Nagarik Aawaz (NA) is a social organization born in the crisis of violent conflict (1996-2006) in Nepal. Under the leadership of Ms. Rita Thapa and like-minded activists, this organization was established in 2001 to address the needs of the conflict-affected and displaced community. Ever since its inception, NA has been pioneering the community peacebuilding, through harnessing the energy/skills of youth and women by creating interpersonal change. These youth and women take their knowledge of the larger people through advocacy, campaigns, and community initiatives.
Our Vision: Just and Peaceful Nepal
Our Mission: To engage, capacitate and encourage every part of the society.
Youths: Youths are the energy that drives any nation. This energy can be harnessed or can be exploited. In the experience of Nagarik Aawaz, the youth of Nepal has been misused multiple times in war, crisis, riots, and even in an earthquake by vested interests of small groups. Nagarik Aawaz is working with youths since its inception, with the philosophy, “Save youth during the war”; it still is in the heart of every program. In longer than 16 years NA has worked with more than 2500 conflict-affected/marginalized/vulnerable youth. These youths are trained in peacebuilding activities and leadership skills by going through interpersonal change. Nagarik Aawaz is proud to see they are established as a peace-builders in their community.
Women: NA’s own research has found that women are the most affected groups in the conflict. The social, emotional and economic burdens suffered by women are in higher degrees. Nagarik Aawaz believes that without firm women development true peace can never be imagined. For this reason, NA has been investing in their capacity-building and providing support for their economic and psychosocial wellbeing.
Non-violence Activism: Being a peacebuilding organization, nonviolence activism is Nagarik Aawaz’s synonym. Only community peacebuilding activities are not enough to get people’s attention. To raise consciousness among leaders and larger public about the issues of peace, non-violence campaigns are important tools. NA has been creatively campaigning for the rights of the conflict-affected, women and marginalized groups time and again.
Collaborative Effort: While conducting peacebuilding activities it was immensely clear that peace can never be achieved in isolation. Therefore, NA has been pulling in local organizations to its peace network (Sahakarya Shantiko) by enhancing their capability to conduct peace activities on their own. This has helped the peace activities to be more sustainable in the various districts of Nepal.
Advocacy: The activities Nagarik Aawaz does in the communities create stories and raise issues which need attention from the people with the power to influence. Advocacy helps us put across our message, share our learning and also address questions rising in the communities.
Emergency Fund: Nagarik Aawaz created a small fund to address immediate needs in the community. This fund is a support given to vulnerable individuals in need (e.g.: education for their children, medical & travel expenses, etc.). This fund is beneficial to act spontaneously when the need arises, such as when the earthquake hit Nepal.
Peace & Philanthropy: Nagarik Aawaz by the initiative of its founder has adopted ideas of philanthropy in many areas of its work. The ‘Peace Kitchen’ is one of them. This was started in 2004 to provide free food to displaced people by war every Thursday. The food is freshly cooked and healthy, prepared and served by conflict-affected youths. These philanthropic activities will still be carried out as long as vulnerable people continue to come to eat in this kitchen.