Asia West Pacific – December 10, 2018

Two workshops on Creating Cultures of Peace in Nepal

by Subhash Chandra

We just completed two seven-day Creating Cultures of Peace workshops for citizen leaders working for peaceful homes, communities and societies. There were 29 participants in the first training from across all seven states in Nepal, particularly from Surkhet, Pokhara, Hetauda, Kathmandu, Nepalgunj and more. All the participants expressed interest in taking the practices home to their families and communities. In the second training there were 26 participants representing the leaderships of the Community Self Reliance Center (CSRC) and National Land Rights Forum (NLRF).

Play time!!!!!!! NLRF Learning Center, 21 Nov 2018. Photo by Kalpana Karki

In 2012, Subhash called for facilitators to help rejuvenate AVP workshops in Kathmandu. Friends Peace Teams AWP’s visiting teams responded and travelled to Surkhet to work with the faculties of the Conflict and Peace Department at the Mid-western University; to Pokhara to work with Children Nepal; to Kathmandu to work with AVP facilitators. Relationships developed across the country.

After the devastating earthquake in Nepal in 2015, Friends Peace Teams funded relief based on discernment of those closest to the needs through CSRC and NLRF with feedback from an international team to ensure to reach those most in need effectively. NLRF is the largest nonviolent social movement in Nepal with more than 100,000 members of landless people and small farmers across the country. CSRC manages projects to strengthen the NLRF leadership, organizational capacity and land rights advocacy. FPT AWP’s approach formed deeply trusting relationships.

In the last two years, Subhash visited Peace Place to participate in the International Peace Training along with Nari Ram Lohar from NLRF in 2017 and Kalpana Karki from CSRC in 2018. They both had powerful and life-changing experiences at Peace Place and wanted to share their experiences within their nonviolent social movement for land rights. As Kalpana says, this is something we really needed that was missing in our movement.

After Kalpana returned from the International Peace Training in January 2018, CSRC started planning to host the trainings in Nepal. CSRC invited Nadine to guide the Nepali team of Subhash and Kalpana, funding her airline ticket and around half the training costs. We held the training at the NLRF training center. Subhash, Kalpana, and Rosie (from Aotearoa/NZ) facilitated both seven-day workshops starting 12 November 2018. John Michaelis participated in the first training and facilitated the second. Nadine facilitated the first workshop, then was hospitalized for the second to receive proper treatment. While in hospital, she said the best gift we could give to her was to facilitate the best possible training for the second lot. So, we carried on. Nadine’s daughters, Fenna and Sarah, flew to Nepal promptly, which was a blessing for all.

Saraswati Subba, General Secretary of NLRF, said that they are already practicing the tools in their regular meetings and plan to integrate their learning into their work and their upcoming national meeting. Jagat Deuja, Executive Director of CSRC said that they will plan to continue the practices they learned in the workshop in their workplace and support this training in every state in Nepal. I will share more follow-up stories in the coming weeks. Let me know if you are interested to know or read about anything specific.

First Creating Cultures of Peace Workshop participants in Thimura- NLRF Learning Center, 12-18 Nov 2018. Photo by Kalpana.