Peace Building Memorial & Learning Center
Build a durable peace building entity by the end of 2025. This Centre will serve two main functions; as a space to remember, heal and learn from Nepal’s armed conflict, and as a space in which to facilitate ongoing peace building efforts within Nepal, the region and worldwide.
From 1996 to 2006, Nepal experienced ten years of devastating armed conflict between the Maoist and the Nepal government. Over 17000 people lost their lives, over 1350 people disappeared and over 200 000 people were directly affected by the conflict. Rape and torture were used as a weapon of war. In this emerging post-conflict transition the affected communities received little support and there are no spaces for memorializing their pain and suffering. As a result, the pain of many conflict victims went unrecognized and unacknowledged in post-conflict.
After the peace accord, the Nepali government promised necessary commissions within 6 months. However, these commissions took 9 years to materialize. Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons & Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which began in 2015, has failed to deliver on their promise of justice and reparation for conflict victims. Susma Karki (name changed for confidentiality), a conflict victim whose husband was killed in the war, shared, “I had a lifetime of struggle and pain. With the (lack of) progress of the justice process, it seems my children will have to go through the same pain as I did”. 12 years on from the conflict, affected communities have still not been given an opportunity to reconcile and heal their trauma. Unfortunately, also many other people, regions, and countries in the world face similar conflicts and suffer from slow and unsuccessful peace building processes.
Nagarik Aawaz aims to build a Peace building Memorial & Learning Center (PBM&LC) to address this issue. This memorial-learning center will serve multiple functions in an effort to help conflict victims like Susma. It will help honor her loss, heal her wounds, learn from her strength, and help her lead a life of dignity. It will provide a much-needed forum for the discussion of injustice, as well as a space for remembrance and healing. Existing communities and future generations will learn about the past at the Center, and use these learning to inform commitments for a peaceful future. The PBM&LC will be a vibrant space which connects with other peace centers across the region and globally.
Community Healing Space
This space will hold displays and interactive spaces to commemorate and reflect on the past, as well as to educate visitors on peace building work. A visitor center with necessary amenities will also form part of this space. Examples of possible displays include an annual peace poetry or art competition. Through interactive displays, participants will be empowered to let go of their past sufferings, and accept ideas of non-violence and community leadership.
Impact: Community members and peace-builders are able to learn about and promote peace, thereby promoting a vision of a just and equitable future.
PEACE BUILDING RESEARCH & TRAINING FACILITY
A residential center will be built to facilitate visits and meetings of peace practitioners and peace-builders from across Nepal, the region, and the world. It comprises the following:
Kitchen and Canteen
Reception and recreation rooms
Meeting hall(s) and classroom(s)
Research facility including museum, documentation centre and workrooms
Impact: Local peace-builders are connected to other peace-builders working elsewhere. Knowledge sharing and joint research improve peace practice.
A monument will be erected as a way to honor past struggles and look towards a peaceful future. This site will incorporate both natural elements and built features and will be conducive to reflection, inspiration, healing, stimulation, and exchange. It will be situated in a natural setting to allow for silence and reflection. It will honor Nepali survivors of conflict/violence as well as those in the region and worldwide. A consultative process will be used to decide on the exact nature of the monument. This will ensure conflict survivors have agency in deciding on the specifics of this monument.
Impact: Conflict survivors are finally given a space to mourn, remember and heal. This will significantly impact the mental health of victims and will be a significant contribution to their journey of healing.
Nepal, the region and the world as a whole will benefit from the PBM&LC, but the primary beneficiaries will be:
Conflict-affected and marginalized youths and women in Nepal and beyond.
Communities affected by conflicts and disasters in the region and worldwide.
Peace builders and others who seek to learn and connect (for example, academics & researchers)
The local surrounding communities.
NA has already bought land for the PBM&LC in Sehari, Madhya-Bindu-2, Nawalpur. This is a strategic location that is in close proximity to:
Bharatpur airport and Bhairahawa international airport which is now under construction
Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautum Buddha Vibrant urban centres on the other side of the border
Chitwan National Park
Centrally situated in Nepal (Approximately 10 K.M. from the national East-West Highway)
Easily accessible also for foreign visitors.