Establishment of an IRD training centre, the first of its kind in Myanmar, in collaboration with Asia Light Foundation (a local NGO which provides the physical space for the centre), on behalf of the PMI Network. The centre aims at organizing key capacity building initiatives on interreligious dialogue in the country. It will also contribute to the professionalization of the capacity building trainings implemented by the PMI. So far this year, the Centre has hosted 6 intensive IRD and peace building trainings of trainers.

 

26 participants graduated from the first batch at the IRD Training centre in April, 2018. The 26 participants came from 12 townships and were representing different religious institutions and civil society organisations. 7 different trainers including the KAICIID Country Expert and two KAICIID Fellows contributed to the training, which covered several topics, including (i) introduction to interreligious Dialogue and conflict transformation, (ii) religious literacy, (iii) social media, and (iv) implementation strategy of peace projects.

29 leading Buddhist monks were trained on conflict transformation, dialogue and leadership. Organized by the PMI, this training was the second taking place at PMI’s IRD Training centre. The participants were coming from 15 different townshipsin Myanmar. The training was led by 4 trainers, including an international trainer and a KAICIID fellow. It covered topics as: (i) intra-faith dialogue, (ii) conflict transformation from a Buddhist perspective and (iii) promotion of interfaith dialogue.

27 participants from Mandalay Region were graduated from third batch, took place on 15 – 28 July which content were the same with the first Batch training.

25 youth from Bago regionwere graduated as fourth batch, happen on 7-18 August.

22 secondary religious leaders and some key PMI members were graduated on 16-21st October, as fifth Batch, which in content was similar to prior trainings but lead by 6 international experts residing in Myanmar working on research, dialogue and anti-discrimination work.

16secondary religious leaders and some key PMI members were graduated on 3rd-8th December, as the sixth Batch, which in content was similar to prior trainings but lead by 6 international experts residing in Myanmar working on research, dialogue and anti-discrimination work. Participants presented small scale researches on ethnic and interfaith diversity.

7 Members of the Myanmar Parliament and 29 parliamentary support staff have been trained on social media and dialogue. In collaboration with “Togetherness Education Network”, which is a youth and research wing of the National League for Democracy (NLD – the ruling party in Myanmar), organised the training in Yangon. The attending parliament members and support staff represented 23 different townships.

40 participants from 14 different regions and townships participated in Policy Makers Workshop on Religious Policy from 16 July to 18 July to improve the skills and knowledge of members of NLD party and MPs on policy making on religions issues and mutual understanding among different faiths communities.

Organized a workshop on “Joint Advocacy Initiatives” bringing together 16 high-level religious leaders and civil society members. The workshop aimed to provide the participants with the possibility to reflect and learn strategies on how religious actors and policy makers can work together to promote inter-religious dialogue, sustainable peace and inclusive development.

A training and round table on Religion and Media, which was structured in two parts: The first part consisted in a training given to 15 key members of the PMI, on how to engage with media. The second part was a round-table session between the PMI members and 9 journalists and editors from local news outlet. The participants produced a set of recommendations and way forward on how to improve the engagement between media and religious leaders in order to improve religious sensitive reporting.

PMI trained 24 Buddhist monks from Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw regions from 6th to 8th November. It was to encourage religious leaders to become critical, thoughtful, informed, engaged and empowered by social media. The aim of the training was how to build up active participants in this digital world and at the same time remain credible - or even build trustworthiness. Moreover to effectively counter hate speech.

PMI trained 27 youth leaders from Yamathethin Township in Mandalay Region From 10th to 12th December. The training sessions were highly interactive – the training showed key platform features, discuss social media strategies, answer questions on how are the best ways to manage it all using social media as a space for promoting dialogue.

PMI organized a data validation workshop with 28 teachers, researchers and the religious leaders on Education Research on the 21st December. The researcher presented her research and findings to the participants and asked for their contributions and advices. Participants included representatives from universities, children education researchers, children’s books writer, teachers from monastic education and private tutors and nongovernmental organizations.The research will be published in the January 2019.

On the 24th of December, 24 community leaders from Tharzi Township in Mandalay region were trained on using social media as a space for promoting dialogue and countering rumors and hate speech that leads to mass violence. The training was an important initiative because Tharzi Township situated just next to Meikhtilar Township where a rumor triggers the mass violence in 2013.