What Happens to the Fellows after KIFP?
What happens to the Fellows after they successfully complete the KAICIID International Fellows (KIFP) yearlong programme?
Upon completion of the KAICIID International Fellows Programme (KIFP), the Fellows become part of the growing KAICIID Fellows Network (KFN). Through the network KAICIID continues to support its Fellows in promoting a culture of interreligious dialogue and peaceful coexistence. In addition, KAICIID offers micro-grants to fund selected Fellow Alumni initiatives that are implemented in the Fellows’ home countries to amplify the effects that result from promoting a culture of dialogue in their respective communities.
So far, seven initiatives were selected for funding and implemented by ten KIFP Alumni around the world:
1. Launching an Interreligious Dialogue Foundation Course at the Undergraduate Level in Indian Universities
By Dr. Baharul Islam (Muslim, India)
KAICIID Fellow Dr. Baharul Islam is a Professor and Chair of Communications at the Indian Institute of Management, Kashipur (India). During the one-year KAICIID learning and training programme, Dr. Islam worked on developing a basic training course on interreligious dialogue, the so-called IRD Foundation Course for undergraduate level students of universities in India.
Through the KAICIID micro-grant, Dr. Islam is able to continue implementing this initiative with the aim of launching the course in two Indian universities. In the long run, the project envisages adoption of the IRD Foundation Course at the national level as a core course for all undergraduate students across various disciplines.
2. Conflict Transformation for Regional Peace Movement
By Zon Vandel (Christian, Indonesia), Mussolini Lidasan (Muslim, Philippines), Rogelio Patayan Lelis Jr. (Christian, Philippines), Sneha Roy (Hindu, India)
Upon completion of KIFP, four KAICIID Fellows from India, Indonesia and the Philippines started working together to create a peace training programme that will be followed by a peace walk and peace charter that each participant will adhere to. The project funded through the KAICIID micro-grant aims to activate youth through dialogue training and experiences to work together to address pressing social issues, including hate speech and mistrust through advancing peace dialogue.
The peace training programme is intended to be a pilot project for other regional peace projects that will be held on an annual basis to maintain and strengthen a regional peace network. The implementing Fellows highlighted, “We realize that we cannot make peace happen by doing it on our own, we need to work and collaborate with others to make this world a better place to live.”
The initiative is based on the realization that only through collaboration and mutal support the likelyhood of advancing peace through dialogue will increase. The initiators hope that the project will influence other peacemakers to work individually and with institutions to make changes for next generation.
3. Developing an Interreligious Dialogue and Cooperation among Women in Yogyakarta
By Wiwin Rohmawati (Muslim, Indonesia)
KAICIID Fellow Wiwin Rohmawati is implementing a series of interreligious activities for young women from different religious backgrounds in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. These activities are held under the supervision of Srikandi Lintas Iman (SRILI) Community, a network that brings together nine communities of religious women, three universities, two non-governmental organizations, two forums, the Archdiocese of Semarang, and the Yogyakarta Women’s Network. SRILI was initially established in 2015 as a result of Wiwin’s initiative as part of KIFP.
With the support of KAICIID’s micro-grant, Wiwin is able to continue coordinating these interreligious activities. Its main objective is to build a network for cooperation and to increase the quality and quantity of interfaith dialogue and cooperation, particularly in responding to problems that women and children are facing in Indonesia.
4. Engaging Women in Peace and Security Issues in Jos through a Dialogue Initiative: Interreligious Dialogue for Peace in Violent Conflict Situations
By Justina Mike (Christian, Nigeria)
KAICIID Fellow Justina Mike is a peacebuilding practitioner who has been working in the field of interfaith relations for over 15 years. She started implementing her initiative during KIFP and has since continued with the help of the KAICIID micro-grant.
Justina’s initiative came at a time when it was most needed in Jos, Nigeria. Through it, she seeks to move women from the background into the decision making processes. The initiative involved 46 women from 8 communities, and was comprised of interactive dialogue sessions, giving participants the opportunity to share their experiences and to develop trust between Muslim and Christian women to work together for peace.
The women developed action plans for each of their various communities, whereby in most cases the result was a new initiative for each of the eight communities involved. In addition, the participants agreed to establish a group called Women Engaging through Dialogue (WETD).
Justina believes her initiative is making a difference. She cites the example of a group from the ‘Ferin Gada’ community in Jos, where Christian and Muslim women are working together through mediation and dialogue to reconcile strained relations among Muslim and Christian Community leaders.
Her focus is also on building the capacity of women in recognizing early warning signs and implementing early response mechanisms to prevent radicalization and extremism. She concentrates on Christian-Muslim dialogue, confidence building, gender awareness, and on the important role of women in peacebuilding and participation when it comes to involving women in existing peace processes and structures in Nigeria.
5. Instilling Values of Citizenship and a Culture of Acceptance for Others
By Beshoy Zayed (Christian, Egypt)
With the support of KAICIID’s micro-grant, KAICIID Fellow Beshoy Zayed works to promote dialogue and coexistence in El-Taiba Village in Minya, Egypt. Beshoy works with youth who are actively affecting positive change in their communities by building their capacity in dialogue to amplify their impact. He also aims to create a network between community leaders in El Taiba and concerned institutions to promote dialogue. Additionally, he is invested in raising the awareness of children and women in the village with regards to life and community values such as the importance of dialogue and embracing diversity for sustainable peaceful coexistence.
6. Building Bridges of Dialogue: An Ecumenical, Interreligious and Intercultural Trip 2017
By Maria del Milagro Dallacamina (Christian, Argentina)
“Most of us have never entered a synagogue, a mosque or other temple; we know little of other religions…”
KAICIID Fellow Maria del Milagro Dallacamina from Argentina wanted to give youth some hands-on experience to enhance their knowledge of other religious communities and cultures. To this end, she organized visits for mostly Catholic and non-religious youth from her region in Northern Argentina to visit different religious communities, including Muslim and Jewish communities, as well as communities of indigenous peoples. These visits offered an opportunity for fruitful exchange and an open dialogue to share experiences and get to know the other, with the hope to inspire common initiatives going forward. The visits were documented and shared with over 200 students from the Catholic University of Salta, whereby they were given a chance to learn about their classmates’ experiences and ask questions. She sees this as a way to promote a culture of dialogue and mutual understanding among followers of different religions and cultures, and hopes that her experiential model can be replicated in other countries.
For a video documentation of Maria’s initiative, please visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbijp4uUmYI
7. Interreligious Peace and Harmony in Mandalay, Myanmar
Ashin Mandalar (Buddhist, Myanmar)
Mandalar was the recipient of the very first KAICIID micro-grant. He believes that Myanmar needs active citizens and organizations that can support and complement social cohesion. This recognition was the basis for his initiative implemented during KIFP, which engaged youth from different religious backgrounds in the Mandalay area in a three-month interreligious training programme. Representatives of different religions and spiritual traditions met at several occasions for a communal effort to implement interreligious dialogue through educating and teaching.
Upon completion of KIFP, Mandalar continued his initiative which focused on enhancing Buddhist students’ competencies to effectively understand and accept religious and cultural diversity in their community, and to contribute to peace building in Mandalay, Myanmar.