Thursday, March 5, 2020

International Council (IC) Visit to Indonesia 


We were happy to welcome Bill Hamilton and Cecilia Silundika, International Council (IC) members on February 18 – 22, 2020. Bill Hamilton has served on the board of IofC USA since June 2014, currently serving as vice chair and as chair of the Board’s Nominating and Development Committee. Cecilia Silundika (Thembi) is a Zimbabwean born Canadian citizen. Her involvement with IofC spans over 20 years. She played an active role mainly during the inception of Creators of Peace (CoP).

Bill and Thembi visited our team in Bandung and Jakarta. The IofC team in Bandung works with Peace Generation. Irfan Amali and Erick Lincoln, the founders of Peace Generation appreciated the Indonesian team working with Peace Generation and contributing to the training especially bringing the element of personal life sharing and reflecting on the values of peace. 

Nenden leads the group involved in the School of Reconciliation which is an IofC Indonesia program focusing on the family workshop adapted and coached by Nandor Lim. Nenden and her team also facilitated the gathering with the friends of School of Reconciliation to practice Quiet Time and listening to the story from Bill and Thembi especially the things that keep them going at their age in life. Quotes from Nenden, “I feel connected with Bill and Thembi and I am grateful that I have more energy and feel connected to the global vision of IofC to continue to build trust and break barriers. I feel IofC unites us as human beings. Personally, I am very inspired by their commitment and conviction to their life purpose.”

We conducted Talk the Peace: Creating a new story from Personal to Global. This program was designed to engage people in Bandung, to introduce IofC and the stories from Bill and Thembi about their life stories of change and their vision for the global network of IofC.  Twenty-five people came and the talk was interactive and inspiring. Thembi shared her story about Zimbabwe and her journey with her family and also how she met IofC and her conviction for women's empowerment and her initiatives for Africa and indigenous people in the world. Bill met MRA during his university time through his professor and got involved with IofC USA and is now serving IofC.

Linda, the moderator shared, “As a social worker who works in peace and conflict education, I often wonder whether my work is really impacting others. From what Bill and Thembi shared, I learned that the focus of our love must be for ourselves; when we search and love within, we will find the best way to love others. I hope that someday I'll still be on fire when I grow older.”

We also visited Asia Africa Museum, where the history of the Asian-African was raised, and the Asian-African partnership was created for the sake of a better future. It was inaugurated by the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Soeharto, on 24 April 1980 on the 25th Anniversary of the Asian-African Conference. Quotes from Miftahul Huda, “I felt Indonesia has a legacy to be a part of world civilization and has the power to be a home of peace building and to fight for an end to colonialism. Coming to this museum with Bill and Thembi gave me a feeling that Indonesia has a chance to collaborate more to continue the spirit of Asia-Africa and the Non-Aligned Movement, a forum of 120 developing world states that are not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc.” The term "non-aligned movement" first appeared in the fifth conference in 1976, where participating countries were referred to as "members of the movement".

In Jakarta we met the Dr. Sururin, the dean of Education and Teaching Science Faculty. In addition to her academic life she is also concerned about women's participation in education and also with family issues.  She encouraged us to continue working for collaboration for teachers' development, engagement with the alumni of the faculty from IofC Indonesia as well as for student leadership and development program. We also met Dadan Nugraha, an IofC Indonesia friend who is teaching at the university.

We also invited Bill and Thembi to visit one of IofC’s seniors, Jusni Kusumawardhy, a 93-year-old lady, who has known MRA/IofC since 1959. She and her late husband Jhon Kusumawardi were involved with MRA in the United States, India and Caux with an international team and also met Frank Buchman. She was pleased to be visited by the local team and international friends. 
In the evening we had a sharing session with Jagat Arsy Islamic Boarding School students. Jagat Arsy, an Islamic World Civilization boarding school, is one of IofC Indonesia’s partnerships. Bill and Cecilia shared about roles of education to the High School students. Education plays a vital role in our lives and helps us develop a disciplined life. Budi Rahman Hakim, the owner and director of Jagat School, greeted us and welcomed us with a big heart and open doors.  He said, this is your home, you are always welcome in this school, and this is IofC's home."

The next day, a session on Leadership Development with Tanri Abeng University (TAU) students was conducted. Leadership is an action, not a position. When we become leaders, we learn to love the people, not the position. Akhmad Hairul Umam, an IofC Indonesia friend, who is also a lecturer at TAU welcomed Bill and Themb to his university. One student shared, “As part of the current young generation, I should understand my power and role in the world, also learn to behave socially and be open to different people and experience. 

The Indonesian team learned so much from them as individuals as well as members of the International Council giving their best contribution for the work of IofC globally. We feel more connected and inspired to continue IofC. We also thank IofC International and all the people who supported their visit to Indonesia.  

Reported by Miftahul Huda and Yofrina Octika Gultom