Hamro Team (Our Team), the Nepali version of SFCG's multi-nation television franchise "The Team", is about a football team and the challenges they face coming together despite their differences in a post-conflict environment.
Produced in conjunction with Common Ground Productions and AB Pictures, the 13-episode show uses the appeal of football and television to bring in viewers and transform how they approach the difficult environment in which they live. "Anything is possible if we become one despite our weaknesses, traits and conflicts. We are telling this story and giving this message through football," said director Bhusan Dahal.
Promo of Hamro Team (1:16)
Hamro Team has an important message but is presented in an entertaining format intertwined with comedy and romance; to avoid coming off as preachy, Hamro Team was intentionally given a commercial look. According to Dahal, "What sets it apart is that the message is weaved into the plot." "The plot is driven by a message that emphasises teamwork, but apart from that, it has everything else that popular TV shows have: tears, comedy, and romance," says Richa Sharma, who plays the lead as Seema, the all-male team's female football coach. "I definitely think it will make its mark in Nepali television."
SFCG successfully completed the
implementation of the 14-month Radio for Peacebuilding project with funding from the Royal Norwegian Embassy in August 2010. Amid country challenges, the project strengthened the skills of the media sector and provided training to both adult professionals and upcoming child journalists to use radio for peacebuilding. The project was implemented in partnership with Antenna Foundation Nepal, the Far Western Media Development Center (FMDC) and 3 local FM stations.
SFCG produced and broadcast two radio programs: Farakilo Dharti (Wider Earth), a locally made talk-show, broadcasted 84 episodes and covered conflict issues in the stations' districts, including issues affecting marginalised communities; and the national program Sunau Bolau (Lets Listen, Lets Talk), produced by children directly using common ground tools, had 26 episodes broadcast on 30 stations all over the country, creating a sense of ownership of the peace process amongst young listeners.
"We are heroes of the peace process. After the.. workshop I feel that our responsiblities have increased. I'm proud to be a part of the first generation peacebuilders."
As a resource for those stations that wish to continue with their own children's radio program, SFCG produced two videos about Sunau Bolau. Additionally, SFCG developed and publisheda book consisting of radio programming success stories (in Nepali). 500 copies of the book have been produced and will be distributed to FM stations and other media organizations. To strengthen the journalistic skills of those involved, trainings on common ground approaches to media production were lead for 33 FM producers and talk-show hosts as well as for 19 upcoming child/youth journalists. Participants were trained on tools to develop radio content, especially talk-shows, with peacebuilding objectives and a few were selected as producers for Farakilo Dharti or to work on the Sunau Bolau program (for adults and youth respectively). The trainings also initiated the process of forming a network of Radio for Peacebuilding alumni.
Youth Participation in the Peace and Democratization Process in Eastern Terai
With the support of National Endowment for Democracy (NED), SFCG implemented a one year project in four districts in the eastern Terai – Siraha, Saptari, Dhanusha and Mahottari, in partnership with a local non-governmental organization, Samagra Jana Utthan Kendra (Samagra). The project was aimed at supporting young people by providing alternatives to violence and creating channels for them to be engaged in local community decision making and development. It consisted of a process of engaging youth groups and local officials in dialogue, and eventually facilitating them to work cooperatively to address root causes of conflict in their communities.
The final project evaluation conducted by an external evaluator reported concrete evidence of the change at personal and relationship level. There are many examples that show that youth have changed their attitude and behavior after the training that was conducted by SFCG and its local partner Samagra. The changed attitudes and behaviour have further led to various community actions that are beneficial to the community at large. The evaluation also shows that the youth in SFCG's working VDCs are involved in collective actions in their communities in ways that promote relationships across dividing lines, whereas youth from the non-working VDCs expressed that they don't have the knowledge and skills needed to engage with youth from across dividing lines, and also that they are not very concerned about problems in their communities. Several of the youth clubs involved with SFCG took initiatives to engage youth who had been involved in armed groups, to instead become involved in peaceful youth club activities. Informal discussions with the youth clubs revealed that they have been able to get at least 20 youth who have been part of armed groups to join their youth clubs/ networks, and are now positively engaged in community peacebuilding. Local youth clubs are also in the process of developing their youth clubs into a network that becomes a registered institution10 youth clubs from Siraha district have come together and formed the Youth Network for Peace and Development, Siraha. They have also completed a formal registration of the network in the district administration office.
In addition to the personal level and relationship level changes, the project also affected some changes at the structural and cultural level. Especially, providing training and engaging with the local decision-makers has helped to a greater extent for realizing the importance of youth participation for peacebuilding at local level. The evaluation found some examples where the local authorities have started to see youth as resources and are starting to engage and provide support to youth. Similarly, there are examples of initiatives taken by youth clubs to bring conflicting parties together; help them analyse their conflict and find alternative solutions.