National Council of Churches in India – Commission on Youth
In Partnership with
India Peace Centre
Youth Empowerment for Peace
Peace Education Training
November 11-13, 2015, Panjim, Goa
A Peace Education Training for the youth under the theme “Youth Empowerment for Peace” was organized by NCCI-Commission on Youth, in partnership with India Peace Centre at Caritas Holiday Home, Panjim, Goa from 11th to 13th November 2015. A group of 36 youth participated in the program from various parts of India.
The training program was commenced with an inaugural session by Mr. Kasta Dip, Director, India Peace Centre on ‘Perspectives of Peace and Understanding Context’ in which he explained the present scenario of peace in our country. He pointed out the different contexts of intolerance, contexts of bans, majority views versus minority views, plurality versus homogeneity, contexts where social discriminations are rampant all over, hatred, violence and rape, child labor, exclusion of some people in the society such as dalits, tribals etc.
Rev. Solomon Paul, Youth Director, CSI Synod headed the session on ‘Youth Dealing with Conflicts’ in understanding and analyzing the conflicts and addressing the issue accordingly. He said how preventing violent conflict is imperative for development. Conflict is one of the most complex issues the global community is facing today and its impact is apparent in every part of the world. Preventive measures have become an essential component of efforts to ensure a brighter future. Enabling youth to make major positive contributions is one way to minimize or neutralize factors that contribute to violence, increase global security, and prevent further armed conflict. Rev. Paul explicitly urged the youth that the issue should be analytically addressed from different perspectives in any conflicts.
Mr. Kasta Dip addressed the session on ‘Knitting Neighborhood’ in understanding of concept of neighborhood as mentioned in Mark 12:30-31. Our love of ourselves is not a frigid love, but a sincere and ardent love. In like manner we should love our neighbor and desire for him all those good things both for the body and for the soul that we desire for ourselves. This is what our Lord himself teaches us in Mark 12:30-31. Mr. Dip elaborately identified various notions of neighbors that are to be considered in order to identify and highlight the real meaning of neighbor in a diverse contemporary society.
A session on Symbiotic Living was led by Mr. Michael Angelious, Youth Coordinator, JELC divulging the experience of living in harmony with the nature and its Eco-concerns for better society. He emphasized how nature sustains our life and therefore, there has to be a harmonious relationship between human beings, the animal world and also plants because we complement each other and depend on each other for our survival. He went on to say that as good stewards of the earth, we should take care of our nature and work towards its conservation. This symbiotic living is not just an ethical responsibility, but also a spiritual responsibility. Whether it is deliberate or out of ignorance, we are destroying the ecological balance of the earth landing ourselves and our future generations in serious danger. Human beings alone are responsible for global warming and the climate changes because we have not understood symbiotic living. Therefore empowering and educating the youth on the importance of nature conservation is very important. The prime focus of the session inculcating measures to help the youth understand and resolve to work towards establishing an ecologically sound society.
Various activity oriented sessions were steered in understanding the concept of peace and how initiating peace in a conflict-torn society would help. The program was concluded with an ‘Action Plan’ session led by Mr. Kasta Dip in which each church and organization representatives came up with different programs and action plan to be taken up in the near future on various issues and concerns.