December 29, 2017 (Nepal) “This Christmas has been one I will never forget. I am so thankful for my new family that invited us into their home to celebrate. I will forever be touched by the beautiful hearts of each of these children. Merry Christmas everyone - sending hugs from Nepal.” (Megan)
“December 28, Thursday, and unfortunately last day of internship of Alissa and Megan. We had a lot of experience with in this 23 days, we worked, we laughed, we play and the most important thing - we learned a lot from them. It was too fast that they are already ready to go. So before they leave we have a small farewell gather yesterday. It was fun, we talked about their experience, we sang, we danced, it was unforgettable day for us and hope for them as well. We also discussed our plans. We would like to thank Alissa and Megan for coming Nepal, hope to see them again.” (Bibesh)
“Although this trip may be ending, it’s just the beginning of so many new and incredible friendships. Im already looking forward to my next trip back to Nepal. Thank you to everyone I’ve met along the way. Here’s to a life changing adventure. ❤️ Next stop, Michigan. ✈️ @ Pullman Guangzhou Baiyun Airport” (Megan)
December 23, 2017 (India) This is the message posted by Birendra Kumar on his FAcebook Timeline:
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year 2018. I appreciate all my friends who shaped my wonderful year. They showed me the right path helped me to grow. It was a wonderful year for me. I gained a lot, I started many initiatives, and I was able to create a network across the globe. Year 2017 was one of best years in my life as my "Search of Truth" realized.
I would like to express a special gratitude to Augustine Veliath, Marek Wosinski, Edgar Gramieger & Family , Thomas John, Dr.Madan Mohan Goel, Dr.Thomas Dafferen, Sachidananda Bharathi, Frank Krishner, Jan Hellman, Blaise Oberson, Ivana Busljeta, Thomas Dafferen, Tanu Varma, Shilpa Sharmah, Mandira Ganguly Mukherjee, Sheetal Joshi, Swati Ray Chakraborty, Sharmila Sinha, Bulbul Kashyap, Babita Kumari, Pranesh Singh Manojkumar Patel, Sheena Nellu HarrattManoj P Yadav, Bella Das, Swami Agnivesh, Uday Mahajan, Prabha Tirmare, Pradeep Uncle, Veena Sharma, Maria Norberg, Khagesh Upadhyay , Dr. Brijesh Tiwari, Milan , Neepa Goswami, Ashok Chaubey, Bharati Jain, Naval, Bibesh, and many more from Union and State Govt and district administration of Bihar.
I am sorry if I missed someone, but believe me that everyone who is in my life is my guru, and helped me to shape my life. I would also like to give thanks to my mother, sister, brother, wife and children who support me in all my initiatives, and stood beside me like strong pillars. Although I don't like Delhi as a city, but it still gave me lot. Year 2017 made me a real traveler, and gave me an opportunity to roam around Europe, and many states in India. I also enjoyed my visits in Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Netherland and Germany where I learned a lot. It was possible only thanks to the support from Edgar and his entire family, Jan and Swami Agnivesh. Thanks to City of Delhi, that gave me the opportunity to become Google Certified Local Guide and Photographer, and visit Bhitiharwa Gandhi Ashram Champaran, Munnar, Rishikesh, Nagapur, Hyederabad,Lucknow, Varanshi, Bhadrakali, Kochi, Banglore,Pune, Chennai, Angul, Bhubhneswar, Patna, Jaipur, Pondicherry, Gurugram, Alwar, Guwathi and Bettiah.
I love my India, and I am always amazed by its diversity. I look forward to going in 2018 on the "Journey for Peace”. The purpose of the journey is to establish a “State Peace Council” to establish system to ensure peace and sustainability in State and city, to promote “Peace Clubs for Sustainability, Peace Schools for Sustainability and Peace Dialogues for Sustainability” and Peace Assembly etc. This will be the journey around the country, covering by train state capital to state capital in 60 days. Are you with me? Do you want to become my host?
