Asia West Pacific

Peace is Possible When I Practice

By Ramesh Subedi, interviewed by Ram Chandra Paudel

Visiting Family of children whose parents lost job because of luckdown. Photo by Sharada Sharma

CHILDREN Nepal (CN) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1995. CN works for the rights and welfare of children in need of special protection and their families. Ramesh Subedi has worked as a social worker at CN for 12 years, and supported thousands of children living and working in the slums and streets. Ramesh was a participant in the first-ever Creating Culture of Peace (CCP) workshop in Chitwan Nepal in 2018, and now serves as a CCP facilitator offering sessions every three weeks to practice peace and justice in private and public life. Below, he reflects on his experience:

Co facilitating gathering for sharing with street children at the Centre. Photo by Anusha GC

Negative things kept coming to my mind. I felt my service to the people was not satisfactory, so I was constantly burning inside. In 2018, joining the Creating Culture of Peace workshop in Chitwan, Nepal, changed my life, my mind, and my perspective on my work. After completing the workshop, I had the chance to practice as an apprentice to lead facilitator Ram Chandra Paudel. This helped me see myself and others with respect and love. I started to realise good things in me -my sincerity, concern about issues, helpfulness, and gentleness.

I noticed small behaviours, which I accomplished with love and compassion. In this way, I continuously practiced being aware of transforming power within me. Being aware of myself, helping me love myself and make better decisions, led to more respectful responses based on fact and truth. I am not more able to understand and manage my emotions. Noticing emotions, understanding their roots, and releasing them from the body, heals and enables me to handle situations nonviolently. I notice that peace is possible when I practice. These opportunities led me forward and gradually improved my behaviours and habits. I am much less angry or panicky, and I plan my service work much more efficiently and effectively.

Now I co-facilitate CCP workshops with youth, parents, and teachers. I am happy to share that I have become an AVP-CCP co-facilitator and am experimenting with transforming power within me. I stay grounded in my core self when I feel bad. My family members are happy to observe my behaviour because I use I-messages to understand my emotions more clearly. My clients are also happy. I noticed that youth, parents, and teachers are using I-messages among themselves and with others. It is amazing how a little knowledge, training, and practice can change our lives, at home and in the community. Everyone is practicing peace!

1 Ramesh is sharing stories with street children through play. Photo by Ram Chandra Paudel