Sunday, 5 April 2009

Conflict Transformation in Nepal

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I received an update  from Stephen from India, doing reconcilliation work in remote parts of Nepal.  There is a fuller article on his work on the CMS website 

Over the past months we have been working with our selected partner – Rural
Community Development Centre ( RCDC) , a small NGO which is based in a remote part of the district in far west Nepal where I work , which has been greatly affected by the decade long armed conflict between Army and Maoist insurgents . We are now done with organisation assessment and are moving on to capacity building in community peace building and trauma counselling to address the urgent needs in the area. This is going to require frequent visits over the next few months to the villages which are their work area and which lie two days walk away from the nearest vehicle accessible road. In late May , of everything goes as planned , we hope to develop a three year program concentrating on Conflict Transformation capacity building and income generating projects for people affected by conflict . Do continue to pray for strength and wisdom for this.

Pray also for the developing situation in Nepal. Though post civil war there has been uneasy peace in the country, things are changing now. Ethnic tensions are rising and there are increasing cases of related violence, demonstrations and blockade of roads. The communist lead coalition government seems unable to control the situation and there are now rival fractions within the Maoist party. Both the Nepal army and the Maoist people's army have started recruitment again. The country also faces an acute shortage of electricity and essential commodities which is raising animosity among the people.

I thank the Lord for all this blessings. It would have been difficult to pull through the past year without the support and fellowship of the UMN team here. Their friendship, care and concern made adjusting up here a lot easier. The people in the community have been equally great. Their initial curiosity has died down; I no longer get startled by faces peering in through the only window into my room. Now, they barge in without knocking or notice to chat or just to say hello. Privacy is just a memory. There are times when it all gets a bit irritating but then there are times, like recently when I had a bad case of food poisoning when I am humbled and moved by their genuine love and concern. I think a sense of humour; flexibility; lack of preconceived notions ;and the openness to go with the flow make all the difference in adjusting and eventually serving effectively or being miserable, giving up and going home – thoughts I admit I harboured during my first two months here.

I really liked his description of rural life - 'faces peering in windows'. 'Privacy is a memory' To fit in another culture means bridges need to be crossed. and some can feel quite precarious.

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