December 23, 2017 (Nepal) This was the last day of training. We went from Bangkok back to the training center where we met with all the participants. We realised that we have learned a lot during this short workshop. Than we went back to Bangkok and we are now waiting for our flight back to Nepal. We would like to express our gratitude to organizers and all participants for the great experience. Please CLICK HERE to see more images from the workshop.
December 21, 2017 (Thailand) Today there was the last day of formal training. First, we made in groups a curriculum for education development, then we discussed it with other groups, and finally we made a group presentation. After that we evaluated the curriculum and discussed final reflections. We closed the day with sightseeing. It was our choice what we want to visit so we went to Bangkok "Pratunam City". Tomorrow after the final meeting with each other we go back to Nepal.
December 20, 2017 (Kenya) We received the following message from John Kamoiro, Regional Coordinator for Kenya.
In March 2017, he presented the GNSD Peace Club Model to Kenyan Government. Also in a partnership with a local city Radio station called “Radio Mtaani”, he spread the message of Peace in slums in Nairobi Capital city. Currently he is developing a strategic plan with the Partners and Stakeholders. The overall goal of this project is to engage many stakeholders and Government in Sustainable Peace Building initiatives, and countering ethnic-based violence. The project has three main objectives are:
To establish credible and replicable models for resolving ongoing ethnic and religious based conflicts and prevent the emergence and/or escalation of new conflicts.
To strengthen and promote dialogue & decision making among youth against human rights violations, including the various forms of discrimination and hate speech prevalent across the society.
To support and promote at least 10 local youth-led projects for peace-building in conflict-affected areas and communities.
In July, 2017 John visited various stakeholders, and presented the Sustainable Peace Club Vision and Mission. Some of the activities include planting trees, secure radio programs to send messages of Sustainable Peace, and visiting the elderly in their community.
This initiative was greatly welcomed by not only the Government and stakeholders but also by the Slum/Ghetto Radio Station. Their presenters stated: “This Peace Club will enable our children to have confidence to stand up for Peace and be desirable leaders in our society. We encourage you to keep up the good work and we as Partners and Stakeholders are willing to support you where we can.”
December 20, 2017 (Thailand) As always, the day started with a prayer after which we had a presentation by Mr. Boothen T. Verawongse, Secretary General Campaign Committee for Human Rights. He was talking about trans-border advocacy to promote peace and human rights. After the lecture participants of the workshop were talking about their experience.
December 19, 2017 (Thailand) Another day of training in Thailand. We again started our day with praying. Then we had a presentation by Dr. Nona Shahnazarian, social anthropologist from National Academy of Science in Armenia. She had a lecture on the topic "Conflict issues, healing & peace building” She explained everything about her own experience. She is the most genuine person I ever met. Then we had a group activity on community development. The last lecture of the day was about deep understanding skills, and understanding of conflicts presented by Ekraj Sabur. At the end of the day presented their questions and discussed their experience.
December 19, 2017 (USA) It is my pleasure to announce that Ms. Georgina Galanis agreed to serve on our Advisory Board (please CLICK HEREfor her credentials.) She will help GNSD in building partnerships with other NGO's stakeholders and UN Agencies. She will also intermediate in creating presentations for GNSD at UN Agencies, enriching the Peace Clubs by empowering Global Citizenship curriculum, and guide us in developing official affiliation with the UN.
December 18, 2017 (Uganda) Daniel Stephen, our Regional Coordinator for Uganda, recently was part of a delegation from the Global Shapers Community that was invited to Egypt for the World Youth Forum in November.
The “World Youth Forum” was kickstarted at Egypt’s touristic destination Sharm El-Sheikh on Sunday the 4th of November by Arab and and international figures. The forum sponsored by the President of Egypt, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, was aimed at exchanging expertise in various fields, through discussing topics of the youth’s local and global issues, spreading the spirit of peace as well as fight terrorism. The opening session featured speeches by President Al-Sisi, Achim Steiner, UN ambassador, Academy Award-winning actress Helen Hunt, and Lamya Haji Bashar, Yazidi survivor, who was held captive by ISIS. Different sessions discussed issues related to sustainable development, technology, entrepreneurship, civilizations and culture, creating future leaders, and the Model United Nations (MUN).
