From violent conflict survivors to justice reporters, their stories are empowering
“I felt like I was sharing my feelings with my sister, ” says Prabina (name changed), after being provided by GF partner, The Story Kitchen (TSK), with an opportunity to share painful conflict era experiences with a fellow survivor, one of 15 TSK ‘Justice Reporters’.
The Justice Reporters are survivors of violent conflict at the hands of both Maoist cadres and the State during the decade long conflict period between 1996-2006. As survivors, they were purposely chosen to work as a team and to inspire other similar survivors. The initiative focuses on not just training them in the art of storytelling, but it has also turned out to become an empowering process for these women personally through the various platforms and training provided by TSK.
“Many people have come to me before to talk about my story. I have told my stories to many lawyers as well but I had never felt so relieved after sharing my story as I do now.” The peer-to-peer leadership process guided by TSK Justice Reporters achieves important results on many levels in its target districts (Jumla, Kalikot, Surkhet, Banke and Kanchanpur).
The TSK reports progress towards healing, increased confidence, emerging leadership, and a critical mass of over 400 women’s ‘herstories’ as of April 2017. What is less clear – given the political environment – are the potential pathways that will be able to harness this evidence in ways that avoid further harm and satisfies victim demands, including recognition of truth, reparations, and prosecutions. The GF is working with the TSK and other partners to ensure that risks are carefully discussed and managed and that all opportunities are explored to uphold the right of victims to a remedy.