Peace Education Program
Analytically the root causes of violence and injustice are multidimensional. The incident of violence against human
rights is occurring every day, especially in rural areas due to lack of understanding and mutual respect to each
other. Apart from this, lack of education, inter-ethnic communication gap, lack of awareness about human
dignity and rights, and lack of capacities in conflict management always act as stimulus to violence and injustice.
The occurrences of violence and injustices are diversified in Bangladesh. Land grabbing by the powerful people,
communal hatred, family quarrel, ethnic conflict between communities, existence of militant groups in different
forms, existence of high rate of dowry, polygamy, early marriage, extra-marital affairs, and wife beating are
major causes of violence and injustices at individual and family level that frequently affect the peace and harmony
in rural communities. The Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT) of Bangladesh is more conflict prone areas compared to
other parts of Bangladesh. CHT was under the political unrest for more than two decades over the control on
natural resources between its indigenous people and the state armies.
Despite the Peace Accord signed in 2nd December 1997 between the Parbarty Chattagram Jano Sanghati Samity
(PCJSS) and the Bangladesh Govt there is still exists mutual trust between the Bengalis and indigenous people
in the Chittagong Hill Tracts. In some places there is also conflict among the different indigenous communities.
These are exploited by the vested interested forces and creating impediments in development of the region and
of the country as a whole.
In above situation Anando has under taken initiative of introducing Peace Education Program in project areas to enhance community people’s capacity in conflict management, and to restore the community values and respect for each other. In addition, the program aims to increase the level of people’s capacity and affordability to approach formal or informal legal services and to create a regular community based activities for community and social harmony. At present Anando implements its peace education program mainly in Khagrachari but with peace dialogue among the samity members in other operational areas. Two projects are being implemented in 3 unions of
Khagrachari. The project “Integrated Development Initiative with the Hilly People of Khagrachari” (peace building) is being implemented in Khagrachari Sadar & Dighinala upazaila with an aim of increasing confidence and trust among individuals and community people through peace education, awareness building and conflict management. This project also carries a full program component on peace and conflict management emphasizing ethnic rights in CHT.
Anando has implemented series of activities of these issues since the inception of the program. Some of its major activities includes providing awareness building, providing training on legal rights and awareness building
within the peace process, organizes workshop and dialogue sessions on inter-societal peace particularly Family Peace and Harmony; providing legal aid on land and human rights issues; organizing training on conflict management for group leaders, and developing peace network at least among 6 NGOs working for the local community for community well-being.
OUTCOME OF PEACE EDUCATION PROGRAM
• Through this project- people have started to believe that conflict resolution for community brotherhood is a vital element for sustainable development.
• People have also started to join each other’s social festivals and special days, village meetings, and community dialogue.
• Both the Bengali Muslims and different indigenous community representatives started sitting in the same venue to exchange opinion on different issues.
• They feel encouraged to attend some common forums like Bengali New Year, Boisabi, and World Peace day on 21st September which was hardly imagined earlier.
The program is now being implemented among the credit group members in CHT- KHG, who are 4264 by numbers in 3 UZ i.e. Matiranga, Dighinala and KHG-Sador. Anando has implemented among its 3000 selected group members incorporating 1000 from each UZ.