The “World Youth Forum” which aims for achieving peace, prosperity, harmony and progress in the entire world was held between November 4-10 2017.
December 18, 2017 (Nepal) GNDS staff members Bibesh and Prejwal left on this morning to go to Thailand for training. Interns were not feeling well in the morning and took sleep to recover. In the evening, interns were to meet in office with YPN staff and Una, founder of children’s home to discuss a collaboration that will benefit the children this upcoming Christmas. Interns donated $100 to Una to be used to purchase needed items for children’s Christmas gifts. Interns plan to spend Christmas day at children’s home for holiday celebration. After this meeting, YPN staff and interns discussed the grant proposal further and budget for this proposal.
December 17, 2017 (Germany) Osee Lieberman(USA), Vice President of GNSD, and Silas Ngahane (Ethiopia), Member of our Advisory Board, met in Stuttgart (Germany)
December 17, 2017 (Nepal) Today we met at office with the team of Youth Parliament Nepal (YPN) and Global Network for Sustainable Development (GNSD). The whole day we were working on UNDEF grant We are grateful for the contribution to the process made by Megan and Alisse
December 16, 2017 (Nepal) Saturdays are the national holiday of Nepal. On this Saturday, Alissa was not feeling well and stayed at Tewa to work on reports and conduct internet research. Megan went on an exciting trip to the cable cars and also visited with more family of the GNSD staff. Megan was also able to meet with Alejandra, secretary of GNSD, who has recently arrived for her second visit to Kathmandu. In the evening, the team met to begin work on completing a grant proposal.
December 15, 2017 (USA) Bradley Cladianos, our International Coordinator, has a unique opportunity to spread his passion for sustainability to the far reaches of the world. He is a strong believer in the following of one's dreams, and is proud to declare that he is following his own! With great enthusiasm, he is planning to sail the vast oceans like the great explorers have done before us, and on his way inspire future community leaders to take action towards sustainable development.
As one of GNSD goals is to contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals by educating young community leaders about the importance of global and local partnerships, while traveling around the world he will create Sustainability Clubs for Peace in the places he will visit.
December 15, 2017 (Nepal) In the later afternoon a team meeting was held at the office with GNSD & YPN staff and interns. Interns were introduced to Kailesh, the Vice President and Co-founder of YPN. The meeting lasted four hours and covered topics such as staff work responsibilities, GNSD organizational structure, club curriculum, club start-up manuals, GNSD/YPN partnership, differences in cultural approaches to work, and placement of future interns from ASU. During this time, the team also held a videoconference with Dr. Marek, founder of GNSD, to give an update on how things were going in the field.
December 14, 2017 (Nepal) Early in the morning, the GNSD team returned to the Reliance Boarding School and gave several speeches during the open assembly regarding the club accomplishments, roe modeling and leadership, and economic development. The students had written a report regarding their cleaning campaign, and the Presidents’ of each club were called upon to share the club member reflections with the school. Afterward, interns met with administration and teachers once more to continue the needs assessment. During this time, several assets of the community were also identified. In the early afternoon, the team returned to Kathmandu and the interns returned to Tewa for dinner. To see more photos from today please CLICK HERE.
December 13, 2017 (Nepal) Sustainability Club for Peace and Peace Club for Sustainability at the Reliance E.S.B. School in Hetauda organized the Cleanliness Campaign at the MANAKAMANA TEMPLEyoutu.be/CALYjnT4KQQ. Below is fragment of the letter written by Mr. Binamra Adhikari, President of the Sustainability Club. Te letter of similar content 2was also written by Mr. Aayush Mishra, President of the Peace Club. Please CLICK HERE to read the entire text.
