In April 2016, HD, in partnership with the Habibie Center (THC) and Institute Tifa Damai Maluku (ITDM), held a Strategic Planning workshop for members of the Forum of Religious Harmony (FKUB) in Ambon, the capital of Indonesia’s Maluku province.

The FKUB includes representatives from the various religious communities in the province, and has an official mandate from the Indonesian Government to foster religious harmony.

HD, ITDM and THC have been supporting the FKUB in Ambon for over a year, to increase its capacity for conflict management, mitigation and prevention as well as communications to more effectively maintain religious harmony in the province.

A total of 25 members of the FKUB attended the workshop including representatives from the Muslim, Christian Protestant, Catholic, Buddhist and Hindu communities.

Two official representatives from the Vice Governor’s office and the Religious Affairs Ministry of the Province opened the workshop by presenting their perspective on FKUB’s significant contribution to building peace in Ambon, and on the ways in which the Government supports the institution.

The Chairman of the North Sumatra branch of the FKUB, Mr M. Simanjuntak, then shared how they had achieved some of their highly publicized success stories and how they had overcome challenges.

Participants in the workshop then summarized their understanding on the challenges and opportunities for peacebuilders in Ambon and identified the most important roles which the FKUB should play.

The workshop’s facilitator assisted participants to formulate their vision, mission, and values. Organised in small groups, participants identified their strengths (both as members of the FKUB institution and as individuals), as well as the opportunities and results they sought to achieve in the coming year.

The workshop concluded with the participants devising a detailed work plan for the coming year. The FKUB’s highest priority in 2017 will be to ensure that the planned local election, which is already raising tensions in the province, is successfully conducted without violence. 

Throughout the electoral process, the FKUB plans to work towards ensuring that its followers do not allow religion to be used for political purposes.

The workshop was covered by various media outlets including Kabar Timur, Ambon Express and TVRI-Ambon.

This project is funded by European Union, to which HD extends its gratitude for its ongoing support.