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Multicultural Dialogue and Capacity Building for Palestine:Peace Building Lab, Being a Change Agent

Posted On: 28-05-2024 | National News
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“The initiative of the International Relations and Cooperation Agency (LHKI) Central Board of Muhammadiyah, in collaboration with the local Palestinian partner WITNESS-SYAHID, supported by LAZISMU.”

The International Relations and Cooperation Agency (LHKI) Central Board of Muhammadiyah, supported by LAZISMU, in partnership with the local Palestinian organization Witness/Syahid, is launching an innovative program in June 2024. The program is titled 'Multicultural Dialogue and Capacity Building for Palestine: Peace Building Lab, Being a Change Agent', abbreviated as 'Palestine Peacebuilding Lab.' This Palestinian Peace Initiative will complement various forms of tangible assistance that Muhammadiyah has been providing for Palestine, primarily through LAZISMU, the Council of Education, Research and Development, MDMC-LRB, and MuhAid-LHKI. These include humanitarian relief, emergency medical teams, scholarships for Palestinian students at Muhammadiyah and Aisyiyah higher education institutions (PTMA), and community development programs. All these efforts represent Muhammadiyah's comprehensive support for the independence and peace efforts in Palestine.

The Muhammadiyah Peace Initiative for Palestine facilitates campaigns/advocacy through storytelling, capacity building of Palestinian youth in non-violent multicultural dialogue and peace diplomacy, psychosocial support for war trauma recovery, and exchange visits for the internationalization of Muhammadiyah's preaching in Palestine. 

The International Relations and Cooperation Agency (LHKI) of Muhammadiyah collaborates with several non-profit local NGOs based in Palestine, with key partner Witness-Shahid Center focused on human rights, gender equality, and socio-economic justice, and Holy Land Trust engaged in non-violence, peace- making, and enhancement of socio-political awareness in Palestine, along with several grassroots organizations coordinated by Witness Center.

The Palestine Peacebuilding Lab program represents a cultural strategy that complements advocacy strategies, global campaigns, community development, and Track-1 diplomacy for resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict. The primary goals of this program are to advocate for the empowerment and inclusion of youth as catalysts for conflict transformation, and to strengthen human security for refugees and war victims, especially from Gaza. This program is expected to contribute to the peacebuilding process carried out by various partners and stakeholders for a just and prosperous independent future of Palestine. 

The initiatives of this program include the following activities:
1. Developing the capacity of youth and women in non-violent multicultural dialogue and diplomatic skills for conflict resolution.
2. Raising awareness through media to combat hate speech, misinformation, stereotypes, and discrimination.
3. Strengthening psychosocial resilience through psychoeducational counseling for war trauma recovery.
4. Advocating policies through global campaigns for Gaza/Palestine.
5. Reciprocal visits between the Central Board of Muhammadiyah and a multi-stakeholder Palestinian delegation to Jakarta-Yogyakarta (Indonesia), and to the West Bank-Ramallah (Palestine).

Beneficiaries of this program include victims of war and Israeli genocide in Gaza, Gaza refugees, youth and women as change activists or those affected by the conflict, and people with disabilities in the northern West Bank.

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