Creators of Peace partnered with World Education International to hold a Peace Circle for young people in Batase Dada, Palpa. This was the first Peace Circle ever conducted in the western part of Nepal, where development is very limited.
The 16 enthusiastic girls and boys, whose ages ranged between 16 and 19, spent three days enjoying the Peace Circle activities and sharing stories. Many spoke of the challenge of attending school when their families struggled to ensure basic survival needs. They also spoke of other challenges, such as the unfair treatment of teachers, growing corruption, environmental degradation due to natural disasters, and the decreasing participation of youth in nation building because they felt they had no voice.
The storytelling sessions were very intense and personal. Each and every story shared was moving and heartening. One young boy, the president of the Youth Club, shared his struggle to earn enough money to enroll in school; he worked night shifts in order to be able to attend class during the day. Another spoke of the effect the 10-year conflict in Nepal has had on his family, breaking it up as different members took opposing sides with different political parties. His testimony was hopeful: after trying to mend these relationships for six years, he had finally succeeded in building bridges among his family members.
The experience was a rewarding one for all who took part in it: being able to provide a sacred space for the participating youth to connect and be heard. At the end of the Peace Circle, the girls and boys brainstormed for solutions to their challenges and developed action plans to tackle them. They presented their vision for a peaceful, prosperous, and inclusive Nepal.
Our Creators of Peace team will continue to work with World Education International to provide opportunities for young people to share their hopes and equip them for local peacebuilding.