Aceh Programs on Peace and Nonviolence
Dr. Asna Husin leads the Peace Education Program in Aceh, Indonesia. The program has two main components: Peacebuilding for Ulama (Islamic clerics) and Peace Education in the High Schools of Aceh. The civil war in Aceh has made the implementation of these programs both challenging and vital.
We have recently published a 366-page resource manual, entitled Kurikulum Pendidikan Damai: Perspectif Ulama Aceh (Peace Education Curriculum: An Ulama perspective) and can be found in PDF format here. Ulama and activists in Aceh use the manual to strengthen their campaigns and conflict resolution initiatives.
Our conflict resolution education program in Aceh high schools uses the second edition of our resource manual, reaching students in more than 100 high schools.
Nonviolence International Southeast Asia (NISEA) came into existence in 1992 and has worked with regional partners to build a constituency of peace activists. The organizations leads with the assumption that while conflicts are inevitable and will continue to exist, strategic nonviolent solutions are the best solutions in addressing those conflicts.
NISEA strives to shape South East Asian societies to make them choose nonviolent methods as the neutral response to conflicts. NISEA’s goals includes:
- Expand the understanding of nonviolent vision, strategy and methods;
- Empower people by enhancing capacities to protect rights and ensure ownership of and participation in various processes that affect people’s lives
- Build and support a peace constituency that aims to change unjust structures, institutions, policies and laws through long-term nonviolent means.
NISEA aims to fulfill its mission through three core programs that focus on education, empowerment and structural change. These programs are Ending Armed Violence, Reclaiming Rights and Nonviolence in Action with each program encompassing advocacy, research and training components.
Ending Armed Violence Program is about making communities safer–which requires an understanding of why armed violence occurs–and strengthening a constituency that advocates an end to armed violence. NISEA has been an active participant in various peace buildig initiatives that aimed to ban landmines, expose the misuse and proliferation of arms and its impact on communities, change people’s views and behavior toward violence, engage non-state armed groups in the areas of human rights and international humanitarian law and seek assistance for victims and survivors of armed violence.
An empowered community of people that is fully aware of its rights ensures both respect and protection for itself. But denial of rights occurs when there is a lack of awareness about human rights that are inherent for every human being. Reclaiming Rights Program seeks to empower marginalized individuals in society through campaigns, networking and solidarity. Currently, NISEA is concerned with the conflict in Southern Thailand and involved in creating spaces for civil society actors to have greater participation to promoting peaceful means and ending the violence.
Raising the level of understanding of nonviolent strategy entails a consistent process of re-education and re-evaluation of our knowledge and skills to suit the needs of emerging situations. We believe that regardlessevery individual and community has an inherent capacity to handle and prevent armed conflicts nonviolently. Nonviolence In Action Program seeks to draw lessons and best practices of nonviolent defense to enhance peoples’ capacities through education, training and multimedia resource material development.
In 2005, the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations granted Nonviolence International NGO in Special Consultative status, in part for its efforts in South East Asia.