“Our hands will not carry guns anymore…...”
Forty Maoist ex-combatants cheered with joy as they received certificates for successfully completing Community Medical Assistant and Lab Assistant courses from Rapti Technical School.
- By June 2012, UNIRP has provided 2,149 VMLRs with support for rehabilitation.
- Approximately 60 percent of the graduates have been offered work or are running their own business with the support of UNIRP.
“Our hands that used to carry guns and other weapons now will serve the needy people for medical aids,” said Premabati Gopali as they are gracefully entering into civilian lives.
The health course was a rehabilitation option offered by the UN Interagency Rehabilitation Programme (UNIRP) to the Verified Minors and Late Recruits (VMLRs)who were discharged from the cantonment in early 2010.
The graduates expressed their willingness to serve the rural communities of Nepal where medical facilities are lacking with doctors and health attendants not readily available. “We never expected these students to change like this”, said Yadav Subedi, the Principal of the Rapti Technical School. He further added, “They were very aggressive in the beginning and we doubted our decision to accept them but after the rigorous community work, and the monitoring and counseling provided by UNIRP, they have completely changed.”
By January this year, 2149 VMLRs enrolled in other vocational trainings and education options, out of which 1105 have already graduated. Out of them 58% have been offered jobs or have successfully established their own small businesses.