MasterPeace Asian Bootcamp 2023 in Nepal
MasterPeace and MasterPeace club Nepal Youth Council (NYC) successfully organized Asia Regional Bootcamp in Nepal from 1-4 April 2023 , gathering a total of 40 participants from 13 MasterPeace clubs and core team representing Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Netherlands. Upon the conclusion of the program, the leaders and changemakers build amazing bonding filled with more energy and desire to ACT together for global peace movement and climate change mitigation, adaptation and resilience.
Snap Shot of Facts:
- 6 Countries
- 40 Participants
- 3 Workshops
- 4 Sessions
- 1 MasterPeace Family
- 7 SDGs
With hard work and an abundance of fun and compassion, we met or even overachieved our objectives:
- Bonding: meeting old friends as well new friends and creating amazing memories
- Participants understand the relevance of Artivism, Non-Formal Educational Materials and Doughnut Economy
- High interaction and sharing; small groups discussions
- Understanding MP strategy and timeline: Theory of Change, Products, and Partners
- Creating campaigns, concepts and funding
- Campaign: International Day of Education (January) and Peace (heartbeat + September)
- Concepts: MP and MP Club’s best practices, ideas and scaling together
- Funding: Example of SEI application, training on MP Rationale, how to structure the prospecting and learning via open space/breakouts
- Exploring learning opportunities for youngsters
- Meetups with high ranking personalities from government
Day 1 : Kick-off, Open Space and Travel
All the Participants arrived on 31st of March and the next morning started with the Opening Session where Mr Saroj Baniya, President of NYC, set the mood with warm welcoming words and thereafter, all the clubs were given 10-15 minutes time to introduce themselves and share their best practices and projects. This is one of the MasterPeace ways to kick off any gathering so that everyone can have a clear understanding about each other’s work and helps to extend conversations during the program. Ms Punam Khadgi thanked on behalf of Core Team to all the participants for their enthusiastic participation and for consistent inspiring work in their communities.
On the same day before lunch, the deputy speaker of the house of representative from Nepal, Ms Indira Rana Magar (https://www.linkedin.com/in/indira-ranamagar-b02b3b40/) met and greeted all the participants as well as shared her story and journey from social worker to politician. Indira Ranamagar was honored by the World's Children's Prize in 2014 for her 20-year struggle for prisoners' children in Nepal. The interaction focussed on how the work of NGO/CSOs can be more heard by the government and policy makers so that all the actors can work in a synergized environment. She emphasized that governments, CSOs, private sectors, businesses and all other stakeholders have to work together, otherwise the balance of the system can never be reached. Lastly, she was impressed by the networks of MasterPeace and magnitude of grassroot level movements and expressed best wishes stating the role is even more important than before.
In the rainy afternoon, we moved to a Chhaimale Resort which is 90 minutes drive away from the city center of Kathmandu. The way to the destination is filled with natural beauty, curved roads, and rural life flavor. It was one of the adventurous trips on the hilly roads for most of the participants and they enjoyed the rollercoaster ride.
Day 2 : Strategy towards sustainability
With an awe-inspiring beauty of nature unfolding before your eyes, the second day of bootcamp starts focussing on understanding the strategy of MasterPeace and how it can bring more sustainability. Global Leader from MasterPeace, Aart Bos, shared the mission and vision of MasterPeace for upcoming years as well as how we can co-create and scale up innovative projects on a regional level. As there were also recently joined MasterPeace clubs like MP Travelettes (Bangladesh), CRIA (India), the session helped to understand different pillars of MasterPeace and theory of change
The next session was about understanding fund writing procedure, opportunities and approaches. Creative Resource Mobilizer for Asia, Mr. Ashwini Kumar Dhakal, led the session along with Mr. Bos, by showcasing one of the jointly developed concepts that centers on building regional climate resilience in Asia.. The approach was straightforward, with all the clubs contributing their insights on the presented concept notes, critically analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the proposal, and collaboratively brainstorming ways to enhance it with collective inputs.. .
During the process, Mr. Bheema from MP VIEWS (Odisha- India) explained how to shape the M&E section on different funding proposals. Furthermore, Mr. Abdul Azeem and Mr. Anurag Gangwar from MP Aarohan (New Delhi- India) presented an innovative platform: Benevity Cause and Impact Verse respectively. The initial component is a universally accessible platform that allows NGOs to register according to specified regulations, and upload their impactful projects. This enables potential donors to express their interest in supporting these projects, and multiple donors can contribute to a single project through this platform. One project can attract multiple donors on this platform. Secondly, Impact Verse is a platform where CSOs can measure their impact on the project, analyze data and have a better chance to access possible donors.
In between the session, there were various energizers like football, table tennis, dance, songs which maintain the energetic vibes throughout the day. Following the lunch, a more than two hours comprehensive Integral Leadership Workshop by Marcela Bos, writer and trainer, brought new dimension to changemakers and how they perceive the process. The workshop delved into the four dimensions of a human being - physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual - and emphasized the importance of understanding and integrating these elements in order to be conscious of one's experiences and thrive collectively as a whole, encompassing aspects such as actions, thoughts, emotions, and intuition.
