The Interfaith Cooperation Forum (ICF) funded Nepal Unites to hold a two-day workshop on Human Rights and Nonviolent Communication (NVC) in Old Baneshwor, Kathmandu, Nepal on November 29-30, 2022. Nepal Unites is one of the chapters of Global Unites, a youth organization with chapters in 13 countries. The workshop facilitators are Mohammad Ayatulla Rahaman on Human Rights, Mohammad Jiyaul Rahaman, and Rajan Bhandari on Nonviolent Communications. They are currently the active leaders of the Nepal Unites team and they all are also ICF alumni, ICF is a project of the Asia and Pacific Alliance of YMCAs (APAY).
The opening session was led by Jeevan Bhandari who invited everyone to participate. The Nepali National Anthem was played following the introduction. Included in the opening ritual was the water poured on the flower pot by the ICF staff Dr. Muriel Orevillo-Montenegro, Ms. Baidido Manalasal Saganding and Ms. Annika Denkmann which symbolizes protecting the earth and the environment. The president of Nepal Unites, Mohammad Jiyaul Rahaman, gave a warm welcome to the participants and expressed gratitude for their participation in the movement. Mohammad Ayatulla Rahaman, the national director of Nepal Unites, spoke about the Interfaith Cooperation Forum (ICF) working efforts in the Asian regions and he gave a brief introduction of Nepal Unites movement. Rajan Bhandari, the program coordinator of Nepal Unites, created a positive atmosphere by asking the participants to put down their expectations before dividing them into three groups and giving each group essential tasks to do during the workshop. Mr. Bhandari created a positive atmosphere by asking the participants to put down their expectations before dividing them into three groups and assigning important tasks to do during the workshop.
The session started with the topic of Human Rights which was facilitated by Mohammad Ayatulla Rahaman. He began by requesting the participants to write their thoughts on Human Rights. The video on the 30 articles of UDHR was shown to enhance understanding of the topic. Among the important points that were discussed were the definitions of HR, core values, characteristics, generation of HR, and the three dimensions of HR. The facilitator asked three participants—one from the PWD group, one from the LGBTQIA+ community, and one from the Musahar Community in Nepal—to share their personal experiences in the fight for their rights. The facilitator then divided the participants into four groups and asked each group to identify one human right concern specific to Nepal. The following topics were brought up for discussion: Prevalence of Discrimination, Child Rights and Education, Death in Custody, Geographical Discrimination, and Collective Rights. The participants discussed how to resolve these problems through individual initiatives, social campaigns, public awareness campaigns, and the implementation of government policies in Nepal. This session was ended by requesting the participants to write their own slogan which was posted on Nepal Unites official social media account. Some of their statements are:
“Minorities and Indigenous communities deserve an equitable and just society free of discrimination.” – Sandeep Sada
“As I will be a future Engineer; I will not appoint any child as a labor to protect the child’s right.”
-Mahtab Alam Khan
“The unnoticed voice of one human is the ignorance of multitude alike.”- SunRose Maskey
“Humanity proves your identity as a human, not your biological appearance.” – Sujina Dhoju
The next session topic was about the Nonviolent Communication. Mohammad Jiyaul Rahaman started the session with the introduction of Nonviolent Communication (NVC) and he also shared about the history and purpose of NVC by playing the short video. Rajan Bhandari shared the basic principle of NVC. The four key elements of NVC were deliberately introduced by both facilitators.
The two-day workshop had succeeded meaningfully. Everyone is engaged in meaningful and active participation. One participant Yamu B.C. commented that this type of workshop is needed everywhere, especially in the school and community. The feedback provided by the workshop participants was highly valued.
The workshop participants’ feedback was greatly acknowledged. After getting the information about Human Rights and Nonviolent Communication, a participant named Dipendra Basnet appreciated Nepal Unites for providing this platform to learn more on these topics saying that NVC is totally new topic and body of knowledge.
The workshop was attended by 7 females and 7 males and 2 participants from LGBTQIA+ groups who were selected from online applications. The participants had been selected based on their responses to the application’s questions as well as their gender balance. Anubhuti Bhattarai, the communication coordinator of Nepal Unites, led the closing session. She thanked everyone for their meaningful and active involvement and expressed her hope to the participants that they would use what they had learned. The Interfaith Cooperation Forum (ICF) Team presented the participants with certificates of participation at the conclusion of the two-day workshop.