Project: “Let the Girls Learn – Pathways to Success”
The Pathways to Success program activities will support and empower 1400 girls ages 13-19 from marginalized communities in Peshawar District. The project objective is to provide the target adolescent girls with enhanced skills and opportunities for successful careers and enriched lives. At the individual level this will enhance the capacity of the girls to make decisions about one’s own life and act on them to achieve a desired outcome while at the community level this will boost shared prosperity.
The project includes the following components;
Component 1: Formal technical training in public and private schools.
Component 2: Entrepreneurship and income generation training.
Component 3: Complementary programs to develop work readiness skills (soft skills, life skills, ICT skills) and promote awareness of career pathways for women in the workplace.
The program will contribute to increased access to education for adolescent girls in Peshawar. The project views adolescence as an age of not just vulnerability, but also as an age of opportunity, especially for girls. The hope is that this group of target adolescent girls will also serve as agents of change for others and an inspiration for their communities.
Project: “Strengthening Social Cohesion and Resilience through Educational Initiatives” (Third Phase)
The Social Cohesion and Resilience Programme is one of the very innovative initiatives around the globe, focusing on education, social cohesion and resilience in respective communities. The initiative is also aiming to bridge the growing gaps between various segments of the society . Our Ulema E karaam, Religious Scholars and teachers are very important segments of the society and are actually the true leaders of respective communities as well ,therefore they can play a very visible and vital role to contribute towards the noble cause of social cohesion and resilience . Similarly all the children are equal “Rights” holders, irrespective of their association with School, Madrassa or any other institution. Our children must be provided with required learning opportunities to become true ambassadors of peace, social cohesion and prosperity in society.
Therefore we, initiated the program in 2013 , with the intention to seek support from Ulema e Karam, Community members and teachers, for the envisaged goals and to learn about the possibilities of collaboration to minimize the isolation, polarization, division, prejudice and stereotypes between/among groups of the society, in the vulnerable contexts. I am very contented to share that we received overwhelming support from the all the stakeholders including Ulema, community elders, madariss and state run schools, for the successful implementation of the envisaged activities. For the very first time in the history of KP, frequent joint events were arranged for students of schools and madrassas on periodic basis . They participated actively in the healthy and learning activities like Sports , Debates and Discussion forums on various topics related to civic engagement and themes of Social Cohesion . Similarly Qirrath, Naat and Calligraphy competitions were also arranged to spread the verses of the Holy Quran , having direct messages for peace, respect for humanity and civic engagement.
The project has proved that we all are belonging to each other, in one way or another and can contribute very positively , even by staying in our own circles,by respecting the local and cultural norms , but there must be a selfless “will” to serve those ,who are in need. Though we , with our limited capacities , will continue our efforts for promotion of the culture of coordination rather than irrational confrontation among society members, but the goal of a truly peaceful ,prosperous and socially cohesive society, cannot be achieved unless we all contribute towards it. We should not only relay on government to address our agonies and issues but as active citizens , it is the utmost civic responsibility of us all as well to serve and contribute towards the mentioned goal. We often talk about our rights but we rarely think about our obligations towards society. A slight change in our perceptions and way of thinking , can solve many issues
Project: ‘Joint social action for equal rights and opportunities for minorities of faith and belief in Peshawar, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.’
In this initiative, PEAD with focus on district Peshawar, of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which is further targeting six (6) Union Councils (also known as Tehsil/Municipal Committees) at grassroots level.
Peshawar is believed to be one of the oldest living cities of South Asia which houses monuments and structures from the Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh and British eras. Today, the majority of the population of Peshawar constitutes Muslims (Suni and Shia) while minority faiths of Christianity, Sikhism, and Hinduism are also practiced.
Minorities in the district are facing a number of issues including but not limited to socially widespread religious intolerance, hate material in the curriculum, no alternative subject for Islamiat ,forcible occupation of private and public properties of minorities by the land mafia, hate speech on social media, lack of a local council for minorities, kidnapping for ransom, lack of special police force to protect worship places of minorities, insignificant implementation of job quotas , continuous attacks on houses of worship , religious gatherings, and religious leaders perpetrated by sectarian, violent extremist, and terrorist groups.
Based on conflict dynamics mentioned PEAD Foundation planned activities that will reach multiple target groups and adopt strategies to contribute to the initiative’s overall goal and subsequent outputs. PEAD Foundation has adopted concurrent approach to implement the planned activities at grassroots level by direct engagement of people from diverse faith representation in Community Peace Groups (CPGs) as Minority Rights Defenders/Advocates (MRD/A). The project has build capacity of CPG members who will organize community awareness sessions in their respective communities on the issues related to religious discrimination and violation of minority rights. Joint celebrations of socio-religious festivals and solidarity visits of religious leaders from different faiths and sects to each other’s holy places will be organized. Early Warning Mechanisms (EWM) to be established to prevent and address religious conflicts.
PEAD Foundation will reach relevant duty bearers through consultative sessions, advocacy/lobbying meetings to gain their support on issues face by religious minorities. The initiative will inform masses about the importance of human rights through seminars, conferences, community theater performances. Print and electronic media will be used to promote and advocate equal rights for religious minorities. Planned activities will also strive to improve women participation in all project activities by gender mainstreaming and ensure at least 50% women participation in project interventions. Whereas, the MRD will be tasked to help improve protection of minority women from any form of human rights’ violations in their respective project locations/districts. The initiative will also sensitize duty bearers and religious leaders on issues of forced conversions and marriages of minority women and mobilize them to promote protection of minority women in their sermons.
Project: “Women Peace Builders Network – WPBN”
Women Peace Builders Network, Khawateen Aman Itehad is a project of PEAD Foundation.
The overall goal of this project is to educate and empower selected women from different faith communities with knowledge, skills and tools to lead initiatives to promote peace and social harmony in Peshawar district, by engaging women youth and religious groups.
The project activities focus on identification of females from different faith groups including Muslims (Sunni and Shia’), Christians, Hindus, Sikhs and Bahai’. For this purpose five consultations were held with the representatives/leaders of different faith communities to inform them about the objectives and significance of the initiative and to seek their approval to support the idea of including women from faith communities in peace building processes. The foundation will arrange thec capacity building sessions on the themes of peace building and conflict resolution, and leadership skills for the youth ,women, parliamentarians ,religious leaders .The network is named as KHAWATEEN AMAN ITEHAD, and will be launched officially ,once the members are elected for the working body.
Just and Sustainable Peace
PEAD Foundation has been working on project titled ‘Just and Sustainable Peace’ where PEAD Foundation is working with actors affiliated with religious organizations and madaris, government officials including curriculum wing, text book writers, publishers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, private schools administrations and other duty bearers in Khyber Pakhutnkhwa province, with focus on Peshawar and Kohat.
The project includes review process of existing work on curriculum change, consultations with stakeholders at provincial and national level, training of text book writers and publishers and consultations with religious and public plus private sector education institutional managements with the over-reaching goal of engaging with national and provincial stakeholders to address religious extremism and promote a just and peaceful society.