Region: Banke, Bardiya, Surkhet
Project Title: Community Radio FM Nepal: Supporting Peace, Reconciliation and Transitional Justice through Dialogue and Capacity Building (Pilot)
Project Duration: 31st October 2012 – 09th November 2012
Implementing Organization: Advocacy Forum Nepal (AF) and Conflict Victims' Society for Justice (CVSJ)
What project participants say:
JagdishYadav, Conflict Victim: "I got the opportunity to share my problems directly with CDO (chief district officer). As he has promised to solve my problems immediately, I am very hopeful to get the relief fund. Thank you for organizing such program which helped my voice heard to the authority. I expect such program to be regularly produced and broadcast not only in Nepalgunj but across the country. Such programs should be continued until and unless the victims get justice."
YubarajGiri, Conflict Victim: "I found quite hard to speak in radio as it is my very first time. I had a lot of things in my mind to say but could not. But, at least, i could share the major things. After the show, i realized that our problems can be solved. Now I've the confidence to do a lot."
Ram Narayan Prasad Keshari, Conflict Victim: "I found the program is specially designed for us. It is completely focused to solve our problems. We succeeded to do a lot in a short time. This program should be aired nationwide thorough network radio with massive publicity and outreach."
Chandra Kala Upreti, Conflict Victim: "Some of my victim friends called me this morning (after listening the show) and told me that we feel the program is made for us in our own language. This program has raised the hope among victims that they will get the justice."
Against the backdrop of impunity and lack of justice for conflict victims in Nepal's stalled peace process, the project contributed to human rights awareness, civil society engagement, non-violence and peace journalism in the previously conflict-stricken districts of Banke, Bardiya and Surkhet. Implemented by Nepali trainers in the national language Nepali as well as the predominant local language, Culture for Peace cross-linked a training for conflict sensitive radio and print journalism, with a community-based workshop on Transitional Justice (TJ), peace and reconciliation for members of local community organisations with the production of two different radio programs with regional scope in the Mid-Western region. Amongst others it was thus achieved to mutually sensitize the target groups (here: conflict victims and local journalists) for their respective situation, understanding and needs. This close exchange is of particular importance because the media can advocate for the interests of conflict victims while informing them on the current developments of the TJ processbeyond political bias.
Next to information and discussion on the TJ process as well as on legal rights and remedy in Nepal (from an international perspective), the workshop for conflict victims also conveyed easily applicable methods in civil conflict transformation - therefore directly contributingto capacity building of the participants. Moreover, the victims were empowered to organize the production of the radio program on their own initiative. Together with the facilitator of the radio program, a local journalist who was trained and selected in the training for conflict sensitive journalism as part of the same project, the victims chose two topics (interim relief and amnesties for perpetrators), their representatives for the show and invited the guests, among which state representatives and political party members. By the production and airing of the radio program, the project created a platform for information and dialogue and accomplished a pilot to more empowerment and public recognition of conflict victims in Nepal which received enthusiastic feedback from participating local communities as well as the Nepali implementing partners.
Training on Conflict Sensitive Journalism
- Participants (journalists and human rights defenders) have strengthened their skills and knowledge in conflict sensitive journalism and investigative methods
- Journalistshave a raised awareness regarding their role in the peace and TJ process, as regards the sensitivity and necessity of coverage on human rights violations and can apply their knowledge in radio formats,
- Dialogue and synergies were created between journalists and human rights defenders (here: lawyers of the implementing partner Advocacy Forum Nepal)
- Coordination and cooperation between AF regional offices and media is strengthened
Workshop for conflict victims
- Conflict victims are better informed on their rights and remedies as well as on TJ issues and current developments in the peace process
- Conflict victims discussed advocacy strategies regarding their goals (justice and reconciliation)
- Conflict victims prepared the production of a pre-recorded radio program that was subsequently broadcast to several thousand listeners in the region
- CVSJ internal networking was strengthened
- Conflict victims and local media representatives entered more direct exchange and dialogue in order to create increased understanding for each other
Radio program production and airing
- The guests and the audience of the radio program is informed on current developments of Nepal's TJ process
- Conflict victims are satisfied to have been provided a public platform to convey their experience and demands
- Conflict victims feel relieved because they could tell their life story in public
- important local authorities and party representatives followed the invitation of the organizers / conflict victims
- Conflict victims are more optimistic to achieve justice because a state representative present in the program made concessions as regards reparations
* Political Analysis not updated