Sri Lanka: iDove Hybrid Intl Youth Conference promotes inter-religious coexistence and harmony


An article from The Island Online

The iDove Hybrid International Youth Conference concluded on a successful note at the Goldi Sands Hotel, Negombo, recently. iDove was launched by the African Union Commission’s Directorate of Citizens and other Organizations (AUC-CIDO) and the Deutsche Geselleschaft für Internationale Zussamenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, and was commissioned by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation with a view to foster innovative youth-based interventions, using dialogue and soft skills to create agents of change for inter-religious coexistence and harmony in society.

Photo from iDove twitter

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Question related to this article:
Youth initiatives for a culture of peace, How can we ensure they get the attention and funding they deserve?

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Sri Lanka, this programme was implemented, in partnership with National Fisheries Solidarity (NAFSO), National Peace Council (NPC) and Viluthu, three civil society organizations. Over 300 youth, across the country and overseas, participated in this process, which encouraged youth leadership. Young people from across 23 districts, in Sri Lanka, as well as from Uganda, the Philippines and Kenya, came together, over two days, to learn from each other and raise awareness on this important issue.

The Interfaith Dialogue on Violent Extremism (iDove) approach was developed in 2017, to empower youth to promote inter-religious, business and cultural values and understanding in their communities. What began with 25 “iDovers” in a Training-of-Trainers programme, on preventing violent extremism, has grown to 300 iDove ambassadors. Their community efforts engaged more than 3,000 people and the social media campaigns have reached an audience of 30,000 online.

TheiDove Hybrid International Youth Conference platform is the start of more joint learning and exchange opportunities among young iDove Ambassadors from Asia, Africa and Europe. Many of the youth had already initiated many community initiatives and awareness programmes in their respective districts and hope to continue these efforts with the support of the civil society partners.