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Organization: Pravah
The following information may be cited or quoted as long as the source is accurately mentioned and the words are not taken out of context.
Posted: May 21 2010,04:48 If you wrote this report, you will find a button here that you may click
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Postal address of organization/institution

C- 24B, Second Floor, Kalkaji, New Delhi-110019

E-mail address of organization/institution


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PRIORITIES: All of the organization's domains of culture of peace activity


TOP PRIORITY: The organization's most important culture of peace activity


PARTNERSHIPS AND NETWORKS: What partnerships and networks does your organization participate in, thus strengthening the global movement for a culture of peace?

At Pravah our aim is to impact issues of social justice and further peace through building youth leadership and citizenship action. Hence besides working directly with youth, we partner with various organisations to further the issue of youth active citizenship for building a peaceful world. We partner with about 100 organisations annually through various programmes. We use the approach of collaboration, partnerships and incubations in diverse ways, to create an eco-system of organizations that work on youth leadership and active citizenship for social change. As part of this approach we focus on the following:

1. Startups and Joint Ventures- Pravah Partners with like minded organisations and individuals and facilitate the start up and /or development of new youth initiatives and organisations. Two of our start ups are:

a. Pravah Japiur Initiative- A couple of years ago, our exchange with young people and organizations across the city of Jaipur had led us to discover that while Rajasthan is known for its social activism across the world, urban youth from this region tend to be disconnected from their legacy. This concern led Pravah to incubate an initiative in jaipur which is now known as the Pravah jaipur Initiative.

b. Commutiny- The Youth Collective operates as a group of like minded individuals who have come together with a common vision to strengthen youth active citizenship and development in the country. CYC has representation of senior members of over 8 youth organisations from India.

2. Partnership Cell aims to strengthen citizenship action and youth development and develops long term partnerships with organisations working with young people across the country and co-creates youth interventions that create opportunities for youth to engage meaningfully in society. Currently we are partnering with Patang in Orissa, Thoughtshop Foundation in Kolkata, and SAHER in Mumbai to advocate for and faciliate youth development and active citizenship.

3. Strategic Resource Group (SRG)- In collaboration with Youth and Civil Society (YACS) Initiative of Sir Ratan Tata Trust (SRTT), we have launched the SRG which is an initiative to support organizations in India to strengthen focus on youth development and particiaption in their programs.

4. Pravah is on the Board as well as the Executive Committee of the network of organisations led by the National Youth Foundation. The network is a national platform for Indian youth and youth organisations where they can associate with each other and contribute in the building of our society through mutual interaction, cooperation and group action.

5. As part of the teacher training program we have established the Teachers Resource Center (TRC) and Educators Collective (EC). The TRC build in teachers an approach to understanding citizenship issues and supports them to embed citizenship curricula within the school system. Our first centre has been set up in partnership with Bluebells School International, New Delhi.  The Educators Collective brings teachers and educators together to promote an exchange and dialogue on active citizenship issues. The membership based collective also offers learning opportunities for teachers who are helping young people engage with society meaningfully and non-violently.

ACTIONS: What activities have been undertaken by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the ten years of the Decade? If you already made a report in 2005, your information from 2005 will be included in the 2010 report.

We work with partners ranging from young people themselves to teachers to other organisations which are working to build a culture of peace through youth participation. Our aim is to build a world where young people can take leadership, address real community needs as well as evolve as active participants in a peaceful society. While our intervention takes different forms based on the audience, there are three phases that mark it (described below).

Our work stems from the belief that the learning process – whether of structured or unstructured nature - needs to help participants understand that all things in life are interconnected. That as parts of a larger whole, their action can bring change – within themselves and in the spaces they inhabit... their families, their neighbourhoods, the larger society. The learning process needs to inspire them to be responsible and active. This is the kind of learning we propagate to build the culture of peace.

The three key pillars  of our intervention are:

1. Self to Society- Facililating a first inward journey is the first step of our engagement - to support participants to understand their selves in relation to the world around them. They learn to appreciate their roles in life and their relations with those around. Learning to be comfortable as a part of larger groups and gaining critical skills of assertiveness, listening, cooperation and celebrating relationships are at the core of this experience. The extension into responsible citizenship then is a natural process. Rights and responsibilities as a means of self-empowerment are understood in a collective context. Learning to understand oneself – one’s values, stances and goals are an integral part of this phase.

2. The Conflict Positive Process- At the bottom of any problem, social or personal, lies a conflict. Taking leadership in dealing with conflicts positively is therefore at the very heart of change. In the second phase of our structured interventions, participants are supported to become conscious of conflicts in their lives and society and hone their skills to resolve conflicts positively. This entails actively breaking down unhealthy notions of ‘the accepted’, taking responsibility of situations, opting for win-win solutions. Breaking stereotypes, appreciating diversity, taking ownership and practising tolerance are embedded in the learnings.