One of the goals of the bootcamp was to foster bonding among the clubs and facilitate cultural exchange. To that end, a cooking session was organized, led by Ms. Nirmila from MP Pakistan, where participants learned how to prepare Biryani, a popular South Asian cuisine. The resulting dish was a blend of local flavors, enjoyed by all while immersing in folk music and engaging in lively conversations together.
Day 3 : Himalaya hiking resonating urgency to act for Climate
Who wouldn’t want to hike in the breathtaking landscapes of the hilly region in Nepal? The third morning began with 2 hours of hiking from the resort to Chaukotdevi , top hill. From where you can enjoy the emerging sunrise with mountains and scenery.
Soon After, there was a parallel session on Climate and Gender, which was led by MP Odisha-JRP and MP NYC; and MP Hami DajjuBhai and MP Travelettes respectively. As the climate is a pressing global issue, the session emphasized how to brainstorm on different innovative climate adaptation, mitigation and resilience building strategies. Dr Manoranjan Mishra (JRP) shared some of the local livelihood projects which enabled vulnerable groups to benefit from ecotourism and biodiversity conservation. All the participants foresaw the interconnected diaspora because of climate change, thus agreeing to work jointly towards creating global climate movement under the MasterPeace flags.
Likewise, gender is another sensible issue in South Asia. Country to country, the nature of gender discrimination is different but it has affected society as a whole largely towards inclusivity. Mr Kaustuv Pokhrel from Hami DajjuBhai (Kathmandu- Nepal) presented the GESI (Gender, Equality and Social Inclusion) approach reflecting why its necessary to include GESI in all sorts of projects to protect sensible issues. His team further discussed the role of Male is equally important to mitigate gender stereotypes rooted in our society. The MP Travelettes (Bangladesh) afterwards, organized a quick workshop where each participant was asked different questions regarding their behavior on various issues of relationships to realize how a small action has bigger consequences and impacts others. The session was highly interactive where all can build a new perspective towards gender equality and actionable ideas.
Furthermore, the core team of MasterPeace shared the concept of Doughnut Economics, Artivism in Youth Work and Non Formal Education, its importance and replicability in different regions with local ownerships. As we are moving towards new ways of teaching and learning, these kinds of products enhance the synergy among the multiple stakeholders and their engagement for common cause.
Likewise, the whole bootcamp was filled with colorful sessions and ideas. On that note, we did an artistic workshop under the name “Plurilogue: A visual and performative art workshop”. It was guided by Ms Rina Mitra and Mr Sudipta Dawn from MP Culture Monks (Calcutta- India) with an idea to paint together in a big canvas where all can have their space and convert ideas into art by the means of imagination. The South Asian Canvas exhibited the colorful diversity filled with creativity, harmony and affection.
In the reflection session, MP Karnataka-India and MP Nepal (Peace for People) shared that it was an amazing learning experience of new innovative platforms and changing dynamics due to the climate. Furthermore, Mr. Nishanta Kumara from MP Sri Lanka praised the growth curve of leadership in clubs as well as in global team. As the sunset slowly went down the hill, there was music and a party night after dinner where all 40 multicultural changemakers came together to celebrate amazing friendship and journey with the Masterpiece Family.
Day 4 : Not an end, yet another beginning
As the last day of the bootcamp approached, there was a mixed feeling. However the utmost amazing feeling was to see all the faces full of new energy and refreshment. As a CSOs leader, you put the society ahead before your individual success, thus to listen and reflect on all the amazing and powerful stories was a fuel to get going to bring the next level of changes. Upon reaching Kathmandu, there were a few hours to see the local flea market and enjoy “Momo” (dumpling, a popular Nepali food).
From the very first day, the energy levels remained consistently high throughout the bootcamp. We witnessed a strengthening of the bond among our club members, gaining a deeper understanding of each other in various dynamics. The strategy became clearer on what needs to be done and what can be achieved. The urgency to co-create and share best practices was heightened, and most importantly, the enthusiasm to bring these ideas to fruition was evident.
As Mr. Abdul Amin from MasterPeace Bangladesh rightly pointed out on the last day, "Learning never ends, in fact, it is an ever-growing phenomenon." This bootcamp marks the beginning of something extraordinary, and we all unanimously agreed on that. Let's carry forward this momentum and leverage it to drive meaningful changes and impactful projects.
Our MasterPeace club in Cameroon, Hope for a Better future, together with local partners Sopisdew and FAP launched a training centre for renewable energy in Bamenda.
The clubleader, Ngo Abdulai Banfogha noticed a gap in skills of trainers (and therefore of students) to enter the job market in renewable energies. Expertise as well as equipment comes in from abroad. Why not invest in local expertise and capacity? Thus, a project idea was born.
The first phase of the project (run by H4BF) was sponsored by Turing Foundation. Thanks to their support, experience was created and the first training sessions were given.
Building on this success, H4BF developed a new project together with 2 local and 2 European partners: Cameroon Renewed. This project is sponsored by the European Union.
