Table of Contents
- Jamuna Shrestha and Poonam Pokwal Visit Ohio
- A Story of Yad Gurung
- Experiences with the Bhutanese in Pittsburgh, PA USA
- Mini-Workshop with the Bhutanese Community Association of Pittsburgh
- Planting Seeds of Peace
- Crisis in Darjeeling
- A Taste of Empowerment
- AVP Taste of Empowerment Mini-Workshop
- 2017 May-July • Jamuna Shrestha Visits with Resettled Bhutanese in the US
- Jamuna Shrestha to visit the US
- 2016 September • AVP trauma healing workshop
- 2015 November • Workshops help with recovery
- 2015 Oct • Beginning workshops for recovery
- 2015 Sept • Nepal is Beginning to Heal
- Seeking Discernment
- 2015 June • Vidya Sutton returns to Kathmandu after the earthquakes
- Trusting in the discernment of the local Nepalese
- Nepal Earthquake Relief Log
- Visiting communities to listen to stories of loss and repair destroyed hopes for survival
- Nepal Relief Update
- First batch of relief support is distributed in Nepal
- Update from today’s visit to a village
- April 2015 • Earthquakes hit Nepal
- 2015 March • Discernment workshop in Nepal
- Planned Nepal Friends Peace team • March – April 2015
- Bhutanese refugees struggle after relocating in the US
- 2014 Apr – May • Nepal
- 2013 December • Nepal Peace Team
- Training Facilitators for AVP Workshops in Refugee Camps in Eastern Nepal
- Struggles in the Lhotshampa Refugee Camps
- Lhotshampa Refugee History
- Supporting AVP Facilitators in Nepal
2014 Apr – May • Nepal
Friends Peace Teams traveled to Nepal, April – May 2014.
John Michaelis reports on his trip to Nepal:
Teaching teachers non-violence
In partnership with Children Nepal, a small team comprising Judith Simpson, Vidya Sutton and myself returned to Nepal in April and May 2014 to run several Basic Workshops in remote villages in the Pokhara region. I was struck by the earnest concern expressed by many teachers to find non-violent ways to teach, while still maintaining order. We were fortunate that our team member Judy is an Australian math teacher who began teaching 34 years ago, when beating was still the norm in Australian schools. She taught through the transition when physical punishment was eliminated. Her personal testimony as to how the elimination of physical punishment resulted in better rather than worse order in the classroom was invaluable and she was able to respond to the many questions concerning such a transition. The participants chose to act out role play scenarios in the workshop that depicted typical violent beatings in the schools. In debriefing of other activities, many shared personal stories of beatings they had received, witnessed or perpetrated, including a head teacher, who shared how in slapping a student’s face he had inadvertently damaged her eye.
Conditions are very basic in the villages and some were very remote.
To reach one village, we drove over an exceptionally rough road to the closest point and then walked up for nearly an hour to reach our destination, carrying our bags and workshop kit. In the workshop, both facilitators and participants struggled with the heat in a small tin-roofed classroom with the sun beating down, tiny windows and no through draft. We learned to deal with squat toilets, sleeping on hard wooden boards, cold showers (when showers were even available), tummy trouble, ridiculously overcrowded buses and an endless diet of rice and dhal. We also saw incredible views, built and strengthened our community and relationship with each other and with amazing Nepalese people with a deep concern that children must be able to grow up free from systemic and institutionalized physical violence.
We were invited to facilitate a Basic workshop at the Mid-Western University, Conflict and Peace Studies Department in Surkhet in mid-western Nepal, nearly a 20 hour bus journey from Pokhara on roads that can at best be described as interesting. In the wee hours of the morning our bus had a tyre blowout. It was pitch dark and the bus driver had no flashlight so they borrowed mine to replace the wheel.
The Surkhet region was the center of most of the violence during the ten violent years of Maoist revolution in Nepal. A teacher participating in our workshop, shared how the Maoist’s tried to force his cousin and himself to join them with in disposing of the bodies from an attack they were about to launch on the government offices there. Refusing would have resulted in instant death while assisting would have made them fugitives from the Nepali armed forces. So at a moment’s notice they abandoned their teaching jobs and escaped to the jungle, climbing many thousands of feet to escape. Other workshop participants cited similar traumatic experiences with the Maoists.