GCJ Kashmir 2018
Global Citizen Journey returns to India with ambitious and adventurous plans to visit one of the most beautiful, diverse and contested areas of India. Little is known about Kashmir in the west that hasn’t been sensationalized or biased by the Western slant fed to the media by the Indian government.
We are planning a 2.5 week journey for Fall 2018, with most of those days in Kashmir (Oct 1-12) after a short visit in Delhi (Sept 26-Oct 1). Program fees (ext. $3150 plus airfare) cover all ground costs, lodging and food, including a contribution for the service project plus subsidies for the Indian and Kashmiri delegates as well as administrative costs. (Fundraising materials are available so don’t let cost be a barrier! Many delegates have raised significant portions of the fees: GCJ is a certified 501(c)3 .)
We will accept 12 delegation members from the west (North America and Europe) to join 12 from our host country. Our delegates will include a number of Kashmiri delegates from Jammu and Ladakh in Kashmir as well as India. Our goal is to have individuals from different religious, political, and ethnic groups.
We will spend most of our time in the beautiful city of Srinagar in Kashmir where we will learn about what is really happening from the people who live, work, and interact with their neighbors on the ground. We’ll spend a few days retreat in the great mountains near Pahalgam. Our local sponsor ELFA International (Education and Livelihood for All) will connect us with local Kashmiri leaders, nonprofits, and organizations so that we can learn, explore, and listen together. Our goal is to foster dialogue and relationship building and find bases of unity, a common purpose, and a creative process as well as a project that will be meaningful to the Kashmiri people.
We come as a delegation with courage, hope, and humility as our assets. We will work with ELFA to create and design an ongoing project that welcomes all diversity, all ideas, and all walks of life into a harmonious celebration of life.
We will bring with us the skills and teachings of Compassionate Listening and will host a Town Hall meeting with the larger community utilizing World Café and Open Space dialogue processes.
To find out more about this delegation and GCJ trip to Kashmir, India in October of 2018 please contact Susan Partnow and Irene Michon, trip coordinators. You can connect with us on Facebook or by email: Susan Partnow firstname.lastname@example.org and Irene Michon email@example.com. You can also sign up for our mailing list and we will keep you informed of every step along the way: costs, trip insurance, visas, medical requirements, and other necessary considerations for a trip to this part of the world.
As you can see, this is not a tourist trip. This is an opportunity to discover a part of India not often accessible to Westerners and to contribute and bear witness as a global citizen. It is an opportunity to learn from others whose circumstances are very different from ours and learn invaluable lessons about you. It will be challenging and comforting and will change the way you see yourself in the world for a long time to come.
Host Partner: ELFA International
ELFA international is an independent and impartial aid, education, and development organization working in situations of poverty and exclusion, conflict, and disaster to respond to the essential needs of youth, women, children and other vulnerable groups. ELFA international is a not-for-profit organization with no religious or political affiliation.
Chief Executive, Mehran Khan, has worked with many international organizations including Mercy Corps, Childline India, and Handicap International. Mehran has implemented projects on economic development, youth leadership, juvenile justice, disability rights, conventional weapons risk reduction (CWRR) and has worked with donors such as USAID.
Our project coordinator for the Kashmir Delegation, Rabia Yousuf, works for ELFA as Assistant Program Officer. She has a Master’s degree in International Relations and was previously engaged in projects related to emergency response during floods as well as the political and economic status of Kashmir.