MPI’s Alumni Outreach Assistant, Mely Sabina Ester Lengkong, met with some of MPI’s Annual Peacebuilding Training alumni from Indonesia during the Regional workshop on Violent Extremism and Religious Education in Southeast Asia sponsored by Pusat Pengkajian Islam dan Masyarakat (PPIM) Universitas Islam Negeri (UIN) Jakarta, Convey Indonesia, and United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Jakarta, Indonesia, from 11 to 13 December 2017. After finishing the first-day session, Mely held a short check-in with MPI alumni Ridwan Al-Makasar (2016), Perdian Tumanan (2016), and Adi Prasetijo (2004). It was the second time for someone from MPI to be reunited with Indonesian alumni. The first time was on 17 October 2017, when the Executive Director of MPI Christine Vertucci participated in the 6th Action Asia Peacebuilders Forum on "Preventing Violent Extremism: A Peacebuilding Perspective" at Le Meridien Hotel, Jakarta.
MPI was excited to hear about the initiative from the Indonesian alumni to establish a national peacebuilding institution. Ridwan Al-Makassar and Perdian Tumanan are the initiators for the Indonesia Peacebuilding Institute (IPI). This initiative came up after participating in the MPI 2016 Annual Peacebuilding Training. They were concerned about the elements that contribute to conflict in Indonesia (race, tribe, religion, politics, economy, environment, etc.). These elements have the potential to be exploited by groups in Indonesia who use violence to advance their agenda. Unfortunately, Indonesia lacks a peacebuilding institute that can serve as a catalyst in preventing and resolving conflicts in the society. Therefore, the IPI will be one such peacebuilding catalyst in Indonesia.
The IPI has 22 members and will increase as development progresses. The members are in the process to get the independent legal foundation permit from the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights of the Republic of Indonesia. Hopefully, it will be released in late January or early February 2018. Another initiative is the publication of a book to be written collectively by 30 Indonesian alumni of MPI’s Annual Peacebuilding Training. Recently, 20 alumni committed to write their stories. Christine Vertucci will write the foreword to the book. The members are still looking for a publishing agency and other ways to publish the book.
MPI appreciates and is proud of the Indonesian alumni for this great initiative to establish an Indonesian Peacebuilding Institute. To have MPI alumni initiate such a project is a new milestone for MPI and speaks to the success of its Annual Peacebuilding Training. MPI hopes that all processes will run smoothly and on time.