MADRID, Suara Muhammadiyah – Attending the International Meeting on “Peace With No Borders: Religions and Cultures in Dialogue”, Aisyiyah’s Chairwoman Siti Noordjannah Djohantini stressed on the urgency of creating peace for children. Delivering her perspectives on her talk titled “Children Want Peace”, she highlighted that peace is aimed for all including children. It is the mankind’s rights to be able to live in a safe, peaceful and harmonious circumstance without being dragged into conflict, war, violence, and other life threatening conditions.
“Each of the believer of religious follower has to be the role model on spreading and practicing peace for all. Including creating peace for children,” Noordjannah said on Monday (16/9).
Speaking alongside the Italian member od European Parliament Pietro Bartolo, Mexican writer and journalist Anabel Hernández García, Community of Sant’Egidio Italia Peace School Coordinator Adriana Gulotta, a University of Deusto Spain Sociologist Javier Elzo Imaz, Ramon Llull University Spanyol Sociologist Josep Gallifa Roca, and the World Council of Churches (WCC) Swiss Secretary General Olav Fykse Tveit.
At the interfaith dialogue forum that was hosted by Community of Sant’Egidio in Madrid, Spain, Noordjannah emphasized that children as one of the god’s greatest gift and the future of civilization have to be well-nurtured and their potential should be developed well. Since early age, children should be nurtured in the positive environtment equipped with a good parenting method so that later in life children will grow into physically, psychologically, and socially mature. Children also expected to posses the sense of humanity and empathy that will be a positive influence anywhere they live.
“Children need a peaceful world. The world that gives them safe, peaceful, and joyful feeling so that they can thrive into a harmonious human being. Living in harmony with themselves and their surroundings whether inside the family, school, and other social circle,” she added.
It is imperative that children should be protected and prevented from any harmful treatment also the pressing, negative, and violent social condition that will harm children including any kind of abuses physically, sexually, and emotionally. In this case, Noordjannah also highlighted the critical role of religious organizations and other civil society organizations on creating and maintaining the culture of peace.
“Those civil society organizations have a role as a social and peace agent.”
Muhammadiyah and Aisyiyah have been two long-standing civil society organizations in Indonesia that also put their immeasurable amount of effort and concern on the related issue. Aisyiyah in particular has experienced its long journey on creating peace for children through education. As one of the oldest Islamic Women Organization, Aisyiyah also organizes various educational institution from the kindergarden up to the higher education.
“Aisyiyah has pioneered the establishment of the early education program through Taman Kanak-Kanak (kindergarden) Bustanul Atfhal. On 1919, ‘Aisyiyah started opening the play group or Taman Kanak-Kanak Fröbel which is now to be called Taman Kanak-Kanak ‘Aisyiyah Busthanul Atfhal,” Noordjannah continued.
She added that through education, Aisyiyah has been able to invest on he value of affection, honesty, egalitarian, justice, tolerance, nationalism, multiculturalism and humanity.
“With the number of kindergarden that has reached more than 19000, hundreds of primary and middle education institution, 13 higher education institutions, each year Aisyiyah has been able to create the culture and attitude of peace for tens of thousand children in Indonesia.”
Another movement that has been organized by Aisyiyah is called “Gerakan Cinta Anak” (GACA). Aisyiyah also hosts other advocacy movements as unified community-based move on women and children protection by local members of Aisyiyah.
Noordjannah emphasized that the commitment and role of Aisyiyah on creating a peaceful, anti-violence and anti-harmful treatment space for children and women is one of the effort of protecting and fulfilling children rights that has been guaranteed under the international convention and Indonesian constitution.
”Aisyiyah is calling on all people around the globe and also the civil society forces to collaborate creating peaceful world for children, giving them great hope on better lives a effort of creating sustainable peace for the future of humanity.” (Riz/Th)