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Nimesh Ghimire ’15 Receives Davis Project for Peace Award to Strengthen Efforts in Nepal

From Swarthmore College News and Events.  See the original story at http://www.swarthmore.edu/news-and-events/nimesh-ghimire-15-receives-davis-project-for-peace-award.xml
by Erin Kelly
April 12, 2013
Peace Innovation Lab
The Peace Innovation Lab in Sahilitar, a rural village in western Nepal.

Nimesh Ghimire ’15 is the recipient of a Davis Project for Peace Award that will allow him to direct, establish, and strengthen the recently launchedPeace Innovation Lab (PIL) at Shree Gyanodaya Higher Secondary School in Sahilitar, a rural village in western Nepal. The project also includes a weeklong Peace Innovation Camp.

The award will help build on the Peace Innovation Lab model and take it to its next level, according to Ghimire.

“The Peace Innovation Lab is a creative space for young people in rural communities to come together to design, prototype, and implement interesting projects that contribute to local peace-building and grassroots innovation efforts,” says Ghimire, who is collaborating with Mahabir Pun, winner of the Ramon Magasaysay Award (commonly called the Asian Nobel Prize), to set up a wireless internet network needed to establish the peace-building projects.

According to Ghimire, the PIL will strive to encourage continued participation in Nepali peace-building affairs and assist with the rebuilding of Nepal’s public education system. One of the outcomes of the weeklong Peace Innovation Camp is that the students will come up with at least five projects for implementation in their local village over the following months.

“During the decade-long civil war, a lot of young students in rural Nepali communities were directly involved,” Ghimere says. “After the active war ended in 2006, these young students have very little or no involvement in the peace building process. PIL’s vision is to engage young people into the peace building process and leverage their creative insight into solving local (peace building) challenges.”

Ghimire adds that a complicating factor is Nepal’s “broken” public education system. “There is too much focus on rote learning and not much emphasis on innovation, creativity, entrepreneurship and impact,” he says. “PIL’s vision is to promote itself as an innovation hub, integrated into the local public school, allowing young students to use the space as a place to create, tinker, explore, and connect.”

The Davis Projects for Peace awards more than $1.2 million in $10,000 grants to students who submit proposals for 2013 summer projects. The grant is named for philanthropist Kathryn W. Davis and funds projects that address conflict resolution and reconciliation, foster understanding, provide opportunity, and build community.

“This project will allow us to connect this rural corner of Nepal and the students to the global village,” Ghimiere says, “make different online resources available to the entire village as well as introduce a couple of revenue models – an internet cafe and a basic telemedicine hub – to generate some money for the Lab’s resource requirements. I want to help people launch some initiatives that will bring new energy and ideas to the prospects of peace in the world.”

The project is further supported with seed funding from Global Changemakers, a program managed by the British Council.

Nimesh Ghimire ‘15 Awarded Davis Project for Peace Grant to Establish ‘Peace Innovation Camp’ in Nepal

Congratulations to Nimesh Ghimire ‘15 for winning a Davis Project for Peace Award.  Here is the organization’s press release:

106-year-old philanthropist renews Projects for Peace grants for college students

 Swarthmore College Student Project to Provide a Wireless Internet Network and Runs a Week long ‘Peace Innovation Camp’ in Rural Nepal

 MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – College students across the country are once again being challenged to design and undertake “Projects for Peace” around the world, thanks to philanthropist Kathryn W. Davis. Now 106 years “young” Davis launched Projects for Peace on the occasion of her 100th birthday in 2007 and has renewed her commitment every year since. In 2013, over $1.20 million will be awarded in $10,000 grants to students submitting the winning proposals for projects to be completed over the summer of 2013.

Davis is eager for motivated young people to come up with effective building blocks for peace-building in the world, and she is providing the money to make their plans a reality. Projects that address conflict resolution and reconciliation, foster understanding, provide opportunity, and build community are among the many successful endeavors to date.

Undergraduates at 90 partner schools of the Davis United World College Scholars Program (see www.davisuwcscholars.org), as well as those at International Houses Worldwide, Future Generations, the Graduate Institute in Geneva, and the University of Maine are invited annually to submit plans for Projects for Peace. Winning proposals selected from competitions at all these campuses are funded through Davis’ generosity.

“Competition is keen and we congratulate the students whose projects have been selected for funding in 2013,” said Philip O. Geier, executive director of the Davis United World College Scholars Program, which administers Projects for Peace. “Kathryn Davis feels a great urgency about advancing the cause of peace in the world, and she is investing in motivated youth and their ideas in order to accelerate efforts for peace in the 21st century.”

nimeshSwarthmore College student, Nimesh Ghimire ‘15 proposes to use the Davis Projects for Peace grant to direct and establish a wireless internet network and run a week long ‘Peace Innovation Camp’ at Shree Gyanodaya Higher Secondary School in Sahilitar, a rural village of Lamjung district in western Nepal. The wireless network project will introduce a new world of technology to the village and the Peace Innovation Camp will allow the students with the creative freedom to design new, interesting projects to solve local peace-building challenges in their local communities. Both programs of the project will also strengthen the recently started Peace Innovation Lab (www.tinyurl.com/peaceinnovationlab) – Nepal’s first local peace innovation hub, located at the proposed school – as a resource hub to create, promote and sustain inclusive peace building efforts in Sahilitar village in Lamjung district. The project will start at the beginning of June and conclude in August, 2013.

“I want to use my birthday to once again help young people launch some initiatives that will bring new energy and ideas to the prospects of peace in the world,” said Davis. “My many years have taught me that there will always be conflict. It’s part of human nature. But love, kindness and support are also part of human nature, and my challenge to these young people is to bring about a mindset of preparing for peace instead of preparing for war.”

For more information on Projects for Peace, see www.davisprojectsforpeace.org.