In the first of a series of three trainings over the course of a year, twenty-four Fellows from six different religions were trained to become trainers and resources in the field of interreligious dialogue (IRD) and interreligious education.
With the tools gained in the trainings, the Fellows will implement projects to promote social cohesion, dialogue and IRD education in their communities and institutions.
The Southeast Asia Fellows are drawn from seven different countries: India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Indonesia, Philippines and Pakistan.
The Fellows training model encourages trainees to share experiences and insights on interreligious dialogue in their countries, which are too often beset by tension and conflict.
Through this process of sharing, the Fellows are able to learn from each others’ experiences and best practices for conflict resolution and mitigation that have worked in different geographical contexts.
Hosted by the Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute, the curriculum for the Southeast Asia Fellows training included dialogue and facilitation, communication and presentation skills, community problem-solving, peacebuilding and conflict transformation.
The training also included visits to religious sites from different religious traditions and the Fellows had the opportunity to meet with religious leaders who are currently working in peacebuilding in Mindanao.
The Fellows visited the Davao Indian Temple, a house of worship for both Hindu and Sikh worship.
The Fellows also visited the San Pedro Cathedral and had the opportunity to interact with local peacebuilders at the Al Qalam Institute for Islamic Studies and Dialogue at Ateneo University, a Christian Jesuit university.
The final sessions were spent developing peacebuilding projects with support and feedback from experts from KAICIID.