Social Cohesion addresses the wider social and political sources of disagreement and seeks to transform negative sentiments into positive social and political change. At different times and in different circumstances it may involve one or a combination of the above strategies. Social differences are unavoidable and are at times necessary to achieve social transformation and development. However, many arguments lead to a vicious circle of violence. With our services, we try to contribute to the development of structures, capacities, and relations based on trust and perspectives that enable the non-violent transformation of differences and the construction of nonviolent societies. In order to realize the task of building an environment where differences are addressed harmoniously and through dialogue and constructive engagement among people of different persuasions, the Council.
Facilitates and promotes actions of Social Cohesion.
The project was designed to promote sustainable harmony by strengthening women’s and youth’s capacity in the prevention and transformation of differences through building Internal Community Mechanisms and advocating for the inclusion of women in security, serenity, and post discrepancies in planning and policies.
The project aimed at empowering women to participate in harmony-related processes and difference prevention practices at the local grass root level and build support for their participation at the national level through building their capacity in community dialogue, mediation, critical thinking, networking, and advocacy.
The project also aimed at building the capacity of youth in Social Mobilization and prevention skills, community dialogue, and mediation, thus promoting civic engagement. The project gives due consideration to priorities related to youth by engaging and changing them to become active citizens.
The capacitated youth and women after training became part of the Internal Community Mechanism (ICM) and act as agents of change in their respective communities to propagate the value of tolerance, respect for diversity, and harmony as well as awareness of differences prevention.
As the final event of the project, Round Table Conference (RTC) was organized with civil society personnel, media, officials of the European Union in Pakistan, government representatives, and other donor agencies to share the overall impact of the project and share best practices and lessons learned with wider participants. Apart from that, animation regarding TOLANA’s work as Internal Community Mechanism (ICM) within communities was presented to participants for their recognition.
Engaging Youth for Building Community Resilience and Promoting Social Cohesion:
The project is implemented in two regions of Pakistan that are Islamabad/Rawalpindi and Multan.
The project aims to mobilize the youth for promoting peace and social cohesion for which 36 community youth volunteers/master trainers were engaged and underwent 10 days capacity building training on mediation, dialogue, dispute resolution, social accountability, social inclusion & gender and resilience approaches.
The purpose of the training was to capacitate them as active citizens for promoting resilience and social cohesion in their own and host communities. The 36 youth volunteer master trainers composition was 6 youth volunteers from Islamabad/Rawalpindi and 12 from Multan as host volunteers and 18 youth volunteers from other parts of Pakistan paired with them having an equal proportion of males and females.
The initiative included youth volunteer living in the host homes, which promotes cross-cultural experience and enables peer-to-peer learning. After the capacity building training the youth volunteer master trainers were divided into 6 groups of 6 members each, amongst which 4 groups were based at Multan and 2 groups based at Rawalpindi/Islamabad. These master trainers were placed in 2 regions to implement social action plans promoting resilience, peace, and cohesion in the respective communities for a period of 3 months. Apart from implementing social action plans the youth volunteer/master trainer further identified and trained 300 volunteers at the community level on community resilience and social cohesion targeting 200 volunteers at Multan and 100 at Rawalpindi/Islamabad. During the project, Punjab Emergency Service Rescue 1122 provided support in training community youth volunteers for better preparedness to natural disasters and enhancing community-level resilience.
After the completion of the action plans, the youth came together and presented the successes and lessons learned from their action plans in a one-day reflection workshop. This enabled youth in critical think on what went well and what needs to be improved for the future. The reflection also enables to document of case studies and strategies for future improvement in program implementation.
District-level dialogue was also organized which involved identifying issues around youth participation and engagement, key disputes in society and mechanisms of support available to address these issues.
A training for 50 university youth volunteers was also arranged in Islamabad for sensitizing youth volunteers on SDGs, social cohesion, resilience, and social accountability and mobilizing support for youth volunteering.
During the project implementation youth volunteers were supported by National Volunteers (Project Supervisors) who ensured the learning of exchange visit, active citizenship training and SAP implementation.