Peacebuilding Training in Nepal

Robin McDonough
November 9, 2023
A group of children are sitting at desks in a classroom in Nepal, engaging in peacebuilding training.

Students learn about the core values of moral and innovative leadership during Project Saksham.

The Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Nepal has continued to engage volunteers, interns, and students in peacebuilding activities throughout 2023. In August, four programs focusing on leadership, personal and professional development, and creating a family culture of service provided valuable education to individuals from diverse age groups and religious and cultural backgrounds. The four programs–Moral and Innovative Leadership Workshops (MILW), Global Peacebuilders Leadership Program (GPLP), Project Saksham, and Project Shakti–were conducted at the GPF office and six schools in Kathmandu and Lalitpur. All programs consisted of multiple sessions, with each offering a unique insight into the skills and values necessary to actively participate in peacebuilding as individuals, family members, and community representatives.

Leadership was the focal point for the MILW. The early August sessions introduced seven incoming Project Saksham volunteers and two interns to the GPF core values, which provided them with a solid moral and ethical foundation for their upcoming project work. The August 14th session was conducted at Lympia National School and College. The 43 students in attendance were also taught the GPF core values framework to prepare them for future roles as moral and innovative leaders.

A man giving a training presentation in front of a projection screen in Nepal.

Caden Nielsen presenting “Starry Nights and Life Struggles: Vincent Van Gogh’s Artistic Journey.

The GPLP offered four programs promoting personal and professional development for peacebuilding. Topics covered in the various motivational and capacity-building sessions ranged from values-based leadership and the importance of adaptability, diversity, inclusion, and cooperation to spirituality, mental health awareness, internet-created anxiety, and women’s reproductive health. Over 120 individuals participated in the four sessions that were conducted both in person and virtually. Caden Nielsen, an international volunteer, facilitated “Starry Nights and Life Struggles: Vincent Van Gogh’s Artistic Journey.” A participant in this capacity-building session “appreciated how the session emphasized the importance of understanding mental health issues as a social phenomenon rather than stigmatizing them.”

In Nepal, during a peacebuilding training session, a boy confidently holds a microphone as a girl stands beside him.

Student presenting as part of Project Saksham.

Project Saksham held several “Facilitation of Value” workshops, including two sessions on the value of self-discipline and three sessions on the value of responsibility. Approximately 130 students attended the sessions at the following three schools: Shree Nandi Secondary School, Trimurti Academy, and New Star Pole English Secondary School. The sessions successfully offered the students valuable information on the importance of self-discipline, responsibility, and initiative in their ability to grow and develop into potential changemakers and moral and innovative leaders.

Project Shakti conducted two workshops—”Peace Begins in the Home (PBIH)” and Sunshine Family Volunteers for Peace (SFVP)” with a central tenet that peacebuilding begins in the home and, once achieved in that environment, can then expand into the community. The PBIH sessions provided 44 women with knowledge about peacebuilding and how to be change agents by navigating the dynamics of their familial relationships. The SFVP workshop focused on the importance of family service and teaching the 48 attendees (44 women and 4 men) that a peacebuilding culture initiated in the home and expanded to the community benefits overall society.

A group of people sitting around a table with laptops engaging in training activities on peacebuilding in Nepal.

Global Peacebuilders workshop held by GPF Nepal.

Recognizing the value of peacebuilding training in achieving peaceful coexistence for individuals, families, and communities, all four programs—MILW, GPLP, Project Saksham, and Project Shakti—have continued with additional workshops throughout September and October and plan to carry through into 2024.

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