A Peacemaking Project by Sushmina B.
What is the injustice we are solving?
The 10 years of Maoist insurgency, followed by People's movement 2006, led to end of Monarch system in Nepal. The political transition from Monarchy to Federal Democratic Republic system, today, manifested series of turmoils and violence till date. On 2007, after failing to guarantee the rights of minority Madesh in the interim constitution, Nepal witnessed its first Madesh Andolan (Strike) and second Madesh Andolan (Strike) on 2008. Likewise, after years of failed promulgation, Nepal finally welcomed its first constitution on 2015. However, minority Madhesh refrained from it and another violent strike occurred on 2015. This riot was one of the deadliest riot seen after the People's movement in 2006, which took lives of more that 45 people in just 3 days including women and children, according to Human Rights Watch report. Almost 200 youths were involved and used as a mediocre in this riot. This situation clearly indicated that the conflict resolution was heading towards negative direction where both the protesters and security forces used violent measures to retaliate the riots. Youths were being used as tools to serve the benefit of the political parties and since youths were not politically aware and lacked the basic understanding on civic engagement, the riot took a violent form. As a result, many youths lost their lives, people lost trust in politics and youths developing negative attitude towards civic engagement and peace-building. Thus, project 'Peace Jamboree' is tailored to reinstate positive attitude and increase the importance of youth participation towards peace -building and democratic governance through the medium of sports. With the use of a van of the organization, I am currently engaged in, the vehicle will travel to Saptari district of province 2 of Nepal. The body of the vehicle will be covered with banners carrying messages related to peace-building and youth civic engagement. After reaching to the project area, 2 days of 'Peace Jamboree' carnival will take place which will include Mini-Olympics, footballs and other games engaging the youths.
Our Compassionate Solution:
To solve this injustice of Use of youths as a tool in violent conflicting situations to serve the political parties' interest, violating their rights, which as a result, increases negative attitude among youths engaging in conflict prone situations.
we will address the lack of youth's understanding on the importance of becoming an active contributor towards peace and stable governance through enriching their participation in civic engagement
by organizing concatenation of 2 days of 'Peace Jamboree' carnival incorporating community engagement activities like football and Mini-Olympic for peace.
Our Project Plan:
- To organize two days of 'Peace Jamboree' carnival consisting of outdoor community engagement activities to 100 youths of province 2 in order to reinstate positive attitude towards civic engagement and peace building through the medium of sports.
We will increase my / our compassion by...
Trying to understand the type of situation youths or their acquaintance went through during the time of conflict by organizing Focused Group Discussions.
How will you show courage?
Reinstating positive attitude towards importance of civic engagement and peace building among the targeted youth groups through sports.
How will you collaborate with others?
I plan to collaborate with 'ASMAN Nepal', an NGO which is solely responsible to work with children and young adolescents. 'ASMAN Nepal' is a close partner with 'We' for Change, the organization I am currently involved in. Thus, 'ASMAN Nepal' will be the primary collaborator I will be working with. Also, through the network maintained by 'ASMAN Nepal', further collaboration with local youth groups, community leaders and municipality leaders will take place.
How will you know you are moving in the right direction? (What are specific ways you can measure your impact?)
Here are some of the indicators which determines that the initiation is going in the right directions: 1. Number of youth participants in the 2 days carnival. 2. Number of local leaders (youths, community and municipality) involved in the pre-carnival meeting. 3. The number of youth participants feel positive towards the modality of the project.
- Meeting with primary collaborators (Phone conversation)
- Identification of targeted project area
- Resource collection for 2 days carnival
- Traveling to the targeted area
- Meeting with local leaders (youths, community and municipality)
- Pre-information on the conduction of carnival
- Peace Jamboree Carnival for 2 days
- Post-project evaluation
How did the project deepen your team's understanding of the injustice?
Four of us had arrived at the project location. Our team had been conducting civic awareness classes at different schools in the past. When the team arrived at the project location and got opportunity to interact with students, they got a comparative difference between the students of Kathmandu and Saptari. Having got the opportunity to interact with young adolescents of Saptari made them realize the immediate effect faced by youths during the time of conflict. Aasma Pudasaini quotes, "I am so glad I got to be a part of this project. I think what is necessary is to make every youths in Kathmandu feel about the injustice and pain faced by youths."
How did your community change as a result of your project?
We came into contact with the schools and youths through Mr. Pratap Adhikari (a local level leader of Saptari). All the students of the school was invited to participate in Peace Jamboree. When we interacted with the school administration, we found that the ground was not permitted to play. Thus, when we offered the students to participate in the game, they were ecstatic and altogether 55 students arrived from this school to the Peace Jamboree site. Many youths insisted to return on the next day again. The willingness to participate in the activity is one of the major success indicator of Peace Jamboree. When we interacted in the class with the students, we talked about civic engagement and how youths can become active partakers towards perpetual peace.
