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Peace Camp Inspires Young Leaders in Indonesia

By Emiko Perea

Global Peace Foundation (GPF) Indonesia, in collaboration with Global Peace Youth Indonesia Surabaya and the Inter-religious Harmony Forum of Surabaya, hosted a Peace Camp to develop leadership skills for aspiring young leaders at a three-day retreat on September 17-19, 2021.

The program in Surabaya led participants from Karang Taruna, a local youth organization, through a series of character-building and team-building activities.

The program included a peace circle session to test their problem-solving abilities and sought to equip leaders to serve their communities. Participants learned that facing challenges and limitations can lead to growth and help develop the skills to become a leader. 

Youth learned that all people share the same core universal values, such as love, kindness, and empathy. Muhammad Mahmudi, Program and Communication Manager of GPF Indonesia, appealed for the participants to have conviction in their abilities and personality to start positive change in their communities. Shintya Rahmi Utami, General Manager of GPF Indonesia, also spoke on the importance of focusing on family values to nurture peace in the home.

The program also addressed the barriers in the peacebuilding process. Dr. H. Muhammad Yazid. M.SI, chairman of the Inter-religious Harmony Forum of Surabaya, pointed out the role of youth in preventing violence and extremism from influencing society.

Diah Sulung Syafitri, a mentor for the participants,  said the Karang Taruna organization should accommodate changes and uphold good values to help developing communities. She also encouraged the participants to reflect on their experience in the program. 

“The experience made me realize that everybody has different views and thoughts, but we have to respect each other,” said Laras Candri Anuttami, a participant. “Through this camp, I also gained new friends and a wider network that have the same vision to spread peace together.”