Social Cohesion and Resilience Through Educational Interventions
This 18 month project, initiated employs a unique approach of working with the religious seminaries of Pakistan in the districts of Peshawar, Swat and Kohat of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Through the medium of art, calligraphy and critical discussion forums, the project aims at addressing critical issues which are linked with religious sector education while also bringing them in close contact with public school children. The project aims at (a) increasing engagement and interactions between children and youth from different backgrounds across ethnic, cultural, linguistic, social-economic (b) increasing capacity among children, youth, and madaris teachers for critical thinking (identify and challenge own assumptions, comprehend and respect different viewpoints) communication and improved understanding of tolerance, respect, and trust while also working closely with Madaris to (c) increased resilience and social cohesion in madaris by building the capacity to deliver child friendly education and improved school safety and preparedness.
Young Democrats Academy (YDA)
This project is being implemented by Peace Education and Development Foundation (PEAD) and has established a Young Democrats Academy (YDA) comprised of national and provincial parliamentarians under the age of forty. The initiative has in its initial phase provided the skills and political incentives for the new generation of politicians to pioneer enhanced standards of democratic governance at the constituency-level. This approach is now being complemented by the establishment of two-way communications platforms to facilitate regular dialogue between voters and their elected representatives, enhance accountability, and stimulate active citizen participation in the political process, especially among youth, women and religious minorities.
The project aims at ensuring the participation of all citizens in democratic processes by promoting enhanced accountability of elected officials to their constituencies to be more effective parliamentarians with the specific objectives that (a) Young Democrats Academy members constructively engage with constituents, and seek solutions to issues raised and (b) Citizens utilize opportunities for engagement with local parliamentarians participating in the Young Democrats Academy to raise issues of concern. The project is actively engaged in Karachi, Jamshoro, Umer Kot, Kahirpur, Charsadda, Upper Dir, Mardan, Buner, Rawalpindi, Quetta, Kasur, Sargodha, Faisalabad, Toba Tek Singh, Bahawalpur and Dera Ghazi Khan and Jhang districts.
Rights of Expression, Assembly Association and Thought (REAT) Network
The REAT Network is an independent network of civil society organizations dedicated towards working for the promotion and protection of the rights of minorities in Pakistan. REAT Network, serves as a platform for the minorities in Pakistan to share the issues, grievances and challenges faced by them while also serving as a forum to raise collective voices for their rights. REAT has 23 member organizations from across the country with presence in all four provinces. The member organizations are based in 10 districts and the Federal Capital, Islamabad.
Peace, Education and Development (PEAD) Foundation is the national media partner for REAT Network and has engagements in all forms of media to highlight the issue and persecution of minorities in the country.
Political Empowerment of Minority Women
Peace Education and Development (PEAD) Foundation has initiated the project for political empowerment of minority women which aims to empower minority women by building their capacity and enhancing their knowledge about democracy, governance, human rights and other critical areas. The project envisions to (a) build the knowledge and capacity of women from non-Muslim communities for political participation and (b) to promote increased political representation of non-Muslim women in elected governments at the local, provincial, and national levels. The project has seen women from minorities taking an active part in grass roots democracy to present and address their problems. For this project, PEAD is working in three major cities including Lahore, Faisalabad, and Islamabad with 60 short-listed potential women leaders.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/politicalempowerementofminoritywomen
Af-Pak Youth Dialogue
The purpose of this national level project is to promote youth-led citizen-to-citizen dialogue process between Pakistan and Afghanistan to serve as a bridge on issues of bilateral interests between the two countries. PEAD Foundation brings together 8 youth from across the country with a similar group from Afghanistan in this one-year long project. The youth, from a diverse background, will interact not only with each other but also with government officials, political leaders, civil society, media and academia on each side of the border. Youth from the two countries will also have dialogues and discussions with each other through video conferences and social media to work jointly on action plans developed to achieve the project’s objective. PEAD Foundation believes in stronger people-to-people contacts amid existing mistrust between the two countries and sees an opportunity to link youth of the two countries with each other for this purpose through this project.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/AFPAKYOUTH
Strengthening Social Cohesion and Resilience through educational initiaves (SCR)
The project ‘Strengthening Social Cohesion and Resilience through educational initiaves (SCR) ” is one of the very innovative projects of PEAD foundation ,aimed at sensitization , capacity building and strengthening of bonds between the Madrassa& public school students, teachers and faith leaders of the selected institutions in three districts- Swat, Peshawar and Kohat of the KP province.
