YOUTH FOR CHANGE | Nagarik Aawaz



As of January 2015 we are implementing a new three years program called Youth for Change in five rural areas of Lalitpur. The program aims to inspire and train youth volunteers of the respected areas to become peace agents in their communities. Besides building their skills in conflict transformation we are supporting them in organizing and implementing own initiatives that highlight the importance of peace and non-violent conflict resolution. At the same time the program contains aspects of psychosocial care for conflict victims. As usually, we are also integrating other community groups such as women’s groups, youth clubs and the local government into our activities. Thereby we thrive to enhance the use of nonviolent and constructive conflict transformation methods and contribute to improved social relations and wellbeing at the local level. The program is funded by Kurve Wustrow through the Civil Peace Service Program of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Development and Cooperation.

We have selected 15 local youths as peace volunteers (3 in every five VDCs). The have been trained in methods of conflict analysis & transformation, appreciative skills, mediation and more in this three years. Furthermore, as a response to the earthquake we have adapted our Youth for Change program to the current needs of the communities. A conflict sensitive approach requires involving earthquake survivors into our program rather than keeping focus merely on conflict victims. Thus, we strengthened our psychosocial care aspect and are providing counseling to conflict and earthquake affected individuals. We have also trained our youth peace volunteers in psychosocial support so that they can support their families, friends and community people. We are planning to establish a community peace and philanthropy center in each of the five areas in order to provide a safe space for the people to come together for healing activities, discussions or simply to use the information resources of the center. We hope that this will support the communities in dealing with the consequences of the earthquake individually while at the same time the resilience of the community is strengthened. This will enable peaceful and constructive problem solving in the communities.

The earthquake has affected our working area tremendously. Thus, immediately after the earthquake we got involved in distributing relief materials to our youths and their respective communities. This helped us not only provide basic need items to our target group but also built trust with the entire communities. Further, we engaged our youth peace volunteers in relief distribution giving them a chance to support other affected communities and thereby fulfilling their desire to play a responsible role in the relief and recovery process.