Monday, March 25, 2024

TrustBuilding Camp Yogyakarta in Fight Against Intolerance  

The Trust Building Camp for Yogyakarta Batch 4, was held from March 8-10, 2024 at Wijaya 2 Hotel in Kaliurang, Yogyakarta, and was attended by 22 participants from diverse religious, ethnic, and educational backgrounds. This three-day, two-night program aimed to equip participants with tools to combat intolerance, intergenerational trauma, radicalism, terrorism, and other societal threats. Introduction and remarks were made by the trainers of TrustBuilding Indonesia and the Indonesian Adventist Student Family (KMAY) to promote trust, dialogue, and social cohesion across Indonesia's pluralistic society.  The purpose of the camp was also to raise awareness about community diversity through activities like 'Quiet Time' or Inner listening, Life story sharing, Honest Conversation, Dialogue, playing board games and cultural expression. 

Emerging Young leaders 
The young participants from diverse ethnic, racial, education and religious backgrounds came together in this activity. They engaged in sharing sessions and dialogues about various matters in accordance with the theme "Heal the Past and have Hope for the Future." They participated in a series of sessions to help them become resilient in facing challenges. The sessions included personal timelines, aspects of identity and social power group, healing historical wounds, honest conversations, team building exercise, scriptural reasoning, family group sharing and cultural expression. 


Trust Building Camp's First Day Fostered Self-Reflection and Cross-Cultural Religious Understanding

On the opening day, participants of the Trust Building Camp were introduced to the camp's objectives and the agenda for the upcoming three-day program. A key activity was the introduction of 'Quiet Time' and sharing sessions within family groups. 

For many participants, the family group sharing experience was a novel concept, providing a safe and non-judgmental space to open up without fear of being belittled or compared. It allowed them to share their thoughts and experiences freely, fostering an environment of trust and vulnerability.
The camp's diverse participant base also presented an opportunity for cross-cultural learning and understanding. As some of the organizers belonged to the Seventh-day Adventist Christian faith, the first day, which fell on a Friday evening for them to start the sabbath day. This allowed participants of other faiths to witness and gain insight into this inter religious understanding.

As the day drew to a close, participants were tasked with creating personal timelines, chronicling pivotal moments in their lives. These stories would then be shared within their respective family groups, further strengthening the bonds of empathy and understanding among the participants.

Day Two of the Trust Building Camp: Fostering Interfaith Dialogue and Exploring Indonesia History.                                                                                                                         

The second day commenced with a Scriptural Reasoning session, where participants were encouraged to read and engage with sacred texts from different religions. In this session, participants explored the Quran, the Torah, and the Bible. This activity aimed to sharpen participants' ability to recognize differences while also appreciating the noble values shared across these religious texts, rather than criticizing or diminishing them.

Following the Scriptural Reasoning, Christian Adventist participants observed the Sabbath service. The first interactive session of the day, titled "Dominant and Non-Dominant," challenged participants to examine their surroundings and identify dominant and non-dominant groups within their communities. This exercise aimed to foster greater sensitivity and awareness of vulnerable groups, emphasizing the importance of inclusivity and equal opportunities.

Next, the participants engaged in a collaborative board game called "Pest Attack." Unlike traditional competitive board games, this game required teamwork and cooperation to achieve victory, aligning with the camp's objectives of fostering trust and unity among participants.

After the board game session, participants embarked on a timeline exercise, exploring the various phases of Indonesia's history, from pre-independence to the present day. Divided into groups, they discussed the nation's journey, highlighting moments of trust-building, as well as times of mistrust stemming from conflicts rooted in religion, belief systems, ethnicity, politics, and social issues. After creating these timelines, the participants presented their findings and engaged in a walkthrough, allowing for deeper reflection and understanding of the events that have shaped the nation.

Next, the participants engaged in an "Honest Conversation" session, where they shared their honest perceptions, stigmas, and stereotypes about various ethnic groups represented among the participants, such as Javanese, Sundanese, Timorese, Papuan, Buginese, Madurese, as well as their views on Islam and Christianity. This open dialogue allowed for new understanding and honest conversations about these perceptions and feelings.


The day concluded with a lively "Cultural Performance Expression" where participants showcased their talents through entertaining performances, including stand-up comedy, drama, interactive games, poetry recitations, and group singing. The festive atmosphere fostered an environment of camaraderie and celebration of diversity.

Trust Building Camp Concluded with Emotional Reflections, Honest Conversation and Community Action Plans

The third day began with participants reflecting on the experiences and learnings from the previous two days. They were encouraged to acknowledge and accept the emotions that arose during the event, ensuring they did not become overwhelmed by any uncomfortable feelings.

Next, the participants engaged in an "Honest Conversation" session, where they shared their honest perceptions, stigmas, and stereotypes about various ethnic groups represented among the participants, such as Javanese, Sundanese, Timorese, Papuan, Buginese, Madurese, as well as their views on Islam and Christianity. This open dialogue allowed for new understanding and honest conversations about these perceptions and feelings.


Following the "Honest Conversation" session, participants formed a circle for a "Fishbowl" activity. This exercise aimed to create a safe space where all emotions were welcomed, and all stories were heard. Four chairs were placed within the circle, inviting participants to take turns sharing their experiences and emotions with the group.

After the "Fishbowl" session, the participants were divided into two teams and tasked with creating action plans to implement within their respective communities. These action plans aimed to continue spreading the positive impact of trust-building initiatives across various communities.

The day's activities concluded with an appreciation exercise, where participants expressed their gratitude and appreciation for one another on paper handprints, symbolizing the diverse individuals who came together at the Trust Building Camp.

This immersive experience aimed to foster empathy, open communication, and mutual understanding among the participants, equipping them with the tools to combat societal threats such as intergenerational trauma, radicalism, and terrorism, while promoting trust, dialogue, and social cohesion across Indonesia's pluralistic society.

Powerful session
The sessions in this activity were designed to adapt to current issues. The participants found the sessions beneficial for their personal growth and development. The camp provided a safe space for the participants to honestly share what they felt through the established sharing groups. Moreover, the participants played the board game ‘Pest Attack’ and other icebreaker games. This activity enriched the participants' experiences through tailored sessions and a supportive atmosphere that encouraged open sharing and interaction.

"The honest conversation and sharing sessions were deeply impactful, providing a supportive space to openly share personal struggles, disappointments, and hurt. By storytelling, we felt better knowing there were those around us willing to listen empathetically, boosting our self-confidence and personal growth." - Max, participant from CSCR Universitas Gajah Mada

The participants had varying levels of understanding towards each session they attended. However, this activity provided a safe and open environment for both participants and facilitators to share and exchange stories, whether regarding personal issues or perspectives from a collective or societal viewpoint.

The participants were being encouraged to establish cooperation, both within their own communities and with other communities. This step aims to enable the participants to have a broader impact and share the good practices and values from the Trustbuilding Camp they have attended. By developing collaboration among various communities, they can disseminate the spirit and learnings about building trust on a larger scale.
“Quiet time was an amazing session for me. I have never found anything like this in any other communities, and I will carry this experience with me to other moments outside of here.”- Arsya Syafarul participants from UIN Yogyakarta.

Writer : Ahmad Wildansyah 
Editor : Rinni Meir & Miftahul Huda