Peacebuilding memorial & Learning
The Peacebuilding Memorial & Learning Centre will serve a space to remember past injustices, heal and learn from Nepal’s armed conflict; and also serve as a space in which to facilitate ongoing multi-dimensional peacebuilding efforts & learning within Nepal, in the region, and even worldwide. With this initiative, we are aiming to build a durable peacebuilding entity by the end of 2025.
Nepal experienced ten years (1996 – 2006) of armed conflict between the Maoists and the Nepali State. Over 17000 people lost their lives, over 1350 people were forcibly disappeared, and hundreds of thousands were displaced. Rape and torture were used as weapons of war. In emerging post-conflict transitions up till 2019, and even now, the affected communities have received little support and there are little spaces for memorializing their pain and suffering. After the peace accord was signed in 2006, the new Nepali Republican Government promised necessary commissions within 6 months. However, these commissions took 9 years to materialize. Commission of Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP) & Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), which began in 2015, failed to deliver on their promise of justice and reparation for conflict victims while it was functioning. It is now devoid of leadership.
Sushma Karki (name changed for confidentiality), a conflict victim whose husband was killed in the war, shared, “I had a lifetime of struggle and pain. With the (lack of) progress of the justice process, it seems my children will have to go through the same pain as I did”. Thirteen years after the conflict, affected communities have still not been given an opportunity to reconcile and heal their trauma. But we are learning from empirical evidence internationally, that this is not unique to Nepal.
This memorial-learning center will serve multiple functions in an effort to help conflict survivors like Sushma. It will help honor her loss, heal her wounds, learn from her strengths, and help her lead a life of dignity. It will provide a much-needed forum for the discussion of injustices, as well as a space for remembrance and healing. Existing communities and future generations will learn about the past at the PBM&LC and use these learning/s to inform long-term commitments for a peaceful future. The PBM&LC will be a vibrant space which connects with other peace centers in the region and internationally.
The Center will Comprise of:
A knowledge center for peacebuilding, learning & research activities,
A safe space for conflict-affected communities & peacebuilders alike to remember, heal, learn and collaborate, and
An open space for communities to come together. Especially for youths, elderly and children,