In Peace Building Initiatives

Despite the many breakthroughs, Nepal continues to be plagued with shutdowns, blockades, and violent protests, as ethnic groups that have traditionally been excluded from power, such as the Madheshis in the Terai plains, fight for political inclusion in the structure of ‘New Nepal’. There is a need for those who have been engaged in adversarial conflict for so long to shift how they interact with their opponents, to reach out across dividing lines, to promote co-existence on a national level and to build lasting peace. There remains, however, the enormous task of addressing the root causes of the conflict, the caste system, discrimination, poverty, lack of health care and education and social exclusion. Youth have been deeply affected, and involved, in the conflict. The peace process has created an opening for youth to reassess their role, and to play a part in peacebuilding, particularly at a local level. Youth have the potential to decrease the erosion of the community cohesion and to organise to address some of the impacts of the conflict in their villages.

Today’s youth herald an idealism of peace, democracy and social justice. Anti-violence efforts waged by Nepali youth have contributed to achieve both temporary peaces. Since, peace doesn’t mean only the absence of war, they have to work in creating conditions, laws and institutions so that each helps the other in common goals of justice. Non-violent (ahimsa) means rooted into justice are the products of Nepal’s history. Social justice means that weak members are no less important than the strong and both help each other in fulfilling the realization of common needs. Nepal’s peaceful, stable and prosperous future rests on how Nepalese youth, the dynamic actors of society, assume their common responsibility of building the society torn by a decade-long violence and conflict through drafting an inclusive constitution, strong state and power to the people to achieve their reasonable desires.

Currently, Youth Forum Nepal is organizing Peace & Reconciliation programmes with the help of local peace promoters and youth volunteers at Bara & Mahottari Districts. The proposed programme is aimed at spreading brotherhood, co-existence and cooperation amongst the conflict-affected youth community by way of rapid rural appraisal and interaction programme. This programme is being done with the technical and financial support from Equal Access Nepal.