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MasterPeace Walk 2022 in Nepal : A Journey to Learn from Culture, Nature and Adventure

MasterPeace Walk 2022 in Nepal : A Journey to Learn from Culture, Nature and Adventure

masterpeace
On November 25, 2022

MasterPeace Nepal organized the 4th MasterPeace Walk in the beautiful Dhading area of Nepal. A group of 35 participants, consisting of Dutch, South-African, Columbian, Portuguese, French, Polish and Nepali (17 international and 18 Nepalese) people set out for the 6-day on the 2nd of November. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, combining adventure, nature and culture, began in Saatghumti, Bhimesthan, Dhading and ended at Simle, Dhading. MasterPeace Walk is a one of the powerful projects of MasterPeace Global to ignite the global grassroots peacebuilding movement; connecting local communities with diverse groups of people rich in culture and knowledge.


Building a Bridge between Cultures and Capacity

Starting from an elevation of just 900m, a low area of Dhading, to 2100m high altitude made for astonishing views of sunrise, sunset and mountains. As the day began, what was initially a group of people meeting for the first time, gradually began interacting with joy, passion and enthusiasm. A unique bond emerged; one which transcended culture, age, profession and geography. The walk became a unique platform for learning, sharing and inspiring, not coincidentally, activities that MasterPeace has been about since the very beginning. In addition to the invaluable dialogue, participants also had the chance to experience genuine hospitality and kindness from local people, ever present to provide a smile or a helping hand along the way.



Powerful Storytelling and Insightful Discussions

The walk provided a safe space and an open forum for people to talk about their personal experiences, learn about other cultures, gain new insight into leadership through conversations with people from other ethnic and professional backgrounds, and enjoy the phenomenon of living in the moment. With every passing day they walked further, and shared more about their own struggles with personal and societal difficulties, how they overcame them, and ultimately found happiness and their own viewpoint to continue following their dreams.

For the Nepali group, composed mostly of young adults in their 20s, it was an opportunity to reflect on their thoughts and transform that into positive energy. This was made further possible by the establishment of small-group talks about specific subjects along the way. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), their various dimensions, and implications were the main focus of these discussions.
On the issue of education, as one example, local participants shared about the education system of Nepal and how it still does not provide a quality education children need. Western walkers also spoke on this issue, explaining the strengths and weaknesses of their own educational systems back home.
This type of insightful exchange motivated a few Nepali participants who aspire to be teachers and professors. Other important subjects that came up during the entire walk included gender equality and taking action against climate change.



Calming your mind with the Rising of the Sun

Picture yourself seated on a large rock facing stunning mountains at 6:15 in the morning at an elevation of 2000 meters. A Buddhist monk is leading your group of 35 amazing people in meditation. As you continue your meditation, you begin to feel the gradual warmth of the rising Sun. Below that, beautiful forests, valleys, and rivers join forces to form amazing natural scenery. This is how many of the mornings throughout the walk began. The natural setting was the cherry on top of the meditation's success in calming your mind and heart.

“Campsites; campfires; sunrises; sunsets; peaceful meditations; green landscapes; snow capped mountains; stories; dances; songs; late night talks; circles; daal-bhaat-tarkari in Tapari; tight hugs; smiles on the faces; laughter; and much more. We all are going to smile and cry over the nostalgia of these 6 days throughout our life.”

Aditi from MasterPeace Nepal



Impact: Individual to Local to Global

With its distinctive framework, the MasterPeace walk has established itself as a tried-and-true method for bringing together many cultures and fostering new synergies and viewpoints that have an impact on both local and global level. Prakash Bhandari, a young and passionate changemaker from Nepal, described the lasting impact as he sees it:
“This trek will be one of the unforgettable events for me. Life brings ups and downs but when we go with the flow and have faith and show honesty, God has something great for us. Thank you for the opportunity.”

The local community, in addition to the walkers, was delighted to interact with the national and international visitors and learn more about their cultures and languages. Peace for People, the organizer of the walk in Nepal, does innovative and essential work with students and teachers at numerous schools in Dhading. The revenue from the walk has been used in supporting education materials for the needy children as well as carrying out training and bootcamps for teachers and parents.

