THE PEACEBUILDING PROJECT
The world having come to a standstill did not deter the shared vision of a just and equal world, one that most Peacebuilders across the globe champion. Thus, the Covid-19 campaign came to be born, in an attempt to bring forth the conversation of Peacebuilding during a Global Pandemic to the convenience of our screens. The campaign manifested in a series of online sessions conducted by The Peacebuilding Project hosting experts, who brought in their thoughtful insights on a range of topics.
24 April 2020: The session was led by Saumya Aggarwal, a Social Entrepreneur, Peacebuilder and an International trainer working towards a peaceful world by empowering young individuals, and creating a sustainable society. She touched upon how Peacebuilding does not and should not take a backseat during the Covid-19 crisis, and instead it should be acknowledged as being paramount in dealing with the same. In this context, she talked about the importance of keeping us updated with the happenings around the world as it paramount when asking questions to the government and its policies. She also encouraged the viewers to volunteer, in whatever capacity they can, to create ground level impact.
2 May 2020: The session was led by Nidhi Mahanta, a mental health enthusiast and psychology student certified by the American Psychiatric Association as a Covid-19 and Mental Health specialist in Caring for the Public and Ourselves. It was an attempt to start the larger conversation surrounding Mental Health, the need for which has been amplified in the context of the Covid-19 crisis. . In conversation with Navya Khanna, Member of The Peacebuilding Project, the session saw a large number of questions from the audience revolving around stress management, anxiety, and depression during a global pandemic, importance of self-love and looking after oneself both physically, mentally and emotionally.
9 May 2020: The session was led by Diego Suárez Rojas, a bioethicist and interdisciplinary researcher specializing in the epidemiology of stress, workplace and learning conditions, behavioral and clinical interventions. In conversation with Oonmona Das, Member of The Peacebuilding Project, the session largely focused on the aspect of critical theory analysis and the various ways in which learning can be imparted to an individual. The questions largely dealt with the transformation of a literate population into a well-educated and sound citizen of the world who are mostly driven by the growth mindset, given the changing nature of the world.
16 May 2020: The growing surge in the number of cases of domestic violence during the global pandemic prompted the need for this session on Gender and Covid-19. In conversation with Pratiksha Pathak, Member of The Peacebuilding Project, the session was led by Vandita Moraka, Founder and CEO of One Future Collective, who specifically addressed the gravity of gender based violence in the backdrop of a pandemic.
23 May 2020: It is no surprise that the cracks in the system and it’s apathy towards vulnerable communities come to surface during a Global Pandemic. It is hence deemed important to address the struggles of the undocumented immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers stranded on the borders. The session was led by Laura Bohorquez Duque, who works for a Non-profit Organisation in the United States, educating immigrant families on their rights and facilitating their access to resources. In conversation with Tarana Faroqi, Coordinator of The Peacebuilding Project, Laura effectively touched upon the nuances of the Covid-19 crisis and immigration.
30 May 2020: The live session on the Role of Civil Society in Covid-19 featured Shadi Shahbaz, founder of Peace Mentors, a safe space for youth peacebuilding, leadership and mentorship in Iran. Born and raised in Iran, she has familiarized herself with navigating challenges in change-making and activism. In conversation with Tarana Faroqi, Director of The Peacebuilding Project, Ms. Shahbaz elucidated how as active members of civil society, it is our collective responsibility to equip ourselves with skills and knowledge in order to contribute to a better world. She stressed on how the youth is not just the future of this planet, but also the present. She also touched base on the continued resilience that the members of civil society have displayed over time. Covid-19 in all its unprecedented-ness has not deterred this resilience, and instead made room for adapting to newer challenges efficiently. Ms. Shahbaz specifically mentioned how both gender based violence and the digital divide has become more pronounced in lieu of the pandemic, and that they need to be addressed on a more structural level to truly combat them.