Young Ambassadors of Peace in Asia training begins

By Matters India Reporter

Chiang Mai, October 15, 2018: The third annual training of peace activists was opened on October 15 during an interfaith service at the headquarters of the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA).

As many as 27 young people sponsored by CCA member churches and councils as well as representatives of Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim organizations in Asia are attending the Young Ambassadors of Peace in Asia (YAPA) program.

The week long program focuses on the theme ‘Peace with Justice and Human Security.’

“The concept of security envisioned needs to be understood properly as the notion of security has been interpreted often in political contexts, and linked only to national security or war and military defense. Such an approach will not be taking into consideration the importance of human security and the right of the poor to live in dignity, safety and with access to justice,” said CCA general secretary Reverend Mathews George Chunakara.

He spoke during a thematic address at the beginning of the program on “Peace with Justice and Human Security: Interfaith Perspectives.”

The general secretary further added that “peace and security can only be attained and sustained in a society where people in a community truly care for one another with mutual recognition and tolerance on the basis of love and care for others; there will not be peace without justice, and there will also not be peace without security”.

Various thematic presentations at the YAPA explore the ways to empower civil society in its quest for social development, economic security, human rights, food security, environmental security, community security and political security.

Resource persons facilitating different sessions of this year’s YAPA training include Brigadier P. M. Mathew, Defence Analyst and Retired Brigadier of the Indian Army; Dr. Mundackal Paulose Mathai, Professor of Gandhian Thought and activist of the Non-Violence Movement and Chunakara.

Others are Dr. Sudarat Jun Tunivivat, Srinakharinwirot University, Thailand; Fiona Barnaby, Khun Kraisorn Thewprasert and Kanyarad Pinseethong from International Committee of the Red Cross in Bangkok, Dr. Suchart Setthamalinee, Payap University; Venerable Dr. Pramaha Boonchuay, Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya, Chiang Mai; Dr. Le Ngoc Bich Ly, Lecturer at the Institute of Religion Culture and Peace, Chiang Mai; and Dr. Reynaldo Ty Caza of CCA.

YAPA – 2018 aims to train prospective young peace activists and bring them to a common platform to help build communities where peace and harmony would prevail and be upheld.

The curriculum and training methodologies are based on inter-cultural, inter-religious and non-formal learning approaches. The participants also share experiences on the best practices of inter-connectedness to act more effectively as a network.

The training will conclude on October 20.

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