Ms.Megan and Ms.Allisa, two graduate students of ASU School of Social Work visited our school. They come to provide social awareness to us. Together with our students we went to Manakamana Temple by aiming the cleanliness of temple and way to go through temple. The campaign started with the two coordinators along with the social volunteer who were with them. Our teachers Mr.Manoj Mirsha and Mr.Kumar Adhikari also went with us to the program to guide the student and manage the campaign.....
December 13, 2017 (Nepal) The team awoke early on this day to tour the town and arrive at Reliance English Secondary School prior to students arriving for their school day. GNSD team introduced the interns to school administration and teachers. Discussions took place surrounding the importance, maintenance and progression of the GNSD clubs in Heteuda. Interns began conducting their needs assessment at this time. The day’s activities were also discussed. The team listened in on the morning assembly and then met with club members.
A lively discussion took place between teachers, interns and students reading the future direction of the GNSD club. Students identified two goals they would like to plan activities towards. The peace club stated they would like to shift the thinking in their community toward female equality by raising awareness and increasing dialogue about female empowerment. This opened discussion regarding the dowrey system in Nepal and how the young generation desires to completely abolish this cultural tradition as they believe women are just as valuable as men and should not have to pay to match with a husband. Students also expressed their discomfort with a caste system and arrange marriages. All students expressed that they want to be in a ‘love marriage’ when they are ready to look for marriage. The Sustainability club raised its concerns about deforestation and the incredible amounts of trash that are virtually everywhere around the community in fields, hillsides, roads, and rivers. The goal that the sustainability club would like to work on is a public awareness campaign aimed at changing people attitudes and behaviors toward trash disposal. The club President made a great point that ‘even if we continue to pick up the trash everyday more people will continue to throw the trash on the ground because that is what they have always done.’ The group discussed this and agreed that the solution the club must work toward is to change people’s attitudes regarding the importance of a clean and fresh environment. The group discussed different strategies to this large goal. Interns instructed students on how to break down a large goal into smaller manageable objectives and activities.
To end the group discussions, students introduced themselves and talked about their current extracurricular interests, as well as their career aspirations for when they finish school. At this time the large group departed on foot to t… in order to clean the walking trail up leading to the temple. The students participated with enthusiasm and picked up 14 large bags full of trash. They also engaged adults along the route and encouraged them to help by not leaving their trash in the natural area. Upon reaching the temple, the group enjoyed snacks and rested for some time while the students played games and enjoyed the view of their city. The hike took over two hours and the students were quite proud of their accomplishment. Upon returning to the school, the GNSD team and school administration gave feedback about the activity. Interns, gave the suggestion that the next time this activity is conducted the full trash bags should be brought down from the temple and disposed of properly and not left at the top of the temple center. Teacher agreed this could be an improvement. Teachers suggested the club should get the whole school involved in the next cleaning campaign activity. The team discussed ways this could be done and concluded that the school should start a cleaning campaign on campus first and also be given the task to return home and discuss the importance of such cleanliness with the family members.
After this brainstorming session, the school day was ended. The GNSD team returned to their homes for showering. In the evening, interns were introduced to the family of Prejwal and enjoyed dinner.To see more photos from today please CLICK HERE.
December 12, 2017 (Nepal) Interns spent the morning in the GNSD office reading ’Non Violent Project’ curriculum in order to prepare activities for their interaction with students in Hetueda GNSD clubs. GNSD spent time in the Visa and Passport offices preparing for their upcoming trip to Thailand. The team left Kathmandu in the afternoon in a private vehicle. The road was quite precarious and very bumpy with beautiful scenery along the way. This 5 hour travel gave interns the chance to witness relatively newer industry that has developed by exploiting the natural resources of the Nepali countryside including hydropower electric plants and limestone mining. Currently, remittances and agricultures make up over 60% of Nepal’s GDP and the country has struggled to harness its resources in order to secure steady economic development. This is due to the high rates of corruption in government and industry, as well as political instability. Once the team arrived in Heteuda they met the family of Bibesh and enjoyed dinner.
