Status: Completed Start Date: Apr 2015 End Date: Jun 2015 Geographic Coverage: District Lahore, Multan & Punjab Focus Area: Combatting violent extremism SDG Goal: 16-Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels Implementing Partner: SPO Funding Partner: Creative Associates International
Strengthening Participatory Organization (SPO) implemented a short term project titled ‘Pur Aman Pakistan Love all hates none, a call by unheard’ in partnership with Creative Associates International in Districts of Lahore and Multan of Punjab.
Various forms of violence against women, religious minority and Transgender (TG) communities are pervasive in Punjab. In 2014, there were number of suicide attacks and incidents of mob-violence reported alone in the capital city of the Punjab province.
This project envisioned to curb and contribute to minimize violent extremism, which has shown mushroom growth in the country in recent past.
The key objectives of the project were;
• To identify and train Merasis (local musician) and Khwaja (transgender) to promote the message of peace and love though music and theater in Districts of Lahore and Multan.
• To create a group of Peace advocates and build their capacity to address the local issues by building linkages with the government departments.
• To provide youth with opportunities and activities which may serve as alternative to joining extremist groups’ falsehood.
Identifying and training total 120 Khawaja Siras, Merasis, Dooms and Bhaands on dance, music, miming, theatre, and storytelling for change gave the project a unique edge amongst traditional peace building approaches. With the support of the Creative Associates International, SPO has strengthened networks of TG community (Khuwaja Siras) through number of trainings and to utilize their artistic talents for promoting peace and social harmony in the selected areas.
After the training, Peace Troops (Aman Toliyan) were linked with District Administration and Tehsil Municipal Administration in both districts. As a result of this, incidents of violence were reported by this group of volunteers through Punjab helpline 1717.
Selected messages of peace were disseminated on streets of Lahore and Multan by the trained Aman Toliyan. This project was unique because SPO had engaged the most marginalized segment of the society to work in close partnership and implementation of the idea. The trained groups had composed peace songs and messages on ‘love and respect for everyone, social harmony and tolerance for every sect, creed and gender in all religions and celebrate the diversity with enriched plurality.’ They had performed theatre at streets and shrines to promote messages of peace and social harmony.