3. Citizenship and Voluntary action- Developing an understanding of citizenship issues is the focus of this phase. Participants are acquainted with social issues and are supported to take positive action through social initiatives and campaigns. Some of the issues participants engage with are diversity, right to shelter, peace, gender, democracy, equality, poverty and sustainable development.
We implement a range of programmes, and given below are some examples representative of our activities with diverse stakeholders:

1. SMILE(Students Mobilisation Initiative for Learning through Exposure)creates opportunities for college students to understand and appreciate diversity through exposure and facilitates them to engage with society in meaningful ways. The program process focuses on exposing participants to various diversities and building their understanding around it.  

a. The rural internships form a part of this. Before the students are placed in various organisations, they undergo an orientation camp,  during which one of the sessions is on conflict resolution.

b. Recently we designed a module around Communalism and Identity in an effort to promote education as a culture of peace. Part of  the modules were film screenings on the issue and also theatre workshops.

c. Every year SMILE organises a music festival- Music For Harmony- that spans over a day and promotes a culture of peace and harmony through music. The event is organised by young volunteers and it helps them strengthen their belief in peace and learn values of teamwork and cooperation.

d. We also held a series of films workshops titled Films With Wings, (FWW) that aims to promote and celebrate a cross cultural exchange of ideas and creative expressions among young people across India and Pakistan through the medium of films.

e. Through our Youth for Development and Global Xchange programs, we create opportunities for young people to explore different communities and issues, thus building an attitude of respect and understanding.

2. We hold life skills workshops for adoloscents in school through the “From Me to We” program. The program builds life skills and equips adoloscents to become active citizens. The FUN Camps build an understanding and appreciationof social issues among adoloscents from urban and rural backgrounds.

3. The Teacher Training program- The World Is My Classroom- facilitates school teachers to design and implement life skills and active citizenship curricula within the existing educational framework and link the process of education with social realities. As we expand  this programme we are looking at building a culture of peace within the schools we are workign with. Recently we organised a consultation on Schools as Nurseries of Peace which acted as a forum for educators to share their ideas and build support for the discourse on education for peace. The consultation also explored different methodologies and initiatives that are promoting non threatening spaces within schools.

4. An integral part of our work is to support young people to take up leadership in the society and be the change they wish to see in the world. Through our Change Looms programme, we support them to clarify their values and stances, adopt win-win solutions as well as develop their organisations on principles of equality, peace and justice.

PROGRESS: Has your organization seen progress toward a culture of peace and nonviolence in your domain of action and in your constituency during the second half of the Decade?

Over the last decade we have experienced some progress in our efforts towards a culture of peace and non violence. We have expanded our outreach in terms of the geographical spread of our programs through various partnerships with other organisations. Each program too has expanded the scope of its work over the years. Through our programs we have built a network of youth facilitators who have experienced a self transformation and now are assisting other youth to do the same. Through our partnership cell, we have worked with a number of organisations that work on youth development and active citizenship. We have also succeeded in promoting multiple platforms where young people and other stakeholders have been able to come together to discuss issues of youth participation for building a better world.

OBSTACLES: Has your organization faced any obstacles to implementing the culture of peace and nonviolence? If so, what were they?

* The single minded focus of schools is on doing better in academics. Due to this lack of exposure to everyday situations, the educational system doesn’t encourage students to think and debate about violence happening in places around them. However, of late we have observed a shift in the school’s  from academics to an all encompassing education

* Also with the schools that Pravah is currently engaged with, it has been observed that parents would like their children to be involved with social work only if they get some recognition while doing it. An article in the newspaper and public recognition is considered an indicator of the success of a particular programme. This undermines the actual indicator, which is a transformation in the adolescent itself.

* Although there are number of initiatives being taken by the youth towards social action, it is still not perceived as an approachable space for young people to be involved in. Stereotypes and biases from the older generation as well as young peoples’ preoccupations with academics and other factors, lead to a lack of spaces for youth to get involved and take “action” in the social sphere.

* There is also an increasing polarisation in society where differences between groups on basis of caste, religion, economic status are only increasing over time. As long as these extremities are there in society, conflict will continue to exist.

* In implementing the curriculum for Education for Peace in schools, it has been seen that there is a large gap between the National Curriculum Framework and the teachers’ capacity. The curriculum which exists for education for peace has good material but it does not challenge the teachers’ perceptions and notions of peace and of themselves.

PLANS: What new engagements are planned by your organization in the short, medium and long term to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence?

Since 1993, we have been on a conscious journey to enhance the scope of our work of supporting the building of a peaceful world through facilitating young people to engage with society as active citizens. While we started with students in schools and colleges, now our focus encompasses a range of partners including teachers, professionals, NGO’s etc. In the coming years we look forward to expand our outreach and scope.

Some of the key plans for the coming years are:
• There is an ongoing effort in Pravah to create a “fifth space” which is an alternative dynamic space that will allow mainstreaming of youth engaged in social action, thereby enabling their own identity formation as strong citizens and better human beings.
• Since the inception of Pravah in 1993, we have  engaged with capcaity building of individuals and organisations working in the youth active citizenship field. Against this backdrop we have set up the Pravah Learning Voyages, an institute which will focus on developing and sharing skills and knowledge in critical areas of youth development work with diverse stakeholders, and in the process enhance the journeys of youth towards active citizenship more effectively.
• The underlying theme of the FMTW interventions is taking stances based on values and conflict resolution. One of the new projects started is with Sanskriti School where students of Class 9-11 are taken to urban ethnic communities and they try to identify certain developmental issues related to the community. This will help in building their ability to recognise community related developmental issues.

• We are also looking at collaboration with NSS, Delhi University, where we will look at how Pravah can collaborate with them to make NSS a more vibrant and energising space for the youth participation.

• We will also be looking at creating new partnerships and looking at diverse organisations that we can associate with.

GLOBAL MOVEMENT: How do you think the culture of peace and nonviolence could be strengthened and supported at the world level??

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Organization: Pravah

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