17 Jun 2014

International Youth Programme on Non-violence in September : you can be part of it!

International Youth Programme on Non-violence in September : you can be part of it!

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International Youth Program on Nonviolence


Informational Memo No. 1

(6/ 6 /14)

International Youth Program on Nonviolence

September 4th – 22nd, 2014

Objectives of the International Youth Program

As part of ongoing work Ekta Parishad and International Initiatives are planning to conduct an international youth program on nonviolence in India in September 2014. The main objective is to review how nonviolence is used as a strategy for social change in different countries. Through a variety of learning situations including in-classroom presentations, field visits and a participation in an Indian youth camp, this youth program is an effort to explore how nonviolence also provides a lens with which to look at community and alternative development processes that are equitable and inclusive.

The second objective is exposure to Ekta Parishad’s community-based work. Much of the fieldwork carried out by Ekta Parishad in India, is focused on land and livelihood issues of marginalized populations, and supporting actions that enable local people to have greater control of people over land, forest and water. The third objective is to build fellowship among young people from many different countries (including the Indian associates), and International Initiatives hopes to build a continued mutual learning and support among the participants.

Welcome to India

India is the seventh largest country in the world and has a population of 1.2 billion. With eighteen regional languages and over two thousand different dialectics, the cultural diversity is rich. Ekta Parishad has concentrated work in six central and eastern Indian states (Madhya Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Uttar Pradesh Bihar, Jarkhand, and Orissa) and in two of the southern states that is, in Tamilnadu and Kerala.


Our Local Hosts

The International Youth Program on nonviolence is being hosted by CESCI Center  (Center for Educational, Social and Cultural Initiatives) in Madurai, Tamilnadu and MJVS (Manav Jeevan Vikas Samiti) in Katni, Madhya Pradesh, two NGO institutions that work in tandem with Ekta Parishad. These are two centers function to promote nonviolence in two different ways: the CESCI Center is an educational and training center on nonviolence; and the MJVS is a center for the promotion of community-based agriculture and food production. As part of  Ekta Parishad’s support institutions, both these institutions are engaged in supporting a landless people’s social formation that helps to empower grassroots communities. See www.cesci.in ; www.mjvs.org; www.ektaparishad.com.


Participation and Application Process

The International Youth Training Program can host between 30-35 young people in the September program. We are encouraging applicants from 15 countries to apply. To submit your application, each person must submit the online application found here: Online Application

This information is sent to the International Youth Program Secretariat by June 30, 2014 to cescimadurai@gmail.com .  Any queries, please feel free to contact me know at jillcarrharris@gmail.com.

The Secretariat will then provide each participant with a letter of invitation and an information package (Details will also be put on the International Initiatives website – www.internationalinitiative.org by the middle of June, 2014.)

You will apply as a tourist and get a single entry tourist visa to enter India. Each person is responsible for obtaining their visas and the processing costs.

All participants must sponsor or get sponsorship for their own international travel. The Secretariat of the International Youth Program can provide the following to each participant for the sixteen-day program:

-          Board and Lodging in the CESCI Center from September 3rd/September 4th to September 9. (Actual program begins on Friday, September 5th, morning.)

-          Train travel to Central India (September 9th – 10th)

-          Field Visit Travel & Board and Lodging for 5 nights (September 11th to 15th)

-          Participation in an Indian Youth Camp for 5 nights (September 16th to 20th)

-          Day Bus Tour to Bhopal (September 21st)

-          2 Night Stay in Bhopal city for debriefing (September 22nd)

This will include dormitory style lodging and boarding; and between September 11th and September 20th it will be a camping-like situation. Meals will be provided and all food will be vegetarian. (For those that need to supplement their diet, this will be a matter of one’s personal expenses. Through this experience one will see how the groups have built a collective nonviolent culture.

Each participant have to arrive at Madurai, in Tamilnadu India by Thursday, the 4th of September at the latest.

Schedule of International Youth Program

The sixteen-day program will be conducted in English with translation facility for Spanish and French participants.



Thursday, September 4th

Arrival in CESCI, Madurai, Tamilnadu

September 5th to 9th

Full Group Interaction at CESCI Center


September 10 & September 11

Travel by Train to Central India (full day and night)

Arrival at Field Visit Locations

September 12 – 15

Field Visits

September 16 – 20

Participating in an Indian Youth Camp training for grassroots communities, village visits and carrying out a social action

September 21

Bus tour through villages

Arrival in evening to Bhopal

September 22

Debriefing Day

September 23



Arrivals and Departures


All participants are to arrive at Madurai Airport (or Madurai train station) on or before the 4th of September 2014. Madurai is a southern city in the southern most state of Tamilnadu in India and is about an eight-hour train journey from Chennai (Madras), which is one of the main metropolitan centers in the south India. Most of the international airlines travel either to the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai (Bombay) or at New Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport. Fewer flights will fly directly to Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore) or Chennai Airport (formerly Madras International Airport). If one arrives in Mumbai or Delhi, it is better to take the onward domestic flights to Madurai as part of the overall ticket. For those coming to Bengaluru or Chennai, it is possible to take an onward bus or train to Madurai. Whichever way you plan to travel, it is necessary that you reach Madurai not later than the 4th of September.

All those arriving will be picked up from the airport or rail station by CESCI Center Welcome Group. The CESCI center is about 25 kilometers from the Madurai main center.


All participants will complete their workshop in the central Indian city of Bhopal. This means that people will transit back to the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai (Bombay) or at New Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport either by flight or train. (Local hosts can assist with the train bookings if required.) The final date of the workshop is September 22, 2014.

Locations, Meeting Venues & Rooms and Meals

The location from September 4th through September 9th will be the CESCI Center in Madurai. This is training center on nonviolence is a simple mud brick set of buildings set amidst gardens in a country-like atmosphere. In the campus there are twenty double occupancy rooms with an adjoining dining area. There is an Amphitheatre, library, and meeting halls. The food is vegetarian. There is minimal internet connectivity.  (CESCI Center will assist people to purchase Internet devices to allow easy and independent access.) The Center is about 25 kilometers from the main city and there are frequent buses and easy transport back and forth.

There is a draft program for September 5th to 9th. In sum it involves a day of getting to know each other, a day of programming focused on strategies and methods of nonviolent struggle and a day of programming on nonviolent agriculture and small-scale enterprises and intermittent games, village visit, meditation practice and cultural programs. A detailed program will be sent to all confirmed participants.

Tuesday September 9th evening through Thursday, September 11th morning, the group will experience Indian train travel from south India to the center of the country. Then there will be the formation of small groups of 4-5 that will go to various field locations. All locations will be in central or eastern India. These will be designed based on interest of participants and language spoken and provided to each participant in advance.

The Indian Youth Camp (September 16th to 20th) will be held in Mazgauma Center near Katni, Madhya Pradesh (virtually in the center of the country).

The Debriefing Day will be in Bhopal’s Gandhi Bhawan (Gandhi Center) on September 22nd.

This is the first information note. For further details please contact International Youth Program Secretariat at cescimadurai@gmail.com or jillcarrharris@gmail.com. The website will soon have the details at www.internationalinitiave.org.


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