How many people were impacted by your project?
Explain how you came up with the number of people impacted by the project?
We had prepared attendance sheet for the project. The records of number of people impacted can be verified with the use of 'Beneficiary list'.
How did your team learn more about the people affected by the injustice?
As quoted earlier by Ms. Aasma Pudasaini that there is dire need to integrate youths of Kathmandu and youths of Saptari. Nepal is a multicultural country. With 126 different ethnic groups, every person have a biased opinion about their ethnicity. As a result, the country has become an ethno-centric. Thus, it has become more than necessary to learn about people and their sentiments. When our team interacted with the beneficiaries, they were able to understand perspective of youths from Terai region and how over the past years, the conflict has, in fact, hurt the sentiments of Madesh people.
What did your team learn?
In each phase, from planning to implementation, the team developed their professional and personal skills. 1. Team work 2. Chain of command effectively maintained 3. Ability to plan has increased. 4. Ability to add own component and contribution to the project activities.
What challenges did your team overcome?
Our project area was targeted at Province 2. Majority of Maithili speaking Madesh people reside in this province. Thus, language barrier was one of the main problem. As said earlier, since the school did not have a playground of their own, it was difficult to convince the school administration to permit their students to participate in Peace Jamboree. However, after intensive meeting with the school administration, they approved their participation in the sports activities.
How have you involved others in designing, carrying out, or expanding this project?
After the team came back from the project, we called for a members' meeting. The members were briefed about the project activities. Experience sharing was also conducted where the team members talked about their 2 days of project activity at Province 2. Members were encouraged to apply for mini-grants in the future. Our team also sat down with the Board of Directors of 'We' for Change. We discussed about potential ways to give continuity to the ongoing mini-grant project. For now, we are planning to invite Mr. Pratap Adhikari to our organization to provide 2 hours session to interested members. The main motive of the session will be to discuss about political scenario of the country. Based on the discussion, we are also planning to develop a 'Civic engagement booklet for dummies'. The booklet will include about the current political structure, electoral system, fundamental rights and duties and distribution of state power. The booklet will be made exclusive to the members of the organization.
What advice would you give to someone starting a peacemaking project?
The journey taught me a lot as a Peacemaker. It made me realize that to implement your ideas, you need to feel connected with your work too. I think one piece of advice to someone starting a peacemaking project would be to understand the injustice from the ground level. It is necessary to keep communicating with your potential target beneficiaries because this will help you to widen your project vision and goal. Accordingly, you can develop strategies to effectively plan your activities.
Peace JamboreeSushmina B. 26 March 2018 2:46 Completed tasks:
- Compassionate insight
- Project plan
- Request for mini-grant
Peace JamboreeSushmina B. 26 March 2018 2:58 - Few changes in the project action.
Project progressSushmina B. 14 May 2018 3:12 1. Selection of project team.
2. Regular communication with the local NGO.
3. Purchase of sports material is in process.
4. Production of banner in process. The draft will be submitted to the Peace First team.
Peace Jamboree is soon on its way now!Sushmina B. 22 May 2018 7:37 'We' are just 2 days away to move at Province 2. 'We' plan to conduct the Peace Jamboree activity on May 27 (few days after we arrive at Province 2). Before the activity, series of meetings will be organized with the local leaders and youth leaders on how to make this activity more effective.
Our team of 4 people are equally excited and eager to implement this. All the resources are ready and finalized. Keep updating on how the final implementation phase goes at the project. Wish us good luck!
BannerSushmina B. 22 May 2018 7:47 Hey, here's our banner for the project. Do give your suggestions.
Meeting with local person of Province 2Sushmina B. 22 May 2018 7:51 Today on May 22, 2018, 'We' for Change sat for a meeting with Mr. Pratap Adhikari. He is a local leader of Province 2. We contacted him for the smooth effective implementation of the project. Since, this will be a community based activity, it is best we take belonging in the community with us to help us navigate the project actions in the right direction.
Successful accomplishment of Peace JamboreeSushmina B. 1 June 2018 6:57 'We' did it!!!
What an amazing week it was. Peace Jamboree has successfully engaged 87 youths of Saptari in Province 2.
On the second day, 'We' had the opportunity to organize an hour class to the students of 'Siddhartha Sadan School'. Altogether 27 students participated in the awareness class. The class focused on enriching the students to be active partakers and contributors of perpetual peace, just and democratic governance.
On the third day, 'We' organized two sports activities. 87 youths participated in the activities. Series of game sessions like
1. 'Hop all the way';
2. 'Marble in the spoon';
3. 'Football tournament' (both girls and boys);
4. 'Sack race'
5. 'Hot potato'
Thus, altogether 114 youths were targeted in 'Peace Jamboree' through the medium of sports and classes.
