To pay ode to the youth, and recognize their vital role in rebuilding a resilient country, Search for Common Ground (SFCG) Nepal teamed with popular slam poetry group 'Word Warriors' to produce a music video 'Timi Paila Matrai Sara' (Take a step forward).
The song reiterates the power and potential, the youth inherently have inside them. The song echoes the immense possibilities they have in them, to them. The period also surfaced another unsung hero. Radio Nepal, the state owned radio station was once written off by critics. However, their work during the critical phase, especially the broadcasting of critically required information regarding earthquake and after-shocks, and updates about relief and reconstruction has been widely acknowledged.
The radio regained its glory after the earthquake, and has proved that in times of disaster it's a life-saving medium. Understanding the power of the radio, and utilizing our expertise in designing media contents, we produced various public service announcements (PSA) that spoke about the measures to be taken to be safe during the post-earthquake phase. The PSAs were designed and produced along with our partner Antenna Foundation Nepal (AFN). These PSAs were endorsed by the Ministry of Health and Population and were widely disseminated via local FM radio stations catering to the most affected districts.
The youth of Nepal excelled as leaders during the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit the country. Their sincere display of duty and responsibility in heralding the relief and reconstruction processes has pedestal the fact that the Nepali youth has what it takes to make things better.
Also, the government recently organized an International Conference on Nepal's Reconstruction to present the post-disaster reconstruction plans to international donors and secure funding from them.
“As the newly elected chairperson of the Association of International NGO in Nepal (AIN) and a key observer of Nepal's peace process, I had noticed the absence of a conflict sensitive lens in the on-going relief and reconstruction activities. The world bears witness to the fact that countries like Haiti and Sri Lanka were struck by natural disaster, which later also affected the on-going peace process. “Is there a possibility of this happening in Nepal?” said Rajendra Mulmi, Country Director, SFCG Nepal and AIN chairperson.
“I questioned myself. To stir debates on our accountability as INGOs contributing to the country’s peace and stability in different ways, SFCG’s Asia Regional Director, Michael Shipler and I penned an opinion piece targeting the day of the International Conference. The op-ed highlights the need of designing a monitoring framework that checks the humanitarian relief activities from a conflict sensitive lens. It also delves on the need to inform the efforts with the “do no harm” principles,” said Mulmi in his regular updates.
Our ambitious TV series, Singha Durbar, has also started its shooting. The TV series supported by USAID is dubbed as the first political drama in Nepal, that aims to create possibilities for a collaborative political culture in the Nepali public imagination. With a female Prime Minister leading the government, the news about Singha Durbar has already stirred wide debates on what can be possible in the Nepali political culture. The series will hit the television screens this September. We at SFCG Nepal are excited and hopeful to see our TV series making history, and changing the way people see the government and governance.
“On a different note, I also want to share with you the story of Gunja Chaudhary 15, from Janakpur in central Tarai. This president of the village child club listens to our regional language radio program 'Sangor' (Coming together), and cascades key messages imparted from the series to her fellow club members,” said Mulmi.
Involving local actors, giving preference to the local languages, building the capacity of local media personnel in conflict sensitivity and peacebuilding has always been our priority. This participatory model is the heart of our media programing.