YIPC’s Experience in UNRTP International 2019
Hi, I am Jenny from Young Interfaith Peacemaker Community (YIPC) Indonesia. I am so grateful for having the chance to join the meeting of the United Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers (UNRTP) 2019 as representative of United Network of Young Peace-builders (UNOY). One day before attending the meeting of UNRTP, we were also invited to the reception ceremony of the international day of tolerance that arranged by the Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman to the Republic of Indonesia with the other participants.
The conference that arranged by the Sultanate Oman was starting first on Saturday, November 16th then followed by the meeting of UNRTP in the following days, started from Sunday to Monday, November 17-18th 2019 in Jakarta. It was such an awesome experience for me having this opportunity to engage with new important people and groups which passionate for peace in various parts of the world. The agenda and the topic we discuss in this meeting give me new perspectives, understanding, and reflection toward peace and how to maintain it.
As we know that one strategy to build and maintain peace that this networking really concern is about doing interfaith dialogue and the involvement of the traditional peacemaker, religious leader, and the local influencer in society. Once, a representative from the UN said that Inter-faith dialogue will be powerless and no impact while there is no compassion, care, and interested to know each other among the participants of the dialogue. And I do agree with that statement. The dialogue will not work to open opportunity for us to know, to accept, to advocate and enrich each other, if there is no compassion, care, and interested of others.
I just asked my-self then, can I see the others in my surroundings who I don’t know their name or their social identity background as my neighbors and have interested, care, also compassion to them? Well, starting from now, it’s a must now. Related to the message of “A Common Word between Us and You” that we need to love God, love our neighbors, love the good and implement those principles in our daily life. This kind paradigm, I believe will bring us to the higher stage of contribution to peace and society, in policy or governmental level for instance. However compassion and care are the seeds which everyone who involve must have.
Alright, let’s back again to the experiences where I met new peace actors who really humble, passionate, and commit for peace in this meeting. We talked and shared each other about our concern, strategy, and challenges of our efforts for different concerns of social issues. Some of them are working for interfaith-based peace, gender equality, well-being human, ecology, and so forth. Not only youth-based organization, I also had chance to talk to those who still excited working for peace in their more mature age. Such an awesome heart! For instance, I met Karimah K. Stauch from United Religions Initiative (URI) from Deutschland which focus on peace, justice, and healing for grassroots interfaith and inter-cultural network of society. I had opportunity to talk about how is the situation of the social problem according to their specific concern in their regional, how is the youth involvement, and the support from the government toward their effort. Hearing their experiences, I realized that the kind of challenges they are facing also similar with us and they choose to keep commitment and working.
And then, I also met Loreta Castro who works in Mirriam Center for Peace Education in Philippines. We have so many similarities about utilizing the peace values to educate others about peace. While I was sharing YIPC’s module of interfaith dialogue such as “Scriptural Reasoning” that we adopt from Cambridge Interfaith Program, she was very excited about it and will bring it to her organization. We know that Philippines and Indonesia have similarities about our religious issues where the relationship of Muslim and Christians are facing so many challenges. Having religious-based peace education and interfaith dialogue program provide us more effective approach to build, reconcile, and maintain peace among the religious society in these both countries. We are very happy about that.
Of course, there are other lists of very insightful peace groups that I met and talked, and hopefully will keep in touch with them since we already shared our contacts and organization card of each other. Again, thank you so much UNOY and Mridul as our Asian Coordinator to give me this precious chance. Hope the connection with the United Network of Religious and Traditional Peacemakers (UNRTP) will offer more impactful collaboration, not only for the groups that part of this networking, but also to the society and peace.
Peace is upon us!
Jenny Erfina Saragih,
Member of YIPC Indonesia as part of UNOY’s Asian Regional!