Nonviolent Peaceforce – Sri Lanka
MONTHLY REPORT: May 2011
The Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Ministry of Child Protection and Women’s Affair (MCPWA) and the Nonviolent Peaceforce Sri Lanka (NPSL) has certainly facilitated smoother collaboration with various government agencies, especially in the Northern District of Sri Lanka where we focus our work in the promotion and wellbeing of children. The Government Agent (GA) in Vavuniya District has endorsed and supported our organization in gaining access to Vavuniya North.
The delivery of training services, in partnership with these agencies (the National Child Protection Authority, Probation Office, District Child Development Committees, and Child Rights Promoting Officers) and planning of collaborative activities in the villages have been finalized and started going.
CAPACITY BUILDING PROJECT
Good number of District Secretaries, especially in Batticaloa district, agreed and supported our Basic Negotiation Skills and Threat Mitigation Trainings conducted in their respective areas of responsibilities. They encouraged NPSL to conduct and facilitate the trainings and primarily train trainers among the community in order to strengthen their existing mechanisms. This focuses particularly on the involvement of community members in maintaining peace and order in the communities in which they are living.
There were three trainings conducted in the month of May 2011. A total of fifty-eight (58) participants benefitted from these trainings.
In Vavuniya and Mannar districts, the Basic Negotiation Skills and Threat Mitigation Trainings is also requested to strengthen capacities of local organizations and individuals in threat mitigations and negotiation skills. Various organizations and agencies asked NPSL to implement the training for their members.
Child Protection Project
The Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Nonviolent Peaceforce Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Affair has enabled the organization to carry out our activities on Child Protection project specifically in Vavuniya North. This MoU gives NPSL the opportunity and privilege to visit resettled areas in Vavuniya north to which we were previously denied access.
The collaboration with the National Child protection Authority (NCPA) is going smoothly as maniffested in our on-going program of activities with them. In their awareness programs to various schools, aside from providing accompaniment, our staff have also been able to assist as translators (Sinhala to Tamil). We also give needed information and insights into the rights of the child embedded in the International Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Nonviolent Peaceforce, Vavuniya district, provided accompaniment to NCPA in visiting welfare homes and guest houses where children affected by the war are being taken care of. NPSL can then give some witness to the well-being of children sheltered in these welfare homes and other centres.
NPSL continues its outreach to different local organizations particularly with a focus on youth programs. Joint activities like trainings and awareness programs have been continually conducted in the region.
A further series of trainings on BNSTM, Childs Rights and others are scheduled on the coming months to as part of NPSL’s capacity building leading to our phase out from Sri Lanka by the end of 2011.
What are the Challenges?
The minimal number of staff at NPSL with skills to facilitate trainings does affect the implementation of planned programme activities, particularly in Vavuniya District. One of our staff from Vavuniya is joining our trainers in Batticaloa, whenever they are conducting trainings, to build his capacity to deliver effective trainings himself.
STAFF & PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT
A midterm review and re-planning of our action plan was conducted in Vavuniya and attended by the Head of Field Offices and the Management team from Colombo. A review of our plan as against our accomplishments was done so that we could focus on re-engineering the final part of our exit programme. We came away with a more tangible and more sensible set of programme activities that suits our exit strategy and we are now reformulating our budget to deal with this adjusted plan. The groups (districts) justified their plan of activities against their budgets.
Gathering of information using MSC, most significant change, methodology was conducted with people/beneficiaries from two Districts. This activity certainly gave us an opportunity to see the various impacts of our work. Even though this methodology is not entirely suited to sensitive work, it gave us valuable testimony as to how people access the impact of NPSL on their lives and a glimpse into NPs role, contribution and the importance of our presence in the country.
PEACE BUILDING TRAINING
NPSL program coordinator attended a training on Peace Education in the Philippines: The general theme was ‘Concept and Approaches and Working Towards Change: Peace and Justice Advocacy’ and was facilitated and coordinated by the Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute in Davao. It also gave our staff a valuable opportunity to witness, to wider Asian constituency, the type of work NP undertakes and the impact we see from our programme interventions.
Vicente B. Pacis Jr.