“Compassion and interconnectedness were the most important ingredients we experienced during the walk. If these are the most important tools to save the planet, we for sure strengthened our capacity. As organizers of this walk our smallest act was to bring together this group of changemakers with the clear intention of creating connections and exchanging perspectives. And we hope for sure that the impact of this great event will go beyond our capacity to see. There is certainly more to come. ”

- Veronique Swinkels on the MasterPeace Walk experience

Looking back at the beauty and success of the MasterPeace Walk, it can be summarized as a walk for peace, a walk for conservation and a walk for unity. If you want to be a part of this journey or support in one way or another to our program, contact info@masterpeace.org or via MasterPeace’s social media platforms.

Happiness

If the pages of life could be filled,
I wouldn’t be writing this.
Feels like,
the sky is not mine,
neither is God made for me.
Yes,
The sorrows have become my best of friends,
and they don’t disappoint to love me back either.
We’re here, together, for each other.

Just like the stars in the sky,
are my untasted colors of happiness,
so far from me.
But,
No, I’m not scared.

One day,
I’ll bring them closer,
even though they seem far fetched.
Then,
I’ll not be the only on enjoying,
my happiness will surely savor along.
Just like,
the happy Moon that shines
throughout the dark night
along with the stars.

(Note :Translated from Nepali)

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AWE Program: SEMERERA’s first kick off project

AWE Program: SEMERERA’s first kick off project

masterpeace
On November 22, 2022

AWE Program: SEMERERA’s first kick off project

On October the 26th SEMERERA powered by MasterPeace was officially renowned as the implementing partner for AWE program. AWE is a learning and networking opportunity initiated by the Office of the US State Department in charge of education and culture in 2019. It gives women entrepreneurs the chance to learn new ways of launching and scaling up their initiatives through capacity-building, networking, and funding opportunities. The campaign focused on “The Role of Young Leaders in Peacebuilding”, the program is supported by the US Government.

To date, AWE has been implemented in more than 80 countries across the globe, including 20 African countries. This year, the program was officially introduced in Burundi, and our organization, SEMERERA are its implementing partners. SEMERERA were among the VIP guests, and were acknowledged as the US Ambassador to Burundi along with five female members of the Parliament of Burundi. We also received delegations from many local and international NGOs, including CARE International, some financial institutions and banks, the media and dozens of the candidates to the program.

For the first class of AWE, 50 ladies aged 18–35 will be taken through a 14-week entrepreneurial journey with weekly interpersonal training and home sessions through DreamBuilder, a learning platform developed by the Thunderbird School of Management at Arizona University. Besides the training, networking sessions will be organized to allow the participants to connect with potential funders and partners for their business ideas. Those who successfully complete the program and succeed in all the evaluation aspects of it will receive certificates from Arizona University and will become members of the exchange Alumni, a community of more than 50,000 people from across the globe who have already participated in programs funded by the US Government.










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Centers for Pluralism Sri Lanka: Bridging the Dialogue Gap

Centers for Pluralism Sri Lanka: Bridging the Dialogue Gap

masterpeace
On November 18, 2022

Eleven years since the end of a civil war which left deep scars dividing the population along ethnic and religious lines, 2022 saw Sri Lanka further challenged by a crippling economic and political crisis.

Facing a dire need to stop the spread of violence while also addressing a nation of young people with dwindling hope for a positive future, MasterPeace Sri Lanka, in cooperation with Asia Lanka Social Development Cooperation, have established two Two Centers for Community Education and Pluralism (CCEP) in Kegalle and Trincomalee districts. These unique community centers serve as dialogue and education hubs, where children can participate in workshops, skills training, movie screenings, and above all - get to know other children from different religions and ethnicities.


Among the educational services the CCEP are providing are 6 month English courses. Participants not only have the opportunity to learn a language that can help open the door to other opportunities in the future, they also get to experience learning together in a diverse classroom environment. Along the same lines, both centers house their own Interfaith Library, an initiative supported by the King Abdullah Center for Inter Religious and Inter Cultural Dialogue.

While the establishment of the CCEPs have been extremely successful in engaging communities and reaching young people in their inaugural year, the ongoing economic crisis in the country continues to pose a threat to their future. Local and international support will continue to be essential in order to overcome the obstacles posed by materials shortages and price inflation. The presence of Centers of Pluralism and Dialogue as safe spaces for bringing people together and providing essential knowledge and skills trainings has helped mobilize and inspire youngsters. The key moving forward is to sustain their operation to allow for more people to benefit from all they have to offer.

Screen Shot 2022-11-17 at 15.19.00

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Social entrepreneurship for a sustainable future with less conflict

Social entrepreneurship for a sustainable future with less conflict

masterpeace
On October 14, 2022

This project addresses the need for strengthened programs for NEET youth/women in the field of entrepreneurship.

