Juhi Adhikari

MAIN Photo / Foto Principal
NameJuhi Adhikari
Affiliated Organizations

International Youth Advisory Board Member, Mobile Arts for Peace

Country of origin / País de origenNepal
Country where you do your workNepal
Please tell us about your work in peace education. / Cuéntenos sobre su trabajo en la educación para la paz.

As a young researcher, I am working as an International Youth Advisory Board (YAB) member for the Mobile Arts for Peace (MAP) project in Nepal. Mobile Arts for Peace (MAP), a four-year global multidisciplinary program, provides a comparative viewpoint on the use of interdisciplinary arts-based practices for peacebuilding in Nepal, Rwanda, Indonesia, and Kyrgyzstan. This program is a collaboration between universities, cultural practitioners, civil society, and young people from all around the world.

In Nepali society, prejudice and violence against women are significant problems. Girls and young people rarely find public forums in which to voice their concerns. So we run workshops to create an intergenerational dialogue between youth and adults (teachers, policymakers, local community people) that focus on creating safe space through arts, especially for girls in secondary schools. With this, the young people get together to talk about the problems they are having and evaluate those problems. The group also creates artistic output like plays, songs, dances, or paintings and they perform it in front of a large audience and even film it for video content to local decision-makers for policy making. My role is to support other youths in having those skills. Through my work, I believe females and young people now have the means to express themselves through performance art about the problems and obstacles they face.

Start in the field & motivations / Inicio en este campo y motivaciones

When I felt the need to take the initiative to do something that sparked change as I believed even a little support and passion could go a long way. There are so many issues like women's violence, climate change, gender-based discrimination, and other social problems that require our immediate attention but we as youth aren't attentive to these problems in our society. There is violence around us in many forms but we don't care about such issues thinking they are of no concern to us. But I am someone who always felt that we as a youth should be more involved in such issues, and do something to take responsibility from our side.

As a girl in this male-dominated society, I'd usually been overly conscious about the problems faced by my gender where many of us cannot convey our innermost feelings to anyone about what we have been through. Especially when girls are powerless to voice their troubles out loud. Not only girls, but young people such as ourselves are also voiceless during difficult times due to the restrictions and fear of our society. So why aren't all these problems properly conveyed? All these feelings that were in my heart and mind were my motivation to look for something to do, anything that could bring these feelings to life.

Significant Career Moments & Success Stories / Momentos significativos de tu carrera y historias de éxito

There are several noteworthy moments in my life related to peace education. I am going to mention those 4 moments. First, in 2020, I organized a series of workshops and sensitizing videos to run awareness campaigns for mental health awareness and suicide prevention consciousness to assist youth in society. I shared videos via social media and reached out to thousands of people.

Second, in Nepal, I led workshops for Mobile Arts for Peace (MAP) where young girls could tell their stories and voice their concerns. In one of my sessions, I saw the experience of a girl who, while in grade 5, had been the victim of sexual abuse by a family member but had been reluctant to report it to anybody. She however employed a role-play to illustrate her experiences during our arts and theater performance at her school while she was in grade 9. The story she told and the bravery with which she did it moved me to tears.

The third moment is about joining the IIPE 2022 in Mexico, and it was a transformative experience. I believe I am on the road to becoming a global citizen as I had the opportunity to exchange worldviews, ideas, and cultural facets with knowledgeable lecturers, professionals, and experts. It became easier for me to picture the precise direction I wanted to go in as I was able to comprehend my objectives and vision better.

Finally, another important moment was my participation in the MAP conference in Lincoln, UK where I joined as an International Youth Advisory Board member and designed and led the arts-based exhibition to show how we have been working with youths in the country. It was a remarkable moment to exchange ideas among young peace educators from Indonesia, Rwanda, Kyrgyzstan, and Nepal.

What keeps you going? / ¿Qué te hace seguir?

I have always believed in creating safer spaces for young people especially girls to talk about what we have lived till day. I have understood how important it is for us young people to have someone to listen to us, to be with us, and to understand us. Young females like me are now gradually starting to open up about our problems and experiences about everything that we have lived through. I can see how this promotes change and lessens violence and discrimination. I got to experience many things from where I first started.  I believe my effort is worthwhile when I see the hope and bravery of many young girls as the outcome of the strong collaboration. As I watch them stand up for themselves and ask for assistance, I am inspired to continue empowering young people to speak for themselves. It's a present that never runs out. They help me just as much as I help them. These experiences let me realize that I am making a difference in society and working for a cause as a global citizen.

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