Asia West Pacific 

Interfaith Youth Training at Peace Place in Pati

by Petrus, National Indonesia Coordinator 

Fourteen students from the National Islamic University (UIN) in Yogyakarta; the Legal Study Forum (FKHM) of UIN in Semarang; Mathali’ul Falah Islamic Institute for Teacher Education (IPMAFA) in Kajen; and the Student Association Grobogan (IPMG) in Pati joined a short AVP workshop for Interfaith Youth at Place Peace Pati, May 18-19 2019.

Some of the participants’ reflections and testimonials were:

Agung Pranoto is an administrator of the Islamic Student Association (HMI) of UIN Yogyakarta and Manager of Wathoniyah Islamiyah Islamic Boarding School Alumni Association (IKAPMAWI).

Agung Pranoto is an administrator of the Islamic Student Association (HMI) of UIN Yogyakarta and Manager of Wathoniyah Islamiyah Islamic Boarding School Alumni Association (IKAPMAWI).

Currently he studies in the Department of Religion Studies at UIN Yogyakarta. Agung is active in developing activities to strengthen interfaith fellowship. From his experience, conflicts of religious ideas, radicalism and the increasingly individualized lifestyle of the people become major obstacles in carrying out a peaceful life. Diversity is a real thing, so he is concerned with how in daily life we can learn to respect each other. Because of this experience, Agung was interested in participating in training in building a peaceful life at Peace Place. He said: “Before attending this AVP training, I thought this training would be monotonous, like other trainings I’ve attended. At first, I felt awkward and a little shocked, because the participants were so few, in a kindergarten school building and starting with silence. After the activities took place, however, I began to be interested and really enjoyed it. The activities are packaged so simply but contain such deep meaning. Every activity seems to lead me to be active and to bring the good potential out from within myself and others.

“The materials are always laced with refreshing examples of images from everyday life. All the materials are very interesting. One activity I remember the most, which has become a guideline for running our organization, is the Roadmap, namely Friendship, Affirmation, Communication, Cooperation, and Conflict Resolution. I reflect these five steps from the Road Map into the organizational context and into the many dynamics I face. I think this can help us solve many problems in our organization. One of our biggest problems in organizing is the second step: we are unable to practice affirmation. Because of this, the organization cannot be resolved many problems properly, such as conflicts among members or the formation of gaps in organizations.
“The Road Map reminds us that getting to know each other is the basis for building friendship, which gives rise to affirming ourselves and others and priority to thinking about our goodness so that we can establish good communication. This makes it easier for us to work together to run work programs and to resolve our existing problems. After I joined this AVP training, I felt that my life was more organized. I am calmer in facing problems. The training embedded in me an expectation that I should be able to bring about things that are beneficial for myself and others.”

Ulya Hariroh, Institute of Mathali’ul Falah Islamic Boarding School (IPMAFA) in Kajen Pati, Central Java, Indonesia

Ulya Hariroh, Institute of Mathali’ul Falah Islamic Boarding School (IPMAFA) in Kajen Pati, Central Java, Indonesia said:
“Nonviolently Living (AVP) has taught me to remember the blessings of God’s gifts about the diversity He created. I learned to improve and reorganize what I have done and what I will do to make it better.

“Besides that, AVP also provides an understanding of how we can address problems without creating other problems. By realizing that every individual is capable and has the potential to solve the problem in a better way, namely peacefully. I also felt myself receiving and appreciating every difference in this training, because we were faced with people from different religions, cultures, mindsets and backgrounds. These differences fostered a sense of appreciation for our differences.

“This training is very interesting because it is packed with games and not boring. The material is always associated with experiences which are experienced by the participants themselves so that it feels real and memorable. Here I also learned to be a good listener, even though it’s not easy, but it’s very important for me to be able to appreciate the trust of others in me.

“The training on May 18-19 2019 is the second training for me, and what I always bring home is readiness, positive energy and new enthusiasm to organize the things that I think are hard for me to live out. I am very grateful to have participated in this training and to know great people who inspire me to live a life of commitment.

“Thank you to Petrus, Nanik, Ninok and Peng as teachers, friends and facilitators who helped me get this new knowledge, and to their friends who shared this knowledge with us and support us. Hopefully what we get is a chance to be our best human being, both in the world and in eternity. Amen.”

Jayanto, Student Legal Study Forum (FKHM) UIN in Semarang, from Rembang Regency, Central Java, Indonesia

Jayanto, Student Legal Study Forum (FKHM) UIN in Semarang, from Rembang Regency, Central Java, Indonesia, said:

“I have been so happy to take part in this activity, last year and when the opportunity came around again, I said, ‘Thank God very much!’ The activity is the same, but every part of it takes practices. It starts with silence and closes with a rain game. During the training, I felt that there was peace present, just like the name of the place, Peace Place (Rumah Damai), the house without conflict, the house without the hustle and bustle of conflicting opinions or weapons, let alone news hoaxes.

“Beginning on a blessed Friday that feels warm at night, Rumah Damai gave me a lot of learning about life sciences. All problems and conflicts always have a solution if we want to think a little and respect other more. Life is beautiful with the peace among fellow humans; indeed, we are all different, but the thing we always want and dream of is PEACE and peace already exists!

“Rumah Damai in Pati is my inspiration. When I was tired of the scuffling of the legal procedures on the Semarang Campus and the stress of the task of learning, just remembering the training at Rumah Damai in Pati provides relief and alternative ways to deal with all the pressures. Rumah Damai provides a peaceful place, where participants and organizers from different backgrounds can meet and share life experiences to strengthen and increasingly understand the meaning of diversity. Diversity is not something that keeps us from being united and smiling together. Our longing is longing for Rumah Damai everywhere.”