In a unique consortium (Youth Power Germany, UDRUGA ZA UNAPRJEDENJE SUVREMENIH ZIVOTNIH VJESTINA OSTVARENJE - (Croatia); YOUTH POWER/UNG KRAFT (Sweden); CNL CENTRE FOR NON-FORMAL EDUCATION AND LIFELONG LEARNING (Serbia); Wizard, obrt za savjetovanje (Croatia), we identified that especially among our target groups of immigrants and marginalised groups within each of our countries) girls and young women are less active in business and entrepreneurship, and particularly as independent entrepreneurs and business leaders.  Only 9 of 59 youth workers (15%) have previous experience with social enterprises start-ups and use that experience in their youth work. Only 4 of 59 (6%) youth workers working on NFE with youngsters, have been through some kind of education about (social) marketing and feel confident in organising youth work activities in the topic.

 

Our aim was to change the situation described above by equipping youth organisations and youth workers with tools and approaches they can use to support entrepreneurship of young women in a way that is socially and culturally appropriate.

Our project objectives:

Empower our youth workers and improve knowledge management of youth work organizations in theory and practice for building competences of youth workers in social entrepreneurship for sustainable future with less conflict, for NEET youngsters, young women - through an innovative curriculum and online course for youth workers’ training.

Empower NEET youngsters, young women for social entrepreneurship start-up and quality social marketing of theirs, through development of inspiring, innovative and up-to-date handbook, toolkit, as well as the online courses.

Exchange good practices and further develop quality strategic partnership among partners from 5 European countries with different realities in regards to youth social entrepreneurship for a sustainable future with less conflict.

With the financial support of the EU we were able to realize our objectives:

 

1) Curriculum “Social entrepreneurship youth work for a sustainable future with less conflict” 

presents an innovative resource for youth trainers to organize a 7-day long training course and educate youth workers (current and future ones) to further develop organizational culture, mentoring, and workshops for NEET youngsters (women) on the topic of social entrepreneurship start-ups.

2) E-learning course for youth workers “Social entrepreneurship youth work for a sustainable future with less conflict''.

3) Handbook “How to start-up the social enterprises for a sustainable future with less conflict” 

is an innovative resource for both youth workers and youngsters who want to learn more about starting-up social enterprises based on the newest developments in the field. The guidebook deals with important social entrepreneurship for a sustainable future with less conflict topics, including vision, passion, emotional intelligence, negotiation and creativity. The guidebook does not deal and focus only on typical topics, such as the development of business idea or creating a communication plan, but it also includes the most recent developments in the field of social entrepreneurship and green entrepreneurship, the new era of entrepreneurship.

4) E-learning course for youngsters “How to start-up the social enterprises for a sustainable future with less conflict”.

5) Toolkit as resource material for both youth workers who will further work directly with NEET youth/women, as well as for youngsters who will start up social enterprises and are interested in learning more about potential social marketing for those start-ups of theirs.

6) E-learning course for youngsters “Social marketing of social enterprises for a sustainable future with less conflict”


We had over 250 local multipliers/youth workers empowered in 5 countries about the innovation and digitalization of social entrepreneurship youth work for the inclusion of NEET youth/women.

At the local level, the project made an impact through the creation and development of innovative resources, methodologies, and tools for providing youth work activities on topics of entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship for youngsters with fewer opportunities. The organizations implementing this project, as well as other organizations and stakeholders reached through the multipliers meetings from 5 local communities, now have at their disposal more effective tools and more competent staff to engage in entrepreneurship education for young women who come from the most disadvantaged backgrounds. Thanks to that, the effectiveness of youth work and non-formal education in those communities significantly increased. Through the development of online courses, we managed to reach a wider number of young people than usually involved in our daily activities, which also helped us to raise general awareness in local communities about (social) entrepreneurship and more young people will consider it as an option for combating with social problems in their communities. Finally, through the empowered skills and competencies of our youth workers and staff members, we expect that more projects with the same/similar topics will be developed in the near future. This will help local communities to start a potential gender-transformative impact when showed that there is no harm if young women (especially those with fewer opportunities) participate in entrepreneurship education or start up their own social enterprises.

Impact at the European and international levels was achieved through developed intellectual outputs that later can be multiplied in any other countries or local communities. Those outputs were designed in such a way that it is pretty easy to adapt them to any local circumferences and needs of different target groups. Outputs have been already disseminated at the European level to other youth organizations and relevant stakeholders.

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