Youths in Facing the Segregation in Poso

The conflict in Poso has caused segregation within its society which will be indicated with the existence of territories or boundaries based on certain religions. In relation with the segregation, Izak Y. M. Lattu, a CRCS alumnus who is currently working at Satya Wacana Christian University, said that the existence of the Youth Center in Poso is effective in building openness and peaceful relationship among the Poso youth. Through its implementation, positive impacts are expected to happen in the near future. Since its establishment, one of its positive impacts is bridging the segregation.

This youth center was founded on November 2004 initiated by the Consortium for Assistance & Recovery toward Development in Indonesia (CADRI). Today, there are already eight (8) centers located in some places in Poso.

There are many activities the Poso youth, aged 15 to 30 years old, are engaged with offered at the center. Primarily, the programs of the center aim to enhance social cohesion, promote dialogue and bridge interaction among the youths who are from different backgrounds. In each program, the youths are positioned as main actors, and their creativities produced many creations and fields of work.

According to Izak, the Center is run by the youths and is considered as seed for massive trust in Poso. Those who are involved in the activities acknowledged that their views to others, who were considered as enemies, have been changed because of the activities; from hostility to friendly. They considered the sufferings they dealt with as their common ground in struggling for a peaceful and strong relationship.

Some participants who attended the Wednesday Forum questioned the youths? behaviors outside the center. They suspected that maybe their good relationship must be conditioned; showing a good relationship only during activities. They also questioned how the center prepares the youths to be the agents of change especially to the segregation.

Responding to the questions, Izak said that he has not done further research on the youths? behavior outside the programs. For him, the youths meet each other beyond the boundaries or territories. By doing so, this could motivate the people to not enhance the segregation, and this is also part of center?s effort in preparing the youths to be the agents of change.

The experience of center presented above could be a good example for other places to follow. Of course this is not only for places with existing conflicts, but also for places which are safe or peaceful, this could be an effort to enhance social life; a preventive effort to evade conflict.

In this case, the involvement of people from every element, including the government, is required to strengthen a massive and sustainable effort for goodness.

If we are to compare the youth Center in Poso to the youth Center in Bosnia which is the Jacje Youth Center, the success story of the latter is similar to of the former.

(JMI)

This post is also available in: Indonesian

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