Bal Sewa Samaj (BSS) was established in 2001 to work for peace, human rights and development in Nepal. BSS’s work includes strengthening civil societies ability to work for peace in the country, and developing the skills and resources to allow the peace process to be successful. The organisation also works directly with people affected by the conflict, and motivates local people to find non-violent solutions to problems and conflicts in thier communities.
BSS is currently running a project called “Fostering health and livelihood of conflict affected people in Nepal” in 11 conflict affected districts. The project provides support for conflict victims through activities such as workshops, rehabilitation, skilled-based training and economic support. The project also includes a scholarship program for the conflict affected children, so far 122 children have had there school fees paid, and received education materials, through the scheme. Under the rehabilitation support activity, BSS has provided at least 10,000 Rupees to 16 conflict affected families.
In April 2010, BSS organised a district level seminar entitled with “Seminar for promotion of Peace” in Khotang district, one of the districts most affected by the increase in ethnic unrest over the past few fears. Civil society, district-level leaders of the political parties, the security agencies, members of the district peace committee, journalists and other concerned stakeholders were invited in the seminar. The discussions focused on peace, security and the human rights situation in the context of raising ethnic unrest in the district.
The seminar published the “Khotang Declaration”, which included an appeal to the district peace committee to initiate negotiation with the ethnic groups in the district. The unrest and tension between the district authorities and ethnic groups had meant that six projects in the areas of road construction, good governance, livelihoods, community forest, peace and sustainable development were about to cancelled. The appeal by the seminar provided mandate for the district peace committee to form a team and hold negotiations with the conflicting parties. After many rounds of negotiation the conflicting parties reached an agreement that allowed the local organisations to smoothly run development projects in the district. This intervention has had an effective and impressive effect on improving the peace in the district.