Hello! I am Debendra, the head of Cocina Mitho Chha, providing hospitality training programs for underprivileged youths on scholarships in Kathmandu, Nepal!
Cocina Mitho Chha CEO
Photo by Bisesh Gurung on Unsplash
Mountainous regions cover about 80% of the total land area of Nepal, and it has sublime scenery of the snowy mountains of the Himalayas like Mount Everest. However, It is just a harsh reality for mountain people.
According to a report from the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development, about 170,000 people live in mountain areas of Nepal. Most of them make a living from farming, but 4 out of 10 people live in extreme poverty due to barren farmland. They earn less than 1 dollar per day. But, the more severe problem is that the poverty rate in mountain areas keeps increasing every year because of the lack of vocational training and job opportunities for young people. Many mountain youth move to the city in search of work. However, it is difficult for those from low-income family backgrounds to learn skills and get a job in the city.
I was also born in a mountain area and grew up in a harsh environment. I went to school by walking on steep and bumpy mountain roads. My family barely made a living from farming on a barren mountain. After graduating from high school, I came down to Kathmandu with a big dream of success. However, I had neither money nor skills, and I could not find any job in the city.
Then one day, with the financial help of my friend, I was able to get training as a waiter. Fortunately, I got a job at a hotel and became a manager. After that, I went to college, got married, and raised two children.
Just as I started a new life with the help of my friend, I also wanted to encourage young people to pursue their paths and dreams. Using my experience in hotels and restaurants, I started a self-reliance project, Cocina Mitho Chha, which provides vocational training programs and jobs to young people!
Now, Cocina Mitho Chha runs hotels, restaurants, cafes, and bakeries. We sell our products online and provide catering services too. We raise a scholarship fund from the profits of these stores. 30 out of 50 trainees are currently receiving vocational training such as cooking, coffee making, baking, and housekeeping with the scholarship. Recently, we started to train 26 deaf and blind youths.
Cocina Mitho Chha supports graduates with employment such as internship and interview preparation. Furthermore, we not only connect them to local businesses but also directly hire them to work with us in our stores. So far, 80% of 4,000 graduates work as chefs, managers, baristas, and bakers, and they live a new life.
Nevertheless, there are still many underprivileged youths in Nepal. They do not have the opportunity to pursue their dreams because of their difficult financial situation. I want to communicate and grow along with more young people and deliver the hope of life to them. We need new training equipment and materials to provide vocational training programs to more young people in the future.
Would you like to join us to help Nepalese youth to receive vocational education and pursue their dreams with Impact Donation?