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A group of researchers at a UK Symposium
Brighton & Sussex Medical School

The CoSMiN project


The CoSMiN project (Co-producing Storytelling Intervention with Migrant Workers in Nepal) aims to improve the health and wellbeing of Nepalese migrant workers and their families.

Brighton and Sussex Medical School is collaborating with the University of Sussex, Tribhuvan University, Nepal and the local NGO Green Tara Nepal to address the health and wellbeing issues of the Nepalese migrant workers and their families by developing and implementing a culturally appropriate storytelling intervention. 

CoSMiN is funded by University of Sussex as a part of internally funded Global Challenges Research Fund.

Storytelling Video ‘Gulf Employment and Suman’s Healthy lifestyle’ 

The below video is about the story of Suman, a Nepalese migrant working in a Gulf country. The video illustrates how he stayed fit physically and mentally during his time abroad. (The video is in Nepalese, please click CC at the bottom of the video for English subtitles). 

यो भिडियो खाडी मुलुकमा काम गरिरहेका एक नेपाली युवक सुमनको कथामा आधारित छ। यस भिडियोमा सुमनले विदेशमा रहँदा आफु कसरी मानसिक र शारीरिक रुपमा स्वस्थ रहे भनेर देखाइएको छ । 

Scenic photo of a lake in Nepal

About CoSMiN

This study aims to inform the development of a culturally adaptive storytelling intervention to support the health and wellbeing of Nepalese migrant workers and their families. Building on the range of strengths and networks in our interdisciplinary and international team, we explore Nepalese literary resources and co-produce materials with communities to contribute to health and to health education practice for working migrants and families. 

  1. We are engaging with Nepalese migrants, their families and related stakeholders to identify public health issues among migrant workers and families.
  2. We are exploring the representation of migration, health and illness in Nepalese literature (songs, poems, novels etc).
  3. Drawing on the Nepalese literature, we are co-producing storytelling intervention to increase health and wellbeing awareness in relation to the related risks associated with work migration to and from the Gulf countries. 
  4. We are providing wider research reflection on transcultural practice within migrant literatures and the material potentials of storytelling, including the way migrants have agency to remake the stories which define them. 
workers in Janakpur, Nepal

Why Nepalese Migrant Workers?

Nepal is a low-middle income country going through a demographic transition, with an ageing population and attendant chronic diseases. Existing poverty, limited employment opportunities and deteriorating agricultural productivity in the country has resulted in increased international labour migration. Nearly half (47%) of the households have at least one family member who migrated in the last 10 years either in internal or international destinations. 

Migrant workers contribute significantly to the sociocultural and economic development of Nepal; remittance from abroad contributes to a quarter of the country’s gross domestic product. However, the workers face a range of health risks while working abroad. These risks are particularly significant for Nepalese workers in the GCC countries, as they are often employed in occupations considered ‘difficult, dirty and dangerous’ (3Ds). More than 7,000 Nepalese migrant workers have died in the last decade while working abroad and a large number have returned home with debilitating injuries, and both mental and physical illness.

Guests in Nepal at a Symposium

Why storytelling?

The relationship between migration and transcultural storytelling is ancient. All cultures across the globe have depicted the risks of departure and the challenges of arrival, borne physically and emotionally, through the stories, poems, and songs that people exchange. Storytelling can be a measure of home, a form of refuge, and a means of adaptation across borders – stories are crucial to the health and resilience of the world we build. 

Stories have been increasingly used to disseminate health messages and evidence shows that vivid and engaging storytelling can transport audiences through the use of narrative, and can help them identify with characters and their predicaments. By developing a culturally enriched storytelling intervention, we expect to raise awareness and create new approaches to talking about the potential health risks of migration. 

Photo of a sign from a conference


This recently published systematic review on BMJ open provides the most comprehensive review on the health and wellbeing issues of the Nepalese migrant workers in Gulf countries and Malaysia.

PAUDYAL P, KULASABANATHAN K, CASSELL J, MEMON A, SIMKHADA P, WASTI SP. Health and Wellbeing Issues of Nepalese Migrant Workers in the Gulf Cooperation Council Countries and Malaysia: A Systematic Review. BMJ Open 2020;10: e038439. doi:10.1136/.


This newspaper article (in Nepalese) highlights the project partnership between Brighton and Sussex Medical School, Tribhuvan University Nepal, University of Sussex, and Green Tara Nepal to address the health and wellbeing issues of Nepalese migrant workers. Read more here >

An article was published (in Nepalese) in one of the biggest Nepalese online news portal on the role of storytelling in public health, highlighting our current work in Nepalese migrant workers. Read more here >

Another article was published (in Nepalese) to highlight the increased trend of migration stories in  Nepalese literature. Read more here >


Symposium: Migrant Stories in Nepalese Literature

A symposium was held on the 20 August 2019 in Kathmandu, Nepal to discuss the portrayal of migration stories in contemporary and historical in Nepalese literature. The symposium was attended by a range of stakeholders including migrants and families, writers, journalists, Ministry of Health representatives, and NGOs. The interdisciplinary and ‘novel’ nature of the project was highly praised by the symposium participants.

A group of researchers sitting in a conference

Symposium: Migration and Transcultural Literature 

A team of transdisciplinary researchers engaged in discussion related to migration, transcultural literature and the potential of storytelling in public health. The symposium was held at University of Sussex on 18 September 2019. The speakers included our project partners from Tribhuvan University and Green Tara Nepal, member of Nepalese Gurkha community, as well as the researchers from Brighton and Sussex Medical School, University of Sussex and University of Kent.

A group of researchers from multiple institutions


Dr Priya Paudyal shared the project work in a webinar organised by the Nepalese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The event took place on 6 December 2020 and was organised by ‘Brain Gain Centre’, a unit at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs aiming to work with diaspora Nepali experts and professionals around the world for fostering Nepal’s social and economic progress. Priya joined the distinguished panel along with the Foreign Minister of Nepal, the Nepalese Ambassador to the UK and other senior Nepalese researchers working in the UK. 

Dr Priya Paudyal presenting at an event


Contact us

For any further information about the CoSMiN project, contact Dr Priya Paudyal, Senior Lecturer in Public Health at BSMS.

Get in touch with Priya here >