The Regional Network for Peacebuilders Project (Sangha for Peace) recently organized “The Inauguration of the Network and GESI Analysis Presentation” via an online platform on Monday 7th, 2022. The main objectives of the meeting were to promote engagement among the network’s members and to present the results of Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) analysis. Twenty participants attended the Zoom event consisting of project members from Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand; representatives from FHI360 and USAID; as well as INEB staff.  The meeting was successfully organized and the goals were accomplished. 

After a welcoming speech from the INEB Secretariat, participants were invited to introduce themselves and to briefly discuss their current involvements relevant to peacebuilding in their own contexts. We have observed that even though participants’ projects were diverse, the stories they shared were all deeply inspiring. We also learned that every participant had encountered uncertainty and challenges due to the situation of COVID-19 and unrestful political situations in their home countries. In these difficult circumstances, many peacebuilding activities implemented on the ground had to be postponed. 

After these self-introductions, the Sangha for Peace Project Coordinator presented participants with updates on program accomplishments and future plans. Between March and December 2021, the project achieved several goals and key activities. The key activities delivered by the project included an online inception meeting with 11 country partners, participant nomination process, online interviews with 10 participants, development of training curriculum, and GESI analysis.

Sangha For Peace participants from Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Thailand meet together for the first time during the project’s virtual inauguration event on March 7th, 2022.

The draft training curriculum consists of 5 substantive modules including; 1) Buddhism and Peacebuilding; 2) Buddhist Literacy; 3) Gender Awareness and Social Inclusion; 4) Intra and interfaith Dialogue for Peaceful Co-existence; and 5) Sustainable Ecological Governance and Community Engagement. For further project implementation plans, the schedule for three country learning missions was presented to participants. The first country learning mission will be held in Thailand and is scheduled from 29th May to 6th June, 2022. The second learning mission will be in Sri Lanka in December 2022, and the last learning activity will be organized in February 2023 in Myanmar. 

During the GESI analysis report, participants learned about what Gender Equality and Social Inclusion means and why it is significant to employ and integrate into peacebuilding work. The presentation was constructively organized into 5 key topics including; 1) barriers that limit inclusion; 2) factors that facilitate inclusion; 3) how marginalized groups prefer to engage; 4) potential effects of INEB intervention; and 5) risk migration and strategies for staff and participants. The full GESI report will be shared with all participants.     

The next virtual network meeting is scheduled for April 7th, 2022. INEB is going to present a draft curriculum to participants, who will provide feedback for improvement.  It is expected that the final training curriculum will be delivered during the first country learning mission to Thailand in early June, 2022.  

Report written by Surin Onprom, INEB Sangha for Peace Project Coordinator

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