The aim is to strengthen the capacities of vocational training institutes and enhance the collaboration between the partners in EU and Cameroon. As a result 9 trainers will be trained and over 200 youths in renewable energies over the next 2 years. Exchanges between students and teachers from Cameroon and Europe are part of the project.
The training project titled « Cameroon Renewed » is being implemented by Hope for A Better Future (H4BF) and supported by three European Union organizations (Noorderpoort, APRO, and MasterPeace) and two other organizations in Cameroon (FAP and SOPISDEW).
The project was launched on Wednesday, March 23 at the HOBEFI center in Bamenda in the presence of the Divisional Officer of Bamenda 1 Sub Division, the Mayor of Bamenda 1 Council, the Regional Delegate of Vocational Training, and other administrative and local officials likewise representatives of development and humanitarian agencies in the North West region.
The objective of the project is to improve and increase the capacity of vocational education teachers and trainers; to boost their exposure using 21st-century and innovative renewable energy blended vocational education materials.
The primary target groups of the project include vocational education organizations and teachers, youths within the age group of 16-30 years, (60% female/40% male), employees of business partners, the private sector, local decision-makers and other etc.
At the end therefore, we intend to have 9 trainers trained and 200 students trained who will create personal business plans hosted by 25 businesses.
By this project the partners in Cameroon are creating perspective to the youngsters, providing them with engineering skills that are needed by the labour market.
Gender Equality issues are one of the SDG pillars, and one of MasterPeace Ethiopia concerns!
In the week of the 8 march, they celebrated the International Women's Day in Ethiopia, by organizing a virtual dialogue and experience exchange event using the Telegram platform.
The targeted group was 35 participants between (18-35 age) and the objective of the activity was to empower women (youth) through Music, poem and Dialogue, and for sure To celebrate International Women’s Day !
L4G has a Youth Dialogue and Experience Exchange program that is held weekly on Sunday. Therefore, they collaborated and organized that event to celebrate March 8 and to empower women. Within a Dialogue and Experience Exchange Session, addressing questions like "What is the impact of celebrating March 8? Is it helpful to empower our women or not? What are the realities here in Ethiopia besides celebrating Women's Day every year on March 8?
January 26th brought together people from Morocco, Croatia, Kosovo, and Lebanon, all together in the Netherlands, in Utrecht. But why did some people have to travel more than 4000 kilometers and meet other colleagues from different cultures? But why did some travel more than 4000 kilometers to connect with colleagues from other cultures?
Young people all over the world are facing different challenges; therefore, two non-governmental organizations from the Balkan region, two from the Middle East, and one from Western Europe will collaborate over the next 24 months to develop innovative methods to engage, connect and empower young people to promote social inclusion and prevent climate challenges and lack of job prospects.
As we work together to engage, connect, and empower young people outside formal education, we will learn, evaluate, develop, and implement innovative non-formal education (NFE) formats.
After months of working together and meeting online, several of us finally met in person. Utrecht, a smaller Amsterdam, a lovely and chilly city at the time, helped us develop our action plan for the DouAct project.
We began our discussion by choosing photographs representing ourselves and our project goal. Everyone picked their favorite pictures, which were spread out on the floor. Hope and motivation could be seen. The participants discussed why they chose the photographs they did and what they hoped to get out of this fantastic project.
Furthermore, the MasterPeace office in the Netherlands reintroduced the project, and other partners soon began the discussion with further questions about project implementation. After COVID-19, everyone was so excited to talk face to face, discuss the project in-depth, and finally have the opportunity to start a project without restrictions.
Partners discussed their roles and duties, while MasterPeace presented their advanced non-formal education (NFE) formats. These NFEs are among the most effective tools for working with youth and empowering youth workers. LUMEN of Croatia also showed their NFE formats. They provided the participants with various resources and discussed their experiences working with young workers and young people in Croatia.
LDN from Lebanon presented their communication and dissemination planning. Their fantastic work in Lebanon enables them to support the implementation of the project in all other countries. Together we agreed on some tools and approaches we will use during the implementation of DouAct.
Following that, we learned more about cross-cultural team collaboration and communication. Collaborating is tough when all participants come from diverse cultures, countries, and continents. Participants had the opportunity to get to know each other culture by sharing their experiences on one topic that the groups selected. Some groups talked about the respect of older people in their culture and how we have been raised in our families and societies. We recognized that our cultures differed, but we also discovered certain similarities. We choose a partner to observe how a lack of communication may cause problems when we ask each other for something. It was difficult to express things to your partner when they couldn't ask questions and had to sketch everything you said. It was a lot of fun, and we learned much about each other.
We spent the evening exploring the lovely city of Utrecht. As Aart always says, "Beer tastes better when you win," so we celebrated our friendships and partnership in the evening by raising a toast to each other and enjoying the delicious Dutch food.
Those two days went fast, but they helped us get to know each other better and understand the project and our duties. In the following months, we will work hard in our communities while implementing the project. We will meet many youth workers and young people. The most important thing is that we will impact our societies, connecting young people, empowering them through promoting social inclusion, preventing climate dilemmas, and expanding job opportunities.
- My Music Competition