The Jammu and Kashmir Association for Social Workers (JKASW) is a group of post-graduate students committed to building peace in Kashmir, by bringing about change in young people’s attitudes towards volunteering.
The vision of the organisation is to encourage and involve young people to engage with public institutions and to intervene to improve the lives of the people in their community. The group broadly categorises its peacebuilding work for justice, equality and rights under two major areas:
- Building a community of social workers with professional competence to excel in their initiatives, build social consciousness, trigger social action, reduce inequality, create a better world and catalyse social change through continuous learning, dialogue and exposure.
- Working directly at the grassroots level, utilising professional competence to bring about positive change for marginalised communities. By involving the people that they hope to help in the change process, the JKASW aims to empower people to sustain improvements in their own lives.
To improve the education of young girls and the school dropout rate, JKASW started an innovative initiative called Non-Formal Education and Bridge Course Centers. These centres not only involve children and young adults educating themselves, but also engage with the community on awareness about social issues and reforms.
Child Rights and Health
A consequence of the recent youth participation in violence has been the arrest of many young under the Public Safety Act. With the absence of a Juvenile Justice system - there is no Juvenile Act in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, as in other parts of India - JKASW partners with other organisations in the state to come up with a strong act to protect the rights of young adult or child offenders.
To minimise the impact of violence, poor governance and instability, JKASW works towards reducing the information gap between different state empowerment and development agencies and the people. By advocating and spreading awareness about various initiatives/schemes/opportunities and resources available for welfare and development, JKASW connects people to different departments in the government.
Youth Skills and Capacity Building
Skills training are imparted to young adults, particularly young girls, to make them self-reliant.