- Where – Pakistan (Asia)
- Website – www.opdpeace.org
- Contact Person – Jahangir Piara
- Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
- Address – 15-A, Abubakar Street, Glaxo Town, Ferozepur Road, Lahore, 54760, Pakistan
Areas of Expertise
The Organization for Peace and Development has expertise in a range of areas, including:
Main Aims and Objectives
Organization for Peace and Development’s main objectives are to:
- To raise awareness about poverty and disease amongst the poorest families, indigenous groups and marginalized communities;
- To establish informal and formal education and vocational centres, and information technology institutions, among the poorest families, indigenous groups and marginalized communities;
- To provide mother and child health care facilities to the poorest families, indigenous groups and marginalized communities;
- To organize support the empowerment and enhancement of women’s rights in marginalized areas, particularly slums;
- To raise awareness about peace and harmony amongst youth, women and marginalized communities;
- To provide information and trainings about drug abuse among students, youth and parents;
- To rise awareness about HIV/AIDS and reproductive health;
- To provide awareness and information for human rights education and support to the victims of human rights violations;
Upholding the Principles of Conflict Transformation
Compassion, social justice and participation can only be achieved with the absence of violence. This concept of peace is inspired by OPD’s vision for humanity – a world in which swords are turned into ploughshares, where the poor and oppressed secure justice.
OPD is working to raise awareness about – and to develop, demonstrate and disseminate innovative programs in – the culture of peace, harmony, social justice and development, primarily by providing information and resources to ensure that marginalized, vulnerable and needy people can become more self-reliant.
Where and with Whom?
Pakistani culture and society, especially OPD’s main target groups, faces various cultural taboos and social restraints. According to an informal study in the proposed target districts, there exists a high ratio of discrimination, especially blasphemy, prejudice and injustice towards minorities minorities.
People are often emotional about their respective faiths, and social issues are highlighted as religious issues to create tensions between sects and religions. This scenario has been repeated since the country’s inception, creating social and religious frustration among people of different faiths. Promoting dialogue on peace and socio-religious harmony among religious leaders and communities is therefore necessary to overcome religious bias.
It has also been observed that religious leaders and media are opinion makers in society. Once they better understand their role in bringing peace and harmony to communities, so they can become role models and catalysts in this regard.
Main activities in the field of conflict transformation
a) Peace Education and Interfaith Harmony
OPD runs peace education programmes in a variety of schools in selected target areas, including Qurban and Surayya School and College (Trust), J. D. Public High School, Basharat-e-Ibn-Marriam School, St. Dominic Girls High School, Friends Public School, and Education Centre Dar-ul- Hikmat. OPD is also working to bridge the gap between all faiths and sects by organizing interfaith harmony seminars and workshops. OPD condemns all activities and protests against any particular religion and creed, and works in collaboration to promote interfaith harmony and to raise awareness about discriminatory attitudes.
b) Women Rights and Health Awareness
Gender bias exists in all societies, but the situation is particularly disturbing in the South Asian region, in general, and Pakistan, in particular. Poverty, ignorance and tradition have combined to relegate women to position of often extreme subordination. Pakistan is primarily an adult male-oriented society that has long tolerated customs like purdah, dowry, child marriage, girl infanticide and other practices that encourage gender discrimination. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) found that women are raped every two hours, and that hundreds are victims of ‘Honour’ killings, domestic violence and murder. When women do actually pursue legal remedies against domestic violence, the police and judiciary dismiss their complaints and send them back to their abusive husbands. Women from religious minorities and bonded labourers are particularly vulnerable to violence in the community and at home.According to Pakistan’s Demographic Housing Survey (PDHS), when girls enter adolescence, their increased nutritional needs are not met and there is a deterioration in their nutritional status; and as a result, the normal spurt of growth around puberty does not occur. This is probably the period when custom and culture, combined with poverty and ignorance, causes poor nutrition among girls.
Adolescent girls are the worst victims of the discriminatory attitude of the society. Girls are a risk to a family’s honour in a society in which female chastity has a high social value. As soon as a girl reaches puberty, parental fears about her security, chastity, impending marriage and the accompanying expenses of dowry become real and immediate. Her increased nutritional needs are ignored and restrictions are imposed upon her mobility and education. She ceases to be a child and is viewed more as a liability and a moral responsibility, not worthy of investment.
c) Education Program
OPD focuses upon formal and technical education for orphans and needy children; believing that education is a basic right for every human being. OPD supports them financially, allowing them to provide for books and stationary, uniforms, shoes, fees and food, if necessary; whilst also taking care of their health by providing twice annual check-ups. OPD is looking to establish a Skill Centre that would empower young people to earn and lead a prosperous life, plus a computer centre where young people can acquire IT skills.
d) Share the Joy Program
Minorities of Pakistan are underprivileged due to a lack of resource and education. They live in all parts of the country. They do not have good jobs due to illiteracy; therefore, they are facing constant financial crises. A majority involve their children from an early age to support their parents in securing the necessities of life. As such, most children do not enjoy there childhood, but are instead compelled to work with their parents to meet the daily needs of life. Life is becoming harder and harder in Pakistan for everyone, in general, and specifically for labourers and daily wagers. The price of foodstuffs and commodities are rising, with daily wages insufficient to meet the necessities of life. To promote a healthy and peaceful environment, OPD supports and strengthens the underprivileged.
Share the Joy Program is developed for Christian, Hindu and Muslim communities within OPD’s target areas, and is designed to support those children and families who lack resources and don’t have the opportunity to receive either formal or informal education. OPD encourages those students which are getting education against the will of their families, and motivates parents through school activities like parents day and other social gatherings.
OPD works to raise awareness about environmental issues; to encourage young people to come forward and help save the environment. OPD works to promote a safe and healthy environment through:
- Planting trees
- Raising awareness (seminars and workshop);
- Consultation meetings with media;
- Opposing the installation of industries in residential areas;
- Awareness sessions with school teachers and community stakeholders;
- Discouraging deforestation.