CDA is a national youth-led organisation in Pakistan. Since its establishment in 2004 as a theatre group, CDA has empowered Pakistani youth – especially young women – to actively participate in all spheres of life, without discrimination on any basis. CDA works to create a more just, democratic and peaceful society.
In Pakistan, conflict is often driven by religious, cultural and social intolerance, particularly for ethnic and religious minority groups and women. CDA believes young people can play a pivotal role in bringing peace to society and reduce extremism in Pakistan, and the wider region. They believe peace can be achieved through active youth participation in political processes, and exposing young people to the heritage and values of different religious and ethnic groups.
We have partnered with CDA since 2019 through our Youth Action for Peace programme. CDA acts as a hub organisation – meaning they identify, support and deliver small grants to local youth peacebuilding individuals and groups in Pakistan. These grants enable young activists to carry out their own innovative peacebuilding work.
CDA has many different initiatives for promoting peace in Pakistan, including interfaith dialogues, sport and cultural exchanges. They initiated the national Youth-Peace campaign to create a culture of equality and tolerance among young people. CDA reaches thousands of young people each year from across Pakistan.
CDA also provides opportunities for young people to interact and explore other’s religion and cultural values through exposure visits in their own provinces as well as inter-provincial exchange visits. As part of their work, CDA hosts National Youth Peace Festival (NYPF), which are Pakistan’s largest gatherings of young people in support of peace.