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.

It was held in IRD Centre, Asia Light Monastery, PyinOoLwin, Myanmar in the period 29th April-7th of May 2019 with the participation of 17 Buddhist monks and nuns (age 20-44), representing different monasteries and coming from Mandalay, Shwe Bo, Yamethin, Magway, PyinOoLwin, Yangon, Kyauk Me, A YarDaw, Homemalin, Lashio. This training intended to follow up and continue the series of training conducted on combating violence, promoting dialogue and capacity building of the peace educators especially in general knowledge about other religions and dialogue as a tool to combat religious conflicts.

In April 2019, Core member of PMI, AshinSeindida, led a delegation of religious leaders and 12 policy makers to a promotion of peace and dialogue trip to Myitkyinar, Kachin State. The trip was 5 days long and the delegation meet with different parties of conflict and call for cease fire and settle the conflict through peaceful dialogue. The delegation also had a series of meeting with local religious leaders, Buddhist, Christian, Muslim and Hindus, and call for playing active role in mitigation of conflict. The delegation also had meeting with state government led by chief minister of Kachin state and advocate the government to act sincerely and actively on peace process and give necessary support to IDPs. The delegation also collected the data which the member of parliamentincludes in the delegation agree toraisewith union government in Naypyitaw. The is one of the successful engagements and joint initiative by PMI religious leaders and policy maker. (Due to sensitivity of the activity, PMI would like to request not to share this activity with any media including social media). Photo: PMI members and policy maker delegation meeting with state government of Kachin State.

From 13th May 2019 to 17th May 2019, Youth for Youth organized the “Friendship Peace Camp Myanmar” in Sagaing University of Education, Sagaing region. 28 young participants (14 Male and 14 Female) from different Universities, different ethnicities and different regions participated in the Camp. The camp mainly focuses on dialogue and the peace process.
Most of the youth participated in the Camp has very few knowledges of the peace process and the situation in Myanmar. They firstly shared what they think the situation is and what motivated them to participate in the Camp. Later they learned together how the dialogue is essential for the peace. They did some bonding activities together and creative activities to resemble the peace. As the time passed, youth find there is a role for them to achieve the sustainable peace in Myanmar. They absorbed the important of tolerance, dialogue, and thee knowledge of the diversity of the country. The most satisfying thing about the Camp is that they shared how much they would share what they have learned in the Camp. They were shy in the start, but dialogue and creative activities brought them together.

From 29th to 30th July, PMI delivered a social media training for 38 participants (12 male and 26 female) from Bohlay Township, Ayewaddy Region. The participants were youth leaders and the community leaders. The training modules were highly interactive – as the trainers showed key platform features, discussed social media strategies and instances of hate speech, answered questions on how best to manage content, while keeping a constant reference to interfaith dialogue.
The training provided the participants with networking opportunities, which allowed them to form a network of citizens committed to use social media as a space for dialogue.

. Strategic Messaging Workshop From 9th to 10th September, PMI collaborated with Facebook to deliver a strategic messaging workshop for the religious leaders and the influencers in Myanmar to update their social media skills and recommend Facebook in handling the hate speech in Myanmar context. From Facebook Singapore office, experts presented Facebook’s policies and had a dialogue with participants where people concern how reflective the policies are in Myanmar’s context especially how Facebook handle the previous experiences of hate speech incitement. In the second day, participants wrote their recommendation for the aspiring influencers in interfaith context. The workshop was held in the Park Royal Hotel, Yangon. 25 people including 18 male and 7 females participated.

Capacity Building Training on Advanced Interreligious Dialogue From 17th to 20th September, PMI organized an Advanced Interreligious Dialogue Training for 19 alumni including 13 males and 6 females from central Myanmar and lower Myanmar. It was a short training of four days. In the day one, Sayar U Htun Lin Oo led the dialogue with the presentation of religious history in Myanmar. The trainees were very enthusiastic and surprised by the diversity and history of religions in Myanmar specially to learn how the Myanmar kings supported the religious differences. In the day two, a well experienced trainer trained on trauma and dialogue. The trainer structured the training with games and different dialogue methods to make sure everyone participates in the training. The trainer shared the materials and tools after the training. In the third day, the cofacilitator and the trainees brainstormed the future steps and the creation of strong alumni network. After the training, trainees actively initiated dialogues and shared in the Facebook group. Trainees also volunteered in the Peace day Event. The feedbacks were the best among all the trainings PMI conducted. Participants mainly recommend PMI to support in developing grassroots organizations and the collaboration of future activities.

As 2020 election is coming in Myanmar, PMI conducted a training to prevent electoral violence through cultural dance and theatre. It was a training on edutainment. The trainees were grassroots leaders from Monya, Min Tet, Mawlamyaing and Myeik. The training was designed by a PMI EC, Rev. Mahn Palmerstan PMI invited five people from each of the four grassroots organizations that are going to implement performances within their region and PMI is going to support with a grant for each organization.

In collaboration with the Gayunarshinmar Group Mandalay, PMI called for short film competition for the unity and tolerance towards the difference. PMI also intended to give Barth to the new generation of film makers who promote diversity. PMI had received quite several short films and these will go through the assessment process of the experts.

Ashin Seindida, core member of PMI, lead a delegation of MPs and Religious Leaders to the Kayah state. The delegation met the local religious leaders and the authority to promote Dialogue and the interfaith harmony and produced a review on the Kayah state.

For the establishment of Interfaith College in the Asia Light Monastery, ECs and KAICIID ‘s country expert met with Dr. Mike, Sayar Far Jaing (for curriculum development), Dr. Sai Kyi Sin Soe and Daw Khin Lay Han (Strategy and Administration). For the preparation, the group visited the Myanmar Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Mote Oo Education. It is expected to finish the strategy and the curriculum draft and to be discussed with PMI as a whole.