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.
We are on a planned a 2.5-week journey 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) covered 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.
We have accepted 10 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 from other parts of 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 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.
As you can see, this is not a tourist trip. This is an opportunity for us 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. It will be challenging and comforting and will change the way we see ourselves 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 and conventional weapons risk reduction (CWRR) and has also 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.