Volunteering for peace - HRD Programme: 2012/13 Report
ABOUT THE PROGRAMME FOR HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT IN ASIA FOR PEACEBUILDING
Peacebuilding is about resolving violent conflict and establishing lasting peace. It involves restoring justice, healing trauma, reconciliation, development and leadership. With violent conflict never far from the headlines, a central part of the Government of Japan’s strategy to help foster lasting peace worldwide is the Programme for Human Resource Development in Asia for Peacebuilding (HRD Programme).
Funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Programme aims to demonstrate the role of volunteering in peacebuilding and peacekeeping activities by fielding skilled, trained and committed citizens from Japan and other Asian countries. Volunteers deployed under the Programme bring new skills that expand the reach of peacebuilding efforts.
‘When the international community assists vulnerable post-conflict nations in consolidating peace, the activities of civilian experts supporting coherent and comprehensive nation-building are indispensable. Th e HRD Programme aims to nurture the civilian experts needed to build peace and contribute to peace and stability in the international community.’ - Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Japan
Working alongside national counterparts, HRD Volunteers contribute their skills and experience to projects that range from humanitarian coordination within emergencies and protracted displacement situations to crisis prevention and post-conflict recovery efforts. There are also a number of assignments that support and strengthen the delivery of basic services with a view to stabilizing local governance and civil society in the long term. Social inclusion plays a vital role in all aspects of the volunteer assignments, with youth, women and marginalized groups proactively included in peace and development initiatives at the community level.
In accordance with the UN V Programme Strategy, Th e HRD Programme focuses on harnessing volunteerism as a strategic asset and a powerful contributor to peace and development. Volunteerism benefits society at large and the individual volunteer by strengthening solidarity and reciprocity among citizens. It can transform the pace and nature of development and peace initiatives.
Promoting volunteerism is a key aspect of the sustainable contribution that HRD Volunteers make under the Programme. The chance to volunteer is a chance to move from being a passive recipient to becoming engaged in peace, reconciliation and development processes.
Interventions that genuinely involve beneficiaries – especially those on the margins of society – are known to have a more lasting impact. HRD Volunteers are encouraged to promote volunteerism and community engagement, and often they become role models and inspire the people they work with.