With the support of Provincial Education Department and Madrassa Boards , a total of 30 Religious Institutions (Registered Madaris)@ 10 per district and 30 state run schools @10per district (with 40 :60 Gender Ratio) are participating in the project activities in the mentioned districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. While religious leaders from Peshawar , Kohat , Swat and other parts of KP are also taking part in consultation workshops for Social Cohesion and Sustainable peace building in Pakistan.
Youth for Democracy and Social Change:
Realizing the need to engage young people in socio-political and economic development of the region as a means to opportunity, PEAD Foundation initiated Youth for Democracy & Social Change project. The project trained 547 youth (both male and female) from various districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province and from six agencies of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) on concepts of democracy, rule of law, civic engagement, conflict mitigation and media advocacy. YDSC trainings covered all major cities including Peshawar, Mardan, Charsadda, Swat, Swabi, Nowshera, Buner, Kohat from KPK while students from FATA represented Mohmand Agency, Kurram Agency, Khyber Agency, Orakzai Agency, Bajaur Agency and Malakand Agency. Through the project, youth in the KPK and FATA regions was helped in better understanding the significance of their participation in socio-political and economic life and resultantly are more knowledgeable about civic participation and democracy, conflict mitigation, and media engagement.
Pakistan Center for Excellence (PACE)
PEAD Foundation has launched Pakistan Center for Excellence (PACE) to advocate the re-conceptualization of teachers’ role as “harbingers of change” for peace, non-violence and democratic consolidation and sought a positive behavioral change. The primary objective of this project was to sensitize and train teachers to acquire knowledge, skills and attitudes to think critically, promote a culture of tolerance and pluralism by educating their colleagues and students on the significance of peace, non-violence and social cohesion, and create a counter narrative to extremist discourse for sustainable peace in the society.
PACE initially trained 100 Master Trainers (teachers) from selected schools in KP and FATA who in turn reached out and trained 2000 teachers and Over 10,000 students in the districts including Peshawar, Nowshera, Kohat, Charsadda, Bunir, Swat, Malakand, Lower Dir and areas of FATA i.e. Khyber Agency, Mohmand Agency, FR Peshawar, FR Kohat, FR Bannu and Bajaur Agency.
As a result, schoolteachers and students have put into practice the concepts of critical thinking, conflict resolution, communication and peace building while students have also engaged in their communities as their leadership skills develop.
Youth for Social Harmony:
PEAD Foundation has adopted an integrated approach towards interfaith harmony and promotion of a culture of tolerance in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province by working with youth from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds. With the duration of 03 months – November 24, 2014 to February 28, 2015 – the project worked with 75 youth from different educational institutions of Khyber PakhtunKhwa (KPK) by initially providing and improving their knowledge and skills on Universal Human rights, Respect for Cultural diversity, Social Action to strengthen Social Cohesion and Democratic Development. Later part of the project dealt with leading Youth towards action through their thoroughly developed Social Action Plans for advancement and development of their respective communities regardless of color, creed, gender and any other feature or characteristics which make them stand different from the rest or in easy word as minority.
Pak-Afghan Women Forum for Peace And Democracy (PAWFPD):
The aim of the project is to increase women’s political participation, enhance their leadership and representation in electoral process and assemblies’. The project’s objective is to create linkages of women with their peers in other countries who are facing similar struggle, providing them mentorship from experienced women who have leaders in their fields and through skill building techniques designed to target their identified needs.
Women’s Democracy Network is part of IRI and WDN aim is to bring peace and democracy under one roof with main focus on women’s role in society. The motivation behind creating WDN (part of IRI) was to bring peace and democracy under one roof and institutional focus is on how support the role of women in peacebuilding and democratization.
Peace Education And Development (PEAD) Foundation has carried out a review of the text books being taught in government school of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) of the four subjects which includes Islamiat / Deenyat, English, Pakistan Studies and Urdu. The books are being taught , from grade 1 to 10. Based on the review a comprehensive report has been drafted.
A formal launching ceremony of the review report was held in Peshawar on April 17,2012 which was attended by the officials of education department, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, leading journalists from print and electronic media, , academicians and civil society members..
