By Mphatso Nkuonera – Mana.
United Religious Initiative (URI) has called upon the youth to be ambassadors of peace in their societies for the globe’s development.
URI’s Globe Trustee, Rev. Fr John Ng’oma of Anglican Church made the remarks at Logic Inn at Kawale in Lilongwe on Thursday during the launch of a six-month youth training programme on peace building.
“The World is at the blink of conflicts all times caused by religious, political, cultural and social differences. It has to be very clear that, in all these circles youths are either hired to bring instability or are the targeted group to be used either in defending or harassing opponents of those holding different views.
“To turn things around, we have to engage the same youth to be in the fore-front in bringing peace, hence this programme being launched as a clear manifestation of URI’s commitment to win a peaceful society, and in turn the globe will win peace,” he said.
Ng’oma emphasized that URI’s agenda was to train more youth around the continent in peace making missions, and encourage them embracing dialogue which would ultimately see guns being silenced after achieving peace, including in war torn countries.
One of the trainees, Luckia Gaveni, from a Muslim fraternity told Mana that the training was timely and would help her in fighting for peaceful existence among Malawians.
“This training comes at a time when there are a number of social, political and religious pangs amongst the citizens, where the youth are unfortunately being used to cause these unwanted troubles.
“I will use the skills attained to advocate for co-existence and preach to the youth to desist from being used by influential figures in our societies for the sake of peace and accomplish common development,” she said.
URI’s Country Coordinator, Geoffrey Manasseh said religious tolerance, use of the co-existence philosophy could be a great message to be promoted in various worshipping venues to further reduce conflicts.
“We need peace and tranquillity to spill over to the national society in turn making Malawi and the global village a habitable place, if we give dialogue first space, whenever there are any differences.
“URI network was formed in June 2000 with the objective of promoting daily interfaith cooperation, ending religiously motivated violence, creating cultures of peace, and enhancing justice and healing for the humanity on earth,” he added.
With US$ 2,000 funding, from URI Globe Network, he said the project would change lives from destruction to peace after they graduated.
The July to November Youth Building Cohort Training, has drawn 20 youth from various religious and cultural backgrounds across the country to spearhead conflict resolutions through various platforms.
The aim of the training is to increase number of faith leaders with improved knowledge on peace building and have increased number of faith leaders engaged and participating in decision making at local levels to be ambassadors of peace.