Due to sectarianism and extremism the atmosphere of coexistence, peaceful pluralism, respect for diversity and human rights becomes a dream in Pakistani society. Intolerance, hatred, discrimination, rights violation, hostility, prejudice, gender inequality and religious strife are on the increase. The struggle for interfaith harmony, peaceful co-existence and justice requires both a human rights approach as well as a community approach-which fosters restoration of personal relationships and peace building between people of different faiths and ethnicity.
The program addresses the religious and ethnic misconceptions that are present at community level, and strengthen 'people of good will' from different faith and ethnic groups. This is done by forming and training women peace committees, women interfaith/interethnic groups, community volunteers, paralegals, religious leaders, politicians and lawyers of different communities. They are trained on human rights and conflict management and mediation skills. These are consistently contextualized, utilizing local traditions and religious values and frameworks. The acquired expertise enables them to forge linkages within and between conflicting parties in the community and to mediate peaceful solutions. The trained groups effectively use their skills to mitigate conflict and promote harmony in their respective communities and create to an atmosphere of interfaith harmony, peaceful coexistence and provide solutions in the conflicting situations.
We believe that women are the best carriers of peace and the dialogue of life: if minority and majority women join hands, they can influence a wide range of people, starting in their own households, for example by mitigating tendencies towards radicalization among their sons and daughters.
Unfortunately, this peace building potential of women is still very much underutilized in Pakistan. This program brings women of different faith/ethnicity together in local women groups. These women will regularly meet and have a 'dialogue of life' to do away with the misunderstandings they have about each other and to cooperate and support each other in dealing with shared problems. Trainings on human-, labor-and women's rights will empower and enable them to critically assess their daily life, work together, resist violence and rights violations, mitigate fears, restore self-confidence and build bridges. This contributes to an atmosphere of peaceful coexistence, and respect for diversity and human rights between minority and majority faith communities.
The program engages local religious leaders from different faiths in local peace building. Faith plays a vital role in the lives of most people in Pakistan. With so much emphasis worldwide on religion as a driver of conflict, the role of religion as a constructive force in peace building is easily overlooked. In local settings characterized by religious polarization, religious leaders from different faiths have special responsibility to promote interfaith harmony, peace and address religious intolerance, because people tend to put a lot of trust in them. And they have much to offer: credibility as trusted and moral agents to oppose injustice; leverage for promoting reconciliation among the conflicting parties; capacity to mobilize local communities and (inter)national structures; and a sense of calling that inspires perseverance.
The face-to-face contacts in the committees and exposure visits to places of worship builds
mutual trust, which is indispensable for de-escalating potential conflict. The women and religious leaders can effectively use their authority to mitigate conflict and promote harmony in their respective communities.
# Activity Duration
A Orientation and project briefing session Week 1
B Formation of 9 Interfaith women groups (each group 10 women) Week 1
B.1 3 Dialogue of life sessions Month 1
B.2 3 Seminars on rights education for women Month 2
B.3 3 Training Sessions on leadership and conflict management skills Month 3
B.4 2 Exposure visits to places of worship Month 4
B.5 1 Interfaith harmony and peace building convention Month 4
C Formation of 9 interfaith women peace committees (each10 women) Month 4
C.1 3 Seminars on rights education for peace committees
C.2 3 workshops on conflict management skills trainings
C.3 3 Consultation on peace dialogue with peace committees/stakeholders
C.4 3 Consultation on peace dialogue with peace committees/stakeholders
C.5 3 Peace committees advocacy
C.6 2 Exposure visits to places of worship Month 8
C.7 1 Interfaith harmony and peace building convention Month 8
D Selection of 54 community Volunteers (girls and boys) Month 8
D.1 2 seminars on rights education for community volunteers Month 9
D.2 2 Training on mediation and reporting skills for community volunteers Month 10
D.3 2 trainings: how to collect reports on human rights violation Month 11
D.4 2 Trainings: how to solve local problem and report. Month 12
D.5 1 Exposure visits to places of worship Month 12
D.6 1 Interfaith harmony and peace building convention Month 12
E. Monitoring Months 1-12
E.1 Evaluation and reporting Month 12
The project will be implemented among 9 communities (localities) of slum areas of district Lahore, Pakistan. Promotion of interfaith harmony and peaceful co-existence between faith communities and protection of minority (ethnic and religious groups) rights at local community level by promoting interfaith (women) dialogue and cooperation among groups of different faiths. The beneficiaries will be local communities facing interreligious tensions, women, religious leaders, ethnic/ religious minorities, local authorities, lawyers and paralegal volunteers.
Rotary Club Lahore Liberty will act as host club taking the primary and supervisory responsibility of implementing the project. To monitor the overall project a committee of 3 members is being formed. This committee consists of the President, Secretary and Treasurer of the club. Continuous committee meetings will be held during implementation and monitoring of the project. During the course of implementation of the project the committee members will visit the project activities repeatedly to check the quality and progress of the project and then at the completion of the project the committee will have final evaluate and reporting of the project. The treasurer of the club will make sure that all the project activities are being implemented in the financial limits.