Nagarik Aawaz (NA) is a social organization working for inclusive, equitable, prosperous and just society for sustainable peace. The establishment of NA in 2001 was the necessity of the time when the violent armed conflict was at its peak in Nepal. That was the time when, amidst rapidly deteriorating security environment, a forum of concerned development activists felt an urgent need, and took the initiative; in response for the immediate need of the conflict affected communities. Besides it equally took initiatives to make different parties understand impacts and implications of the violent armed conflict and proactively advocate/work for peace. Thus was born Nagarik Aawaz – i.e., “The Voice of the Citizen”.
NA envisions establishing sustained peace in an equitable, prosperous and just society. Nagarik Aawaz is firm to play a lead role in for peace building and create safety nets to conflict affected and marginalized youth and women in partnership with relevant actors.
Overview of NA programs
Since its establishment NA implemented different types of programs supportive of peace building, many of them are on going. The Displaced Youth Volunteer Program (DYVP) conceived by NA itself in 2003 protected displaced youth by providing opportunity to support them emotionally and practically about peace and development issues. Building on the experience and learning from this program NA remodeled and designed other various peacebuilding programs as per time and context. The peace kitchen provides a lunch per week at Jawalakhel to homeless and displaced people. Dashain lunch is similarly organized every year for these communities. Feeding programs such as these not only are fed, but also serve as healing measures and emotional support systems for displaced and vulnerable people. Immediate relief fund (Sahara Kosh) provides support to victims of conflict particularly to widows, orphans, old age people, and girls, which was created very thoughtfully in the time of heightening conflict in 2002. Sahakarya Shanti Ko Network (A joint initiative for peace of 12 organizations), which is created in the leadership of Nagarik Aawaz realizing the fact that the work of peace building requires multiple stakeholders to work as per the need, time and context of the community, has been proved as effective model /mechanisms in amplifying peacebuilding initiatives.
Currently NA is implementing two major programs- “Rebuilding Social Harmony in the Community” in the partnership with ifa, Germany (2012-2014) and “New Voices/New Leaders: Women Building Peace and Reshaping Democracy in the partnership with CREA, India (2012-2015). The Rebuilding Social Harmony in the Community Program intends to mobilize and engage youth constructively for social transformation and peacebuilding initiatives such as street drama, rallies, orientation and dialogue, joint feasts, and conflict resolution. NA provides skills and motivation to these youth volunteers who are functioning as change agents in their communities. And under the New Voices/New Leaders: Women Building Peace and Reshaping Democracy Program NA is imparting confidence and leadership skills training to more than 125 conflict-affected women from five development regions of Nepal with aim to produce them as strong advocates for their rights.
NA has implemented some major peacebuilding programs in partnership with different national and international agencies and its own resources as well in the past. It implemented “Displaced Youth Volunteer Program” from its’ own resources from 2003-2012.Similarly it has implemented a five year program “Women and Youth as Pillar of Sustainable Peace” (WYPSP) program with a partnership with CARE Nepal with the funding support of EC/Care UK. Similarly it has implemented other peacebuilding programs like “Youth for Peace and Reintegration Program” funded by the Ford Foundation from 2008 to 2010, “Innovativeness for Peace building Program” funded by the Oxfam GB (2007), The “Gainful Employment Opportunities for Girls at Risk of Trafficking” funded by the Asia Foundation (2006 – 2007) and “Communities for Peace Program” funded by CEDPA Nepal (2005-2006)
NA has undertaken research and studies on displaced youth and conflict affected widows, and created the program on the basis of the findings of these researches. Similarly it has been constantly organizing the workshops and discussion/Interaction forums, and organized a signature campaign, song competition and peace rallies for the advocacy of the rights of conflict affected communities and made aware larger communities about their role for community peacebuilding.