December 11, 2017 (Nepal) On this morning interns had a meeting with Deepak, the Program Coordinator for Tewa. Interns asked logistical questions regarding possible travel experiences outside of the Kathmandu Valley, specifically a visit to Lumbini (the birthplace of Buddha) and ways to see Mount Everest. Deepak suggested that interns visit Pohkara after going to Lumbini in order toexperience the Himalayan Mountain Range. Interns inquired about visiting the Bhutanese refugee camps on the Eastern end of Nepal. Deepak informed interns that these camps are much smaller now and will most likely not allow visits unless it is official visits through the In-Home Ministry, Refugee Coordinator. (Interns will look into this option.) Interns then headed to enjoy an early morning inside the National Botanical Gardens. Interns and the GNSD team then met at the office and traveled to the Himalayan Higher Secondary Boarding School. The team met with school administration whom expressed high interest in GNSD clubs. Administers invited the interns to speak with 7th, 8th and 9th grade students regarding non-violent conflict resolution and sustainable development. The students completed an activity (Create your dream school and dream community) that demonstrated the creativity of students and their knowledge and application of the concepts discussed. All grades were excited to speak about these concepts and had incredible insight on the importance of such as the significance in stable government, peaceful co-existence of different groups of people, economic and technological development, fresh and clean environment and future opportunities for youth.
Before departing from the school, the team met with administrators once more. Discussions took place regarding the implementation of clubs and also differences within the cultural values of Western and Eastern societies. The principal requested the interns return to the school again soon to speak to all the students during general assembly. In the evening, interns, GNSD staff and Diwakar of YPN visited a local group home for children. The interns toured the home with the founder, Una, and conducted a small needs assessment. Ideas for future collaboration to help meet the organizations needs were discussed. Interns suggested that GNSD clubs in the United States raise funds to be donated to the group home for necessary technology and that this gift be given during an awareness event that would be held by a sister GNSD club in Nepal.To see more photos from today please CLICK HERE.
December 10, 2017 (India) We have wonderful meeting in Nagpur, Maharashtra, that is basically the center of India, and also winter Capitol of Maharashtra. Our Regional Coordinator, Dr. Tanu Verma invited me to setup Peace Clubs for Sustainability in “Dharnendra Yoga Bal Sanskar Shala - Nagpur”, a bridge school for underprivileged children of Uday Nagar in Nagpur supported by Non-Violence Foundation India. Out of 35 members of “Peace Club for Sustainability”, 11 members won election, and they become executive council of the clubs that will lead their activities. All clubs member decided to start activities from Jan, and have regular weekly meeting on Sunday. Supervisor of this club is Deepika Hingole. (B.Kumar)
December 10, 2017 (Nepal) On this day a meeting with two private schools in Kathmandu that have GNSD clubs were supposed to take place, however these meetings did not confirm. Rudeep and Prajwel took the interns to visit with local community members to witness wedding celebrations taking place in Sovabhagwati temple and to visit with traditional craftsmen/women outside the temple. The team also took time to visit with GNSD’s staffs family members in their home. Discussions took place regarding the changes seen by those in the older generation regarding land ownership, economic development and employment opportunity, and cultural shifts such as inter-caste and love marriage and even the future trends in the dismantling of the caste system within Nepal/India. Throughout the afternoon, interns and GNSD staff visited the Boudha temple to witness Buddhist worship practices and also enjoyed interacting with the local artisans. In the evening, the team visited Pashupati temple along the Bagmati River, one of the most sacred Hindu sites in the world, where they viewed several Hindu death ceremonies. The team engaged in a lengthy discussion regarding the different approaches to death and dying practiced in Western and Eastern cultures. Upon returning to Tewa in the evening, interns conducted internet research on the current refugee population and camps inside Nepal. Interns emailed the UN camp director of Bhutanese refugee camps and requested a visit for the end of the month. To see more photos from today please CLICK HERE.
