In 2013, Peace for People joined the global peace movement of MasterPeace, becoming the legal umbrella for the local Club of MasterPeace Nepal, officially licence by MasterPeace Foundation. This allowed teaming up withthe Foundation (based in Utrecht, the Netherlands) and other Clubs in 40+ countries around the world to organise various community development projects together. The MasterPeace Walk Nepal (MPWN) is one of the best examples.
In November 2017, 20 Dutch and 20 Nepalese nationals undertook a 6-day walk to Thakre in the beautiful Dhading area, blessed with natural beauty, unique topography, and most hospitable people. This Conservation and Peace Walk was the main part of the 10-day programme, and focused on promoting storytelling, dialogue, and learning about nature, cultures and personal leadership. In fact, the activity of walking itself provided a perfect instrument to reflect and share stories.
The MasterPeace Foundation highly values the MasterPeace Walk as it builds bridges between cultures, adds value to the local community and helps building a strong MasterPeace network. Not to mention the personal impact for each and every participant and all the local Nepali people involved
The MPWN 2017 was organized by the MasterPeaceClub leader Mr. Santosh Bidari and his core team including Ms. Punam Khadgi, Mr. Suresh Subedi, and Mr. NabRaj Subedi, together with Dutch participants- Florian Geerken, Caroline Kouwenberg and Marcella Bos.
Thakre area, among many such others in Nepal, faces a serious lack of quality education. For both PfP and MasterPeace Nepal, education is key in solving the challenge of “brain drain”, thousands of young Nepali talents leaving the country for seeking better employment and income opportunities. The major goal for the two organizations is to increase quality education (SDG 4) for all Nepali children and raise awareness of the importance of quality education among the students, parents, teachers and the government of the country.
Therefore, PfP, MasterPeace Nepal and MasterPeace Foundation co-organized the second edition of the MPWN in Thakre, Nepal during 7-16 November 2018. A group of 36 colorful people – 14 Nepalese, 2 Indian, 1 Georgian, and 15 Dutch – joined the 6-day walk in the breath taking nature of the Dhading area close to the majestic Himalayas at an altitude of 1000–2000m AMSL. The walk in the rural area was the core part of the 10-day event and remained a very unique experience for all the participants. In 2018, the foreign participants got the extra opportunity to experience Nepali culture and rituals first hand, as they were invited to celebrate the Tihar festival with the family of Mr. Santosh Bidari, the leader of MasterPeaceNepal.
The visibility of both PfP MasterPeace has remarkably increased as evidenced by the growth in the number of its followers and the related activities on the social media. In addition, PfP has now received invitations from the local government to participate in their meetings on long-term planning for education and empowerment of women and youth, which proves that the local government is initiating a serious working partnership with this program. The participating team from www.jeweetzelf.nl has produced a movie on MPWN 2018, which was launched in January 2019. Participants have become loyal friends and active ambassadors of PfP, MasterPeace Nepal and their programmes. With funding generated through participation fees, 15 children can now be supported to attend school, and a women’s cooperative and an awareness campaign for clean environment will soon be initiated.
The MPWN is now a proven and established best practice format for building bridges between cultures and adding value to the local community. Involvement of PfPwith local government in discussions and long-term planning on education in the region has increased, and the number of individuals and groups of participants and volunteers in the other activities carried out under the branding of MasterPeace Nepalis increasing. There has also been a substantial rise in the awareness and eagerness among young students and local adults join next events and programmes.