A six-day training on “Harnessing Youth for Peace” in universities of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa an initiative of Higher Education Regulatory Authority (HERA), Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, supported by Community Resilience Activity–North (CRA-N), sponsored by U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by International Organization for Migration (IOM) was arranged at Kohat University of Science and Technology (KUST).
Two-day training on Diversity Management and four-day training on Digital Citizenship and Leadership was organized at Auditorium KUST. The training was attended by 30 students of selected Newly Merged Districts including Kurram, Orakzai, Khyber and North Waziristan and 28 faculty members of the university.
The keynote speakers of trainings were Rashad Bukhari, Kayenat Hameed Khan and Mufti Asad Gul. The trainers sensitized the audience to the need of gender quality in the merged districts; a significant number of females who participated in the session also demonstrated their ideas to eradicate oppression in domestic setups. Cultural and structural violence and best practices for peace and resolution of conflicts were also included.
The sessions were carried out through extensive deliberations, learning activities, sharing of thoughts, stories and experiences. Aiman Munir from District Khyber shared her views as “I learned in this training about how to maintain neutrality and seek out to understand different perspectives. Being able to understand our differences and different perspectives in order to resolve our conflicts and live peacefully is a necessary part of being educated.” During the training Aqal Nawaz from District Orakzai, shared his views as, “It was a great learning experience. Our community is mired with the social malaise we just discussed during the workshop.
Discrimination and inequalities are daily part of life. Students must be exposed to multicultural environments and guided to deal with differences”. Almost all participants had agreed on the need of credit hour courses which should be developed for students to take in social sciences departments in particular and in other sciences as an additional course of study to teach and sensitize students about the issues related to diversity, prejudice, biases, discrimination and extremism.
The closing ceremony was graced by Prof. Dr. Sardar Khan Vice Chancellor, Dr. Yasir Kamal member HERA, Tahir Khan Program Manager and Tashfeen Zia Project Coordinator. The Vice Chancellor in his speech emphasized the importance and need of organizing trainings for the youth on subject including tolerance, critical thinking, leadership and conflict resolution.
Dr. Yasir Kamal in his address highlighted that these training programs are an attempt to improve students’ community resilience ability through a digital citizenship and leadership training. He also added that by establishing synergies of collaboration between young students can result in understanding of diversity, exchange of knowledge, networking and best practices in society.
The chief guest distributed certificates to the participants and shields among the best performers of the each session.