DIYO Project Update: Making Nepalese Migrants’ Lives Safer

“READ’s safe migration program Diyo changed the course of my life. It gave me the idea to start my own business, and now I can stay home with my young daughter and earn an income without having to migrate. I am thankful for the support and guidance I received from the READ Center. “

-Nisha, READ Center user


We are excited to provide you with an update on how READ Nepal is changing the lives of people considering migration, either by creating local livelihood opportunities or providing information to support safer migration.  

Last year, over 650,000 Nepalis left their homes to seek work abroad. They hoped to provide a better future for themselves and their families, but sadly, not all will make it home. According to data from the Nepali government, a total of 5,191 Nepali migrant workers died while working abroad between 2008 and 2018 due to unsafe working conditions, exploitation, or lack of access to healthcare.

Through the Diyo program, implemented in partnership with the International Research & Exchanges Board (IREX), 40 READ Centers across Nepal are working to provide young people with the skills they need to find employment and entrepreneurship opportunities in their home communities. For those who still choose to seek work abroad, READ Centers have provided advice and guidance to over 20,000 people on how to navigate a system that is often rife with exploitation, including exorbitant fees, false job promises, and other dangers.

Smiling young Nepalese woman in the foreground, wearing white pants and a saffron tunic top, pours chicken feed into a chicken feeder. Around her, dozens of her chickens sit in the shade of their enclosure or scratch in the dirt.

The program has helped people like Nisha from Bardiya, whose experience demonstrates the potential of READ Centers to change lives and communities. Nisha and her husband Nabin were struggling to make ends meet, with Nabin already working abroad. They had made plans for Nisha to also seek foreign employment, leaving their young daughter in the care of grandparents. But during her visit to the Kalika READ Center’s safe migration corner, Nisha learned about alternatives to foreign employment and businesses that could be launched with minimal investment. She was particularly drawn to the idea of chicken farming.

Today, Nisha is at home with her daughter and almost 400 chickens. Her business generates a monthly income of approximately $200, supporting her family and equaling what she would have made working in difficult conditions away from her loved ones. Nisha is grateful every day for the opportunity to watch her daughter grow up.

For those who decide to migrate and face exploitation abroad, READ Centers provide information on how to seek recourse. The family of Eknath, who died working abroad, was able to receive over $20,000 in compensation after their local READ Center helped them file the necessary paperwork with the government and insurance company. 

The video below showcases Suraj’s story and how his local READ Center aided him in recovering the money he lost due to migration fraud. This assistance provided him a second chance to pursue a better future.

READ will continue its efforts to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to thrive. We are grateful for your continued support of our work and look forward to sharing more updates with you in the future.

READ Global

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