ICF Alumni Conducted activities supported by ICF’s Small Grants program

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Last Updated (Wednesday, 07 October 2020 18:16)

↑ Zoom participants of the Online Activity on Understanding Cultural and Religion

The ICF alumni conducted activities supported by ICF’s small grants program in September. They are from the Philippines, Nepal, Myanmar, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. On September 16-17, 2020, Tirmizy Abdullah, SoP 2010, conducted a two-day activity called Mindanao Peace Youth Formation: Empowering Youth as Catalyst of Building Peace in the main campus of Mindanao State University in Marawi City, Philippines. Twenty-seven young people participated in the said activity. The Marawi City siege has affected these young people. The activity provided a safe space and venue to the young people where they could freely express their fears, hopes, aspirations, and experiences, especially during the Marawi siege.

↑  Participants of the Mindanao Peace Formation in Marawi Philippines

On September 22-24, 2020, Nepal Unites led by an ICF alumnus Mohammad Ayatullah Rahaman, SoP 2017, conducted a workshop on Gender and Nonviolent Communication (NVC) in Old-Baneshwor, Kathmandu, Nepal. Twenty participants joined the activity: nine females and eleven males. Among them, two are Christians; one is a Muslim, fifteen are Hindus and two free thinkers. Kaushila Sunuwar, SoP 2019 alumna, Sumitra Sunuwar, and Rajan Bhandari both participants of the online thematic workshops conducted on September 7-18 helped Mohammad in organizing the activity. The three had the opportunity to share with the workshop participants their learnings and experience during the online workshop. Nepal Unites invited Mr. Mani Ram Kandel, a certified International Trainer of Center for Nonviolent Communication (CNVC) to facilitate the workshop on Nonviolent Communication. They also invited Mr. Yadav Kumar Bhattarai, a film director in Nepal to share his works and experiences working on his advocacy on gender thru films. The workshop ended successfully and participants shared that they want more days so that they can learn more on the topics given.

↑ Participants and organizer of the Workshop on Gender and Nonviolent Communication in Nepal ↑ Participants and resource persons of the Interfaith Dialogue activity in Bangladesh with Ringku, ICF alumnus second from left in the front

The third activity that received ICF’s small grant support was on Religious, Cultural Understanding, and Peacebuilding for Youth. Saw Tun Lu, SoP 2019 alumni, organized this activity online in Myanmar on September 24, 25, 28, 29, and 30, 2020. Sixty-eight young people participated in the online activity. Thirty-one of them are males and thirty-seven are females. Among the participants, twenty-three are Buddhists, thirty-three are Christians, eleven are Muslims, and one is Hindu. The participants were from Yangon, Region, Bago Region, Ayeyarwaddy Region, Kachin State, Mon State, and Kayah State. The original plan was to conduct a face-to-face activity on t September 14-18, 2020. However, due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Myanmar, the organizer switched to online activity. The topics included were understanding the religions of Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, Hindu, and Baha’i. Saw Tun Lu also included among the topics Nonviolent Communication.

On September 25-27, 2020, Rinku Mankhin, SoP 2019 alumni, organized the fourth activity on Interfaith Dialogue with the young people of Birisiri and Durgapur in Bangladesh. . Thirty young people participants joined the activity; fourteen of who are males, 16 females. Among the participants, nineteen are Christians, seven are Muslims, and four are Hindus. Rinku Mankhin worked with his team called “Challenge COVID19 group.” On the first day of the activity, there was a dialogue between the three different religions, namely: Christian, Hindu, and Muslim. They invited resource persons for this activity. Ms. Luida Ruma Sangma, General Secretary of Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) spoke on the Christian tradition, Emran Hassan Shimul, an artist and researcher spoke on the Islam religious tradition, and Asananda Shil, a teacher, spoke about Hinduism. The second day, the participants went for an exposure visit to different villages of Durgapur District where they also distributed food items to 150 needy families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the recent flood in Bangladesh.

The fifth activity was on The Usage of Social Media to Promote Peace held on September 26-27, 2020 in Legazpi, Albay. Ain Art Atos, an ICF alumnus and active youth member of YMCA Albay organized the activity. Nineteen participants joined the activity. Six of them are males, and thirteen are females. The participants are all Christians.

↑ Workshop participants on the Usage of Social Media to Promote Peace pose with the organizer and resource persons, Albay, Philippines ↑ Workshop participants with Stella second from right during the NVC Workshop in Sri Lanka

Meantime, Stella Shapnika Jayakaran, SoP 2019 alumna, conducted two activities within September 19, 26, and 27, 2020 in Batticaloa, Sri Lanka. The first activity focused on Peacebuilding and Nonviolent Communication. The YMCA Batticaloa assisted her in organizing the activity. Nine participants joined the NVC workshop: five are females and four are males, and among them, seven are Hindus, one is a Muslim and one is a Christian. The second activity during the inclusive dates was the Youth Exchange Program as part of the peacebuilding activity of the YMCA. Twelve participants joined this activity, five of them are females, and seven are males.

The activities organized by the ICF alumni and supported by ICF’s small grant program went successfully and well despite facing the COVID-19 pandemic and problem of weak internet connection.

~Baidido Saganding, ICF Program Officer