To bridge the gaps that exist between Madheshi and Pahadi communities, which have existed for decades.
The southern low-lying land of Nepal bordering India is called Terai or Madhesh, which differs geographically from other areas of Nepal that have hills and mountains. The difference in climate and resources has led to Madhesh developing a distinct culture and accounts for 20 out of 77 districts in Nepal. Back when Nepal was not a unified country, before 1743 when unification officially began, people residing in Madhesh, known as Madhesis, fought against the warriors of Hilly/Pahadi communities, known as Gurkhas, for the British. It is believed that the British handed over the Madhesis and their territories to the Gurkhas in 1816.
100 years after the handover of the territory, several movements started in the region, demanding Madhesh representation and recognition within the country. The movement accelerated from 2006 onwards when Madhesi people were attacked violently during a peaceful protest against the interim institution for failing to address their concerns. The violent and indiscriminate attacks by the police raised concerns by human rights organizations in Nepal. These conflicts have led to a visceral mistrust between people of the different communities.
The trustbuilding project works to restore this trust through roundtable discussions, outreach activities, workshops, dialogue with media stakeholders and residential trustbuilding training for youth.
Nepal Project Team
Begita Adhikari came across IofC in the year 2019 when she attended the conference “Breaking Barriers-Building trust” held in Eastern Nepal. She is currently pursuing her Master's degree in Agriculture from the University of Southern Queensland, Australia. While in Nepal, she worked with Forest Action Nepal and was actively involved in bringing awareness about the health impacts of consuming food grown using chemicals. She was also engaged in an initiative of introducing the indigenous food of western Nepal to the capital city. She has taught the students pursuing a Diploma in Agriculture, in the Terai region of Nepal and closely worked with them to coordinate various demonstrations. Currently, she is working at a plant breeding company in Australia.
Jini Agrawal has been associated with IofC since 2015 when she was a part of the Caux Scholar Program at Caux and the following year she joined the movement ‘Creators of Peace’. Jini completed her Master's studies in Media, Peace, and Conflict studies from UN-mandated University for Peace, Costa Rica, and has experiences working in Nepal and the US in media and international development.
Kamal is part of the IofC Outreach Team, an initiative of IofC India where a group of volunteers from different cultures, religions, and communities come together to serve for the motto ‘Building a Caring World’ to the various parts of India and beyond in inter-generational teams.
Kandel holds a Master of Philosophy in Peace and Conflict Transformation from The Arctic University of Norway. He also holds a Master's in International Relations from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka, and a Master’s degree in Conflict, Peace and Development Studies from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. Kamal is a member of the International Research Group on Reintegration (IRGR) a specialized research unit focused on the complex challenges involved in the social, political, and economic reintegration of ex-combatants. He has worked at the Secretariat for the Sri Lankan Ministry of Youth Affairs and Skill Development during the World Conference on Youth 2014. He has facilitated workshops on Restorative Justice that focused on social healing among conflict victims and other stakeholders in Nepal.
Krishna Kaji KC
Krishna has more than ten years of experience working with the government as well as international NGOs. He has worked with the victims of the decade-long Maoist Armed conflict in Nepal. He served in the Local Peace Committee under the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction, Nepal. He also worked with World Vision International to support the people of the worst-hit rural districts by the 2015 earthquake. His extensive involvement in peacebuilding, humanitarian assistance, and the development sector has supported several local communities to move ahead with greater hope and positivity. He also lectures undergraduate students in the Social Work Department of Ganeshman Singh College in Kathmandu. He loves to travel to new places, interacting and mobilizing community people for change and development. Krishna met with IofC in the year 2018 in Dhulikhel, Kathmandu, and later participated in a five-day residential dialogue in North East India hosted by the IofC India Outreach team.
Meena Sharma has over 15 years of expertise in development, peacebuilding, media, and human rights. Sharma is working as a Gender Expert with UNDP, to support in drafting the National Action Plan on the UNSCRs 1325 & 1820, with the Ministry of Home Affairs. She is also working as a mentor for the South Asian Young Women Leadership and mentoring initiatives funded by the Global Fund for Women. She had worked with the National Women Commission (NWC) as a Strategy development consultant, on the World Bank Group's supported project, "The Integrated Platform for Gender-Based Violence Prevention and Response in Nepal”. She has worked as a Program Manager- Leadership and Governance in Search for Common Ground. She is also contributing as a Regional Coordinator of Creators of Peace (CoP) Asia where she is a lead facilitator for peace circles. She is the President of the Institute of Human Rights Communication Nepal, (IHRICON). She has done her Master's in Business Administration.
Nabin is from Lumbini, Nepal. He is a passionate filmmaker and a photographer. He loves following his passion to capture and express stories through the camera. He has worked as a motion/graphic designer in several leading IT companies of Nepal and as a Production head in one of the leading media companies in Nepal. He has his own production company, called 'Tasbir Productions'. He completed his Bachelor's degree in Marketing. He has been working with IofC Nepal since 2019. He is a graduate of Initiating Change from within to beyond program an eight-week Initiator's program at Asia Plateau in the year 2020.
Puja Sah is a youth women activist and an active social worker from Bardibas-Mahottari, Nepal. She is perusing her Bachelor's degree in Social Work. She has worked with numerous initiatives on social change supported by USAID, UNICEF, and Restless Development.
Puja also has experience working as a Child Protection Officer in the Covid-19 emergency preparedness and response program funded by UNICEF. She leads active youth groups in Nepal. Currently, she is serving as a Vice president of Jan Sahayogi YuwaSanjal and General Secretary of the Youth Association of Nepal (YAN), and Vice-secretary at Mahottari Youth Network. She is also the Province Coordinator for Nonviolent Communication (NVC) Nepal and Mahottari District coordinator at Nepal Bharat World Development Forum. Puja became an active IofC member since she attended the conference “Breaking Barriers -Building Trust” held in Eastern Nepal in 2019.
Sanjay is part of IofC movement in Nepal since its first outreach program in 2018. He is based in Itahari, Eastern part of Nepal where he serves as the president of Youth Development Center and assistant Manager at Youth Resource Development & Training Center. He is also associated with the Youth Service Director of Rotary Club of Itahari. He has inspired and led youths for various social initiatives at local, regional, national, and international public forums, and conferences. He is also actively involved in the planning, coordination, and management of policy-making, advocacy actions, and campaigns. He is also the Committee Chair of Ankur Saving and Credit Cooperative Ltd.
Sharmila works as a Knowledge Management and Communications (KMC) Associate for the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD). Currently, her work involves communicating about climate change impacts on mountain communities in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) region. Before ICIMOD, she worked at a digital marketing agency as a content creator where her work involved helping banks, colleges, and e-commerce businesses to gain a stronger digital presence. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Public Health from the Asian University for Women (AUW) in Bangladesh. Sharmila was part of Caux Scholars Program at Asia Plateau in 2014.