Peace First Staff
8 June 2018 10:04
8 June 2018 2:21
Peace First Staff
6 June 2018 9:47
Congratulations to you and your team on finishing your peacemaking project, well done!
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your work during the project implementation and what you have learned so far! As I shared with you through email, we are more than happy to support any new project that would come through a young people from 'WE' for Change.
I would like to provide you with some feedback based on your Reflection, which we hope will help you to celebrate your incredible accomplishment and reflect on how to grow and develop your project in the future:
You and your team have done a great job of understanding the injustice from the ground level and working with community leaders to ease the implementation of your project. I would really encourage you to continue the learning process from the community as things keep changing.
Also, it was great to learn how did you find a way to get the students to participate in the Peace Jamboree activities although it was difficult to convince the school administration.
"there is dire need to integrate youths of Kathmandu and youths of Saptari" reading Ms. Aasma Pudasaini's comment made me think that you have an opportunity here; a chance to come up with an idea on how to sustain your project! Creating a positive change is possible, but can't happen overnight... it needs time, effort, collaboration with the people who are involved in the issue, and ongoing activities to sustain the change and creating lasting impact.
I am really glad to see that you took the project to a higher level by discussing it with the Board of Directors of 'We' for Change and you are thinking to develop a civic engagement booklet.
We hope you will stay in touch and keep us up to date as you continue your work to create change! We'd love to continue to support young people from ' WE' for Change work!
Peace First Staff
1 May 2018 11:03
1 May 2018 10:28
Peace First Staff
1 May 2018 9:57
Congratulations! Your project has been selected to receive a Peace First Challenge mini-grant. We will be in touch soon with details about this payment.
The mini-grant process is also space for you to get feedback on your peacemaking project. We hope you will use this feedback to further strengthen your project. Please see the feedback on your mini-grant below.
I appreciate that you continue to take the feedback provided into consideration! Thank you! I also appreciate that you gave a bit of context to the situation in Nepal, you were specific about the number of youth who will benefit from this project, and you articulated indicators to measure the success of this project.
Things to Consider:
You shared that you will increase compassion by conducting a focus group discussions with youth, and this is a great idea. However, it would be helpful if you could conduct these FGDs before the actual event in June.
Congratulations and best of luck with your project!
Peace First Staff
26 March 2018 14:58
Thank you again fr updating your project. I also noticed that you requested a mini-grant, were you able to read the International Verification Process here: https://www.peacefirst.org/faq, and fill the following form: http://bit.ly/2EO4tzb
Thanks again for sharing your project with Peace First members, and we are looking forward to your next steps of the project!
Please let us know how can we help.
Peace First Staff
26 March 2018 9:42
Thanks for reaching out! I am not sure what is the issue, however, I see the updates on your project here:
I will review all the updates during the day.
26 March 2018 2:44
25 March 2018 5:46
Peace First Staff
21 March 2018 10:08
I would encourage you to work towards deepening your understanding of the injustice that you are focusing on by talking to other people in your community and try to understand their perspective of this injustice or other people who are trying to solve the same justice or/and people who are already working to solve this injustice. Here is our tool on how to do that: https://www.peacefirst.org/resource/understand-1-talking-others
Also, please make sure to use the problem and solution tree to discover the root causes and consequences of your chosen injustice and it will guide you to more solutions. Here is the tool on how to do that: https://www.peacefirst.org/resource/understand-2-problem-and-solution-trees
Thanks again for sharing your project with Peace First members and we are looking forward to your next steps of the project!
Please let me know if you need any help.
21 March 2018 4:14
The issue I am trying to address is developing peace-builders in the community. After the political transition in Nepal, there was series of strikes and violence that took place in southern part of Nepal where several hundred youths were used as mediocre in the riots. Thus, this project aims to build aspiring young peace-builders in the community of southern Nepal so that if ever abrupt of violence does takes place in the near future, it can be mediated in non-violence manner.
Thank you. I am working in my project plan right now. I hope to complete it in few days.
Peace First Staff
20 March 2018 16:31
I will ask you a question to guide you through your project implementation; what is exactly the issue that you want to solve in your community? I understand that you advocate for civic engagement, but what exactly the issue that your community suffer from?
Then, please make sure to write your compassionate insight and make it as clear as you can, so that other Peace First members would understand it better! You can use the compassionate tool here: https://www.peacefirst.org/resource/understand-4-compassionate-insight
Also, please make sure to submit your "Project Plan" through your dashboard.
You would need to get started now so you can apply for a mini-grant. Thanks again for sharing your project with Peace First members, and we are looking forward to your next steps of the project!
Please let me know if you need any help with this!