December 9, 2017 (Nepal) Saturdays are the weekly holiday in Nepal and there is no work or school on this day. Interns met with GNSD staff in the city center and visited the Garden of Dreams as well as the Palace of Narayanniti Durbar. This palace is the location of the 2001 execution of the ruling Napali family including King Birendra and Queen Aishwarya. Interns learned details about the various ideologies and groups involved in the past 20 years of political and tribal turmoil in Nepal. Interns also visited the temple of Lord Buddha Swayambhu, otherwise known as Monkey Temple. There is a beautiful view of Kathmandu valley here and many interesting sights of things and people from all around the world. In the late afternoon the interns visited an Amnesty International ‘Poetry for Human Rights’ event being held in Patan Durbar Square. This square is a UNESCO Heritage sight that is the location of ancient royal palaces from times before Nepal was unified country. The squares consist of temples, idols, open courtyards and of course the palaces. However, there was significant damage done to this area during the last earthquake that is under repair. Interns took dinner with Rudeep, the local impact of earthquakes and deforestation was discussed as well as the ancient history of the geography that now incorporates the country of Nepal. After dinner they walked through a busy, local market before returning to Tewa. Tosee more photos from today please CLICK HERE.
December 8, 2017 (Nepal) Bibesh (GNSD Regional Director) and Prajwal (GNSD Webmaster) picked up interns from Tewa early in the morning and headed to the GNSD/Youth Parliament Nepal (YPN) office. Throughout the morning, interns had a productive introductory meeting with GNSD staff and Diwal (Founder of YPN). The team agreed upon the working schedule for the following three weeks. Interns objectives will be to conduct a needs assessment of a few of the GNSD clubs in place in Nepal as well as assist in editing the Start Up Manual that is provided to schools when they want to initiate clubs. Rudeep (GNSD Community Involvement Coordinator) arrived in the afternoon to join the team meeting. The team continued to discuss their approach of school and community interaction over lunch and into the later afternoon. As well as some cultural considerations unique to developing Asian countries, specifically Nepal, including recent Civil War, political instability, corruption, internet connectivity, budding democratic Constitutionalism’s, economic development, pace of business, impacts of globalization (democratization of information and technology), and so on. In the evening, GNSD staff took interns to the tourist markets where there were many new and unique sights to see. Interns grabbed a few essentials from the market and returned to Tewa for dinner .
December 7, 2017 (Nepal) Interns arrived at Kathmandu to a very quiet city and quite a unique experience of absolutely no traffic on the road. The arranged transportation from the airport had a government issued pass in hand in order to be able to drop interns off at Tewa during election hours. Interns reached Tewa where they were introduced to staff and got settled in their room. The location of Tewa has very nice scenery and gives a break from the heavy air pollution in the city center. The grounds of Tewa are very beautiful, and the room accommodations are comfortable and clean. Interns walked around the neighborhood and interacted with locals, returning to Tewa in the evening to enjoy a tasty and very filling dinner of traditional Nepali food. Interns were unable to meet with GNSD staff on this evening due to transportation restrictions.
December 3, 2017 Nepali Branch of GNSD It is our pleasure to inform you that thanks to the support of private donors, and generosity of Mr. Diwakar Aryal, Director of Youth Parliament Nepal, we opened in Kathmandu the office of Nepali Branch of GNSD (it was officially registered in Nepal), The office is next to the office of YPN, what will make the future collaboration convenient.
The following GNSD members constitute the team of GNSD Nepal:
Bibesh Manandhar Reginal Coordinator for Nepal
Bipin Panday Assistant to the Regional Coordinator
Rudeep Rajthala Community Outreach
Prajwal Rajthala Social Media Coordinator
December 2, 2017 (USA) This is our office in Scottsdale, AZ. We share this office with Halsten Enterprise. Behind the desk Osee Romeo Lieberman, Vice President of GNSD, and CEO of Halsten Enterprise.
December 01, 2017 (Nepal) Diwikar Aryal, Director of Youth Parliament of Nepal, and Bibesh Manandhar, Regional Coordinator for Nepal, with Her Excellency ambassador of Bangladesh regarding the celebration for inclusion of the historic speech of 7 March 1971 by the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in UNESCO memory.