The region of Karnali is one of Nepal’s most isolated and poorest areas. Heavy conflict has left it perilously behind national development. People have disappeared, been displaced, arrested and murdered. KIRDARC initiatives through Peace Direct’s Rapid Response Fund (RRF) are a lifeline for people excluded from every aspect of human development and living under the constant threat of violence.
RRF provides KIRDARC with funds to respond immediately to the needs of conflict victims.
For Munakali, a 38-year-old internally displaced woman, RRF has allowed her to change her life, “I am blind, displaced and had been raped. I had no shelter, clothes or food but I hoped to work hard if only someone could give me the means to do so.” KIRDARC responded immediately and after a community meeting to identify the greatest need, helped Munakali start a small tea stall promoting peace. Munakali says, “I have found my lost family. KIRDARC have changed my life and now I am able to promote peace and earn through this small business.”
RRF funding has helped set up peace forums and train peace talkers. There are now 823 grassroots peace talkers helping communities resolve conflict before they escalate. In Dharaphori people were violently beaten whenever they spoke out for peace. KIRDARC training helped 25-year-old Maita Buda mediate in a recent dispute over firewood from the public forest. She said, “I never thought I could do something about peace but KIRDARC training helped me to settle our own conflict. The community can now see that collective cooperation can bring positive results. Now we do not need third parties to intervene in our own problems.” Communities now have a feeling of ownership and realise they must do something for peace.
Gorkha Thapa was so inspired by the RRFs work that he now broadcasts KIRDARC initiatives through his show on community radio Karnali FM. The ‘Shanto Bhas’ programme encourages others to work for peace, educates and informs. Approximately 432 individuals from the community have aired their voice and provided information about the violent conflict in their respective areaa.
RRF is used to intervene in conflict flashpoint. Violence was threatening in Jumla district after someone from a low caste drank water from a public tap for high caste people. KIRDARC peace workers spent two days with the community to convince both parties to respect human dignity and not use violence against each other.
KIRDARC initiatives through Peace Direct’s RRF have enabled conflicting groups to come closer to the peace without violence, increase willingness to use dialogue to resolve the conflict, and provide knowledge to bring change in their life. In purpose to promoting peace in the grassroots level it seeks long-term RRF to motivate and empower the conflict-affected community.