Peace Caravan and Kadam Pa Kadam (KPK, Step by Step) radio program
In regions of Pakistan overrun by violent extremism, EAI brought peace through theater and radio dramas exploring alternatives to conflict. Step By Step (Kadam Pa Kadam) used fictional narratives centered on young women to spark real dialogue.
A Project of —
It is easy to dream, but it is not easy to struggle for peace…”
– KPK listener, Touqueer, Pakistan
The Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) regions of Pakistan are the most dangerous in the country. Many women and girls are treated as second-class citizens, often unable to go to school or participate in decision-making. With support from the Public Affairs Section (PAS) of the U.S. consulate in Peshawar, through the Step By Step program (Kadam Pa Kadam), EAI brought music, theater, radio, sports, and public dialogue to the region with the goal of teaching peace and equal rights through community and art. With radio being the easiest way to reach Pakistani audiences, in 2013 and 2014, EAI embarked on a program of education, making use of radio broadcasts to spread knowledge on women’s rights and peacebuilding to areas threatened by violent extremists (VE). In addition, the Peace Caravan component of the project brought theater and musical performance to villages throughout the FATA and KP regions of Pakistan.
According to the PCNA, the path to countering extremism in FATA and KP begins with sharing values through education and encouraging citizens to hold alternative viewpoints. Throughout the implementation of Step By Step and Peace Caravan, EAI advocated this approach, empowering Pakistan’s under-resourced citizens with dignity and respect by producing radio programs that modeled egalitarian and community-focused alternatives to extremist propaganda, and conducting mobile theater performances, using the arts to teach peace.
EAI’s well-established shows, which included over 1,000 broadcast episodes regularly reached FATA’s and KP’s underserved listeners. Since the beginning of the project, Step By Step provided a vehicle for civic education and community awareness in the most marginalized parts of FATA and KP. The project supported listeners to respond to extremist ideologies, while fostering non-violent approaches to conflict resolution. The project became an ideal platform to promote peace and girls’ education in the FATA and KP areas.
Mobile Arts: A total of 40 mobile theater performances were successfully staged throughout FATA and KP with the objectives of promoting peace and encouraging behavior change regarding women’s right to education and support women as positive role models in society.
Radio Programming: Radio dramas and arts programs engaged audiences throughout FATA and KP. Trainings were conducted for Community Reporters (20 females and 20 males) to provide reports for the radio shows. Radio staff interviewed nearly 3,000 featured guests and experts representing the Government of Pakistan, NGOs, women’s groups, and professional associations.
Listening Clubs: Using the Step By Step radio program (KPK) as a basis for the Listening Clubs to come together, these clubs provided an opportunity for knowledge sharing of key themes and messages discussed in each episode, providing practical approaches that fit with the realities of the members’ lives.
Hujra: EAI’s local team implemented 20 Hujra Gatherings at different community centers in more than 20 villages across FATA and KP, with the main objective of promoting dialogue on peace, mobilizing communities, and developing consensus to seek non-violent solutions to conflicts, based on the tradition of Hujra.
Peace Concerts: The EAI team held 20 Peace Music Concerts in more than 20 villages throughout FATA and KP with the main objective of promoting peace and social harmony in local communities through traditional Pukhtoon folk music.
Sports: EAI organized 20 sports competitions in more than 20 villages of FATA and KP, creating educational and recreational opportunities for Pakistani youth.
NGO Trainings: Three grassroots organizations received training from EAI for coordinating the “Peace Caravan” activities, including mobile theater performances, sports competitions, music concerts, and Hujra Gatherings.
"We love your program very much, especially my mother does. We are both regular listeners. When we listen, we dream of what it can be like in Pakistan."
Impact & Reach of this Project
Attendees at Peace Concerts
Youth attended 40 mobile theater performances in more than 20 different villages
Peshawar community members agreed the best way to stop violent extremism is through dialogue in the family and community.
One of the most important aspects of the project was the radio program, Step By Step, which was broadcast via Radio Pakistan Peshawar, reaching around 3 million listeners in FATA, KP, and Afghanistan.
One remarkable achievement of our EAI local team is the commitment and courage they had for organizing and implementing a mobile theater performance targeting only female participants in the Bajaur Agency, one of the most insecure areas in the country, which frequently faces militant attacks.
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