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Integrating Communities to Prevent Conflicts and Mainstreaming of Religious Minorities through Local Government Members ( Grantee Name : Ezaz-e-Niswan Development Organization Sargodha )

Started On 21 June, 2016 Ended On 20 December, 2016

Brief Project Description

Pakistan is a largely segregated society, divided in the name of religion, sectarianism, caste system, and several other factors, all of which cause numerous conflicts. This can also be interpreted as Pakistan being a society with opportunities for harmonious pluralistic life. But what is extremely dangerous is that the gap between communities in the country is widening on the basis of religion and sectarianism. This trend has to be arrested.

This project was the result of a compelling feeling that the community needs to take the initiative and intervene in order to bridge this widening gap and consequently pre-empt conflicts in order to create a cohesive and inclusive society. This would, subsequently, give hope to minority communities currently facing despair and isolation. Developing a climate of hope requires the mainstreaming of these minority communities. In order to bring about this kind of change, all the religious communities, both the minorities and the majority, need to be brought into action through training, awareness raising, human rights, and peace education.

For this purpose, this project engaged local government (LG) members who, being the grassroots representatives of communities, can play a great role in integrating the different communities in society in order to develop cohesion in political and social terms. The project’s activities were carried out in three districts in a period of six months, and the local government members were sensitised and trained in order to cause integration and links between different religious communities. The LG members imparted the vision provided in training to the masses in their respective constituencies.

Objectives

To engage 180 elected local government members to pre-empt conflicts between religious majority and minority communities and mainstream the excluded communities of religious minorities.

Key Findings and Achievements

  • Mobilisation and training was carried out of 60 elected members in each district from the 10 UCs, in which minority members were integral parts.
  • Deeper conviction was developed to establish linkages between local admin, LG representatives, and political parties from UC to district level in the three districts.
  • Coordination and networking among different stakeholders through trainings, linkages, and role of LG was strengthened.
  • A system between district administration and local government representatives was developed for sustainable and need-based development at UC level.
  • More than 5000 stakeholders were directly engaged in the local level development process.
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