unfortunately know too well in the most recent times, it is because of their gender.

There are a multitude of reasons why a youth stop dreaming and instead of having aspirations for the future, there are only preoccupations and anxieties around day to day survival.

Beg has been living with polio since childhood and living with a permanent disability did not stop Beg from trying to do his best.

When he stumbled back, he was able to rise again. Sports and a tight network of friends, mostly all living with disabilities, played a big role in his daily struggles.

While preparing his exams, Beg has been surviving through an on line job that paid little but was enough for him to pay his rent and food.

Now that such on line work ended, Beg is anxious and worried about what will come next.

Will he really be able to sustain himself now that he is starting college or as he shared with me, should he go back to his own village where there is no accessibility and little for him to do?

Vulnerability and discrimination should not be a destiny for persons like Beg.

The entire society must come together to help him and thousands of others peers to come forward, getting out of the shadows and have a shot at life like anyone else.

It is not about being charitable or just compassionate but it is about helping a youth like Beg to harness his potential and become a net contributor to the development of Nepal.

Position: Co -Founder of ENGAGE,a new social venture for the promotion of volunteerism and service and Ideator of Sharing4Good

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