In the relentless rush of modern life, we sometimes lose sight of the deeper, collective aspirations we share. Foremost among the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) is SDG 16 – a beacon that illuminates the path towards peaceful, inclusive societies with robust, accountable institutions.
True peace isn’t merely about silencing the guns; it’s the resonant chorus of justice, unity, and mutual respect. Within this ambitious landscape, the Kenan Foundation Asia, in collaboration with its invaluable partners, has sculpted transformative initiatives.
Chumchon Harapan: Fostering Unity in Thailand’s Deep South with USAID
We may not be aware of the unique identity of Thailand’s Deep South, with its vibrant mosaic of cultures, traditions, beliefs, and faiths. Decades-long tension between its Muslim and Buddhist communities have cast a shadow over the vast diversity of the three Southern Border Provinces – Pattani, Yala, and Narathiwat. The “Chumchon Harapan,” or “Community of Hope,” project, has helped restore the beauty it once was.
This project strengthens societal bonds across communities by empowering youth as peacebuilders in community-based initiatives to promote social cohesion, foster dialogue, and break down barriers. What was once a place of turmoil and tension, continues to become a home of peace with the help of Kenan Foundation Asia and USAID.
Through integrating a people-to-people and community-based approach in the classroom, teachers and professors have the ability to reach thousands of youths. The youth at Peacemaker Lab implement various projects, including the Human Library which brings generations together to connect and share stories, Cultural Tourism Project to promote the diversity and beautiful landscape of the Deep South, Agricultural Promotion and Innovation Project to promote income generation at the community level, and more. The Chumchon Harapan project demonstrates the power of collaboration and understanding in building a peaceful and prosperous community for all generations to thrive in.
Youth Beyond Borders: Crafting Regional Harmonies with USAID, FHI360, and Sri Lanka Unites
Numerous countries grapple with internal strife across the sprawling tapestry of South and Southeast Asia. In these turbulent tides, the youth often emerge as spirited champions of peace, even though they might find platforms for their voices lacking.
The ‘Youth Beyond Borders’ initiative by Kenan Foundation Asia seeks to rectify this with the collaborative efforts of USAID, FHI360, and Sri Lanka Unites. By mentoring 70 youth champions from diverse backgrounds from Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and the Tibetan Exile community in India, this initiative ensures these vibrant voices resonate, fostering regional peace and understanding.
Harnessing Pencak Silat to Counter Violent Extremism: An Inspiring Coalition with UNICRI
In a blend of tradition and innovation, the Kenan Foundation Asia taps into the traditional martial art of Pencak Silat to address violent extremism in Thailand’s Deep South. But this isn’t just about martial prowess; it’s about imbibing values of respect, discipline, and unity. With the support and expertise of UNICRI, this initiative underscores the potency of cultural traditions in forging peace.
Embracing our shared legacies can often be our most impactful strategy in dispelling the shadows of discord.
The path to a tranquil, inclusive world isn’t the task of a few—it’s our shared journey, our collective narrative. Kenan Foundation Asia reiterates the power of collaboration, local values, and youth engagement in realizing SDG 16 through its projects and synergistic partnerships.
In our shared odyssey towards a peaceful tomorrow, every step and alliance counts. Through martial arts, youth initiatives, or community harmony programs, the quest for peace is as diverse as it is unified, ever reminding us of the tapestry of understanding, cooperation, and hope that binds our world.