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About the Project

Community Elders for Social Tolerance

The Community Elders (Murubbis) for Social Tolerance supported by the Management System International (MSI) with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is running very smoothly as per its planned targets of the project. Major outcomes of the project are to Enhanced tolerance and inter-community inter-action at community level through various social and cultural interventions and Better linkage with duty bearers and beyond community. finally, Cohesive and interactive society with reduced possibility of intolerance and conflict.

THEORY OF CHANGE

If we create CTPG with activists and Murubbis (community elders) from both DPRSM and Bangladeshi communities (Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Adivasi etc.) who will gain tolerance promotion and vulnerability reduction skills to disseminate in the community and establish relationship with duty bearers then it will contribute to creating a cohesive and interactive society with reduction of intolerance and conflict because CTPGs will work to increase community participation and promote the culture of mutual respect towards communities. 

Sport For Peace

Sport For Peace promotes a sense of understanding and unity that transcends the divides found in typical day-to-day life in conflict communities.

Arts For Peace

Arts For Peace activities help bring to surface many issues of conflict and violence existing in local communities, securing acknowledgement that they are happening, identifying possible responsive actions, and generating collective commitment to actively following through on agreed-upon steps.

Advocacy For Peace

Advocacy for Peace to transform conflict in the communities in which GFP programmes are held, creating awareness of issues of conflict and violence in communities, shifting local perceptions, changing individual attitudes, and influencing overall behaviour.

ACTIVITY SUMMARY

Meeting to form Community Group (CG) of Community Elders with youth activists, develop indicators for rapid assessment, and conduct the rapid assessment by CG to identify vulnerabilities, strength, tolerance or intolerance etc. as part of baseline data development. Courtyard meeting to form Community Tolerance Promotion Group (CTPG), and develop plan of action to promote peace and tolerance in the community through various social, cultural and sports activities on the occasion of different inter-community festivals and national/ international days. Then CTPGs implement their plan of actions with support from the project. Simultaneously, the project develops a discussion guidebook on peace, tolerance, diversity, inclusion, conflict resolution and community development and organize monthly discussion meeting with CTPGs to equip them with knowledge and skills on these issues. The project also develops two audio-visual materials on peace promotion and community mobilization to disseminate messages on peace and community mobilization in the community. The last activity is the final assessment by community.   

Activity findings

The main objective of the project was to enhance tolerance and inter-community interaction through various social and cultural interventions. Its key features are formation of Community Tolerance Promotion Group (CTPG), situation analysis and assessment by CTPG, capacitating CTPGs with knowledge and skills on PVE issues, social and cultural activities undertaken by CTPGs for promoting peace and tolerance in the community.  Key messages are –

  • Tolerance for diversity
  • More interaction for social cohesion
  • Respect for community elders
  • Restoration of the culture of mutual respect towards other communities
  • Youth groups can act as change agents to make our society more cohesive and interactive with reduced possibility of intolerance and conflict.   

The target groups of the project were community elders with youth activists which includes Matbor/ Maji/ Sardar, women activist, youth (Boys & Girls), Imam, Teacher, Union Parishad (UP) Chairman & Members and Students from College, University and Seminaries (From all ethnic and religious groups). 

It was observed that participation of people from diverse communities in social, cultural and sports events increased gradually. Huge number of people from Muslim, Hindu and Indigenous Buddhist community (Chakma) participated in the events which was much higher than estimated. For example, in the project, the target number of participants in each event was set only 50, but in practice, it saw on average more than 300 participants attended in each event organized by CTPGs. As per the project concept, it was assumed that if interaction between different communities increases, tolerance will enhance in the community.   

Community  reviews

What people say?

Enhanced Tolerance in the community, Telkhola Village, Palongkhali Union It was also observed that there were many incidents of mutual cooperation between inter-community people which happened as a result of this project. For example, at Telkhola village of Palongkhali Union, there are two community – Chakma (Buddhist) and Bengali Muslim. They had some sort of hostile relationship before the project operation. They would hardly interact with one another. They would not invite each other on their social or religious festivals. But after a few months of project operation, in April 2018, they observed the Pohela Boishakh together, performed cultural functions where Bengali people sang songs and youth girls and boys from Chakma community performed dance in the function. They also cooked together to serve food to the villagers. They participated in various sports competition together. Now they interact with one another regularly beyond the project activities. It is also important to note that recently in October 2018, they resolved a dispute together through discussion and mutual understanding that could have fueled to gear up intolerance and conflict between Chakma and Bengali community. Previously Chakma community would never invite Bengali people to their social arbitration. But now they invite neighboring Bengali community elders and sit together to resolve any kind of dispute. They sit together with Bengali community elders even if the dispute is Chakma versus Chakma. Thus mutual cooperation and tolerance has increased in the community at Telkhola village of Palongkhali Union.
Community Tolerance Promotion Group
Chair, UKHIYA, COXSBAZAR

Community reviews

What people say?

“We never thought about the peace and tolerance like this but by being a CTPG member we are learning how to promote peace and tolerance. We (CTPG) are arranging the program of Pohela Boishaks, Community dialogue on International Mother’s day and now we arrange the friendly football match. We are willingly working for peace and tolerance and we are enjoying this work. Community people appreciate our work and they are also enjoying the entire program”.
Rohima Khanom
Head Teacher & West ratna palong government primary school & CTPG Member
Follower of different religions have been living in our area. We want to establish a society free from terrorism and anarchy. Our respective religion will be confined to our prayer house. It will never be allowed to create panic and violent conflict on the streets. The football match of today is being held to promote this noble objective in the society”.
Mr.Saber Ahmad
president, CTPG