The report discusses the anomalies in the curriculum including historical distortions, stereotypes and prejudices against religious minorities, otherization of non-muslims etc. Almost all participants were of the view that an all-inclusive curriculum aimed at promoting equal-citizenship, peace and harmony is the need of the hour and thattextbooks should be cleansed of the materials that promote violence and hatered towards others. They also said that the curriculum should be embedded in fundamental human rights, democratic values and the constitution.
Psycho-social support,Education for sustainable Development & Inclusive Education:
The “Pakistan Center for Excellence (PACE)” is a training program for teachers from KPK and FATA. Teachers at PACE will have the opportunity to learn, discuss and debate local, national and global issues in an open and reflective environment. Besides acquiring soft-skills (critical thinking, nonviolent conflict resolution and interpersonal communication skills) they will be exposed to other cultures and practices through various means of communication (lectures, discussions, videos, information materials, group assignments etc.) to help them unlearn biases towards “others”. They are expected to promote peace, pluralism and social cohesion among their colleagues and students upon their return to their respective institutions and communities. The proposed project therefore, advocates the re-conceptualization of teachers’ role as “harbingers of change” for peace, non-violence and democratic consolidation and seeks a positive behavioral change among the target beneficiaries.
The Foundation has recently organized a three-day Training of Trainers (ToT) workshop in the premises of prestigious University of Peshawar from 26-28 November, 2012 for high school teachers of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa & FATA . 32 teachers from various high schools of Peshawar, Swat, Dir, Nowshera, Charsadda and FATA have been trained as Master trainers by imparting the transferable knowledge and skills in Peace Education, Conflict Resolution, Cultural Pluralism, Social Cohesion and Interfaith Harmony. The training workshop was formally inaugurated by the honorable Vice Chancellor of University of Peshawar, Prof. Dr. Qibla Ayaz . The trained teachers will in turn train the teachers of their respective schools on the acquired knowledge and skills.
The primary objective of the TOT was to sensitize and train teachers to:
a) acquire knowledge, skills and attitudes to think critically.
b) promote a culture of tolerance and pluralism by educating their colleagues and students about the significance of peace, non-violence and social cohesion, and
c) create a counter narrative to extremist discourse for sustainable peace in the society
Inter-Faith Harmony and Rights of Religious Minorities:
PROJECT DURATION: JANUARY 2013 – JUNE 2013
PEAD will help create a network of civil-society organizations across Pakistan and specifically in KPK and FATA to work on issues of the marginalized communities in Pakistan due to their faith/religious affiliation
PEAD Foundation is working on the “rights of religious minorities in Pakistan”.
Art For Social Cohesion & Expression:
PROJECT DURATION: SEPTEMBER 2013 – MARCH 2014
The mentioned project is a training and advocacy program, in which calligraphy classes will be held and discussion forums will also be organized at selected seminaries on selected themes ,aimed to develop better communication & inter-personal relationship skills among the participants for social cohesion and harmony in the region, besides strengthening values such as peace, non-violence, respect for diversity & pluralism.
Pakistan in general and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in particular, is currently facing daunting socio-economic and political challenges. The growing religious intolerance and extremism, is also among the major catalysts, which led to widespread internal security issues. Much of the social disruption has also stemmed out of the predominantly poor state of education sector both in state run schools and religious seminaries. The out dated teaching practices and biased curricula is also a major factor in creating discord in society thus causing resentment and anxiety among people. Often the teachers themselves are poorly educated and hold ultra –conservative and radical views which they unconsciously pass on to their students, thus promoting in them stereotypical mindset and attitudes in which different from them are considered “bad or unacceptable”
YOUTH VOICES II:
PROJECT DURATION: SEPTEMBER 2013 – AUGUST 2014
Program educates young people in the fields of governance, democracy, leadership, conflict resolution and team building skills but also aids them in communicating and conveying their viewpoints in the most effective and efficient manner.
Youth Voices is a project initiated by Peace Education And Development Foundation. The project aims at capacity building of 500 youth representatives’ of 20 different institutions of KPK and FATA by organizing training sessions of mixed ability groups from these selected institutions. It is an attempt to inculcate moderate behavior and critical thinking amongst these representatives specifically about governance, respect, human rights, conflict management and media engagement.
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