Peacemakers Video SeriesThis video interview series showcases several TFIMs (tradition- and faith-oriented insider mediators) from different parts of the world who were interviewed by the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers. They each share their personal stories about their work, their source of inspiration and the challenges they face.
1. Venerable Galkande Dhammananda
The Venerable Galkande Dhammananda Thero is the Chairperson of the Walpola Rahula Institute (WRI), where educational and training programs are offered for religious leaders and lay persons with an aim to support social healing. He is also a monk of the Theravada Buddhist tradition.
In addition, he has actively been using social media to promote non-violence during inter-religious and inter-ethnic conflicts in Sri Lanka. Further, he has been working for social justice, harmony and an inclusive society with different religious leaders.
2. Al Haj U Aye Lwin
Al Haj U Aye Lwin is a founding member of Religions for Peace Myanmar and the chief convener for the Islamic Centre of Myanmar. Born in Myanmar, he is an educator by profession and serves as the Counselor and on the Board of Management at the Diplomatic School in Yangon. Al Haj U Aye Lwin has a long-running interest in Sufi traditions and serves as a Kalifa, or spiritual guide, in the Qadariya Aarliya Sufi order. In addition to having authored and translated dozens of books on Islam and comparative religion, he is deeply involved in peacebuilding and conflict transformation in Myanmar.
3. Nang Loung Hom
Nang Loung Hom serves as a board of director for the Walpola Rahula Institue in Sri Lanka, which builds on Buddhist teachings to promote social healing in Sri Lanka and elsewhere. She also designs content development for the Mindful Children and Families for Healing Society programs, the inter-religious dialogue and intra-Buddhist dialogues program for the Walpola Rahula Institute. Additionally, she supports Myanmar Buddhist monks and nuns from Sri Lanka in a personal capacity by providing training workshops and dialogue programs on conflict and peace issues. Nang Loung Hom also co-facilitates Buddhist approaches on conflict transformation programs at Buddhist institutions in Myanmar. She further works as a trainer for the Ethics Education Program.
4. Venerable Napan Santibhaddo
The Venerable Napan is director of the Institute of Buddhist Management for Happiness and Peace (IBHAP) and Assistant Abbot of Wat Saket in Bangkok. He is also the founder of the “For Beautiful Life Group” (FBLG), a group of academic monks with the mission of applying the Buddha’s teachings to self and social developments. He has designed and led trainings for Buddhist community leaders in southern Thailand affected by violent conflicts. In addition, he designed a comprehensive morality and ethics training program for schools which has evolved into youth leadership training. Venerable Napan has participated in conflict resolution discussions in Uganda and has given lectures on peace-related topics at the Rotary Club of Thailand and the Rotary Peace Center at Chulalongkorn University. Recently, he has been focusing more on cultivating a culture of peace through his talks in public and at private organizations, doing so via traditional and new media.
The Venerable Napan is an active user of social media and can be reached through his facebook profile: Ven Napan Santhibhaddo Thawornbanjo.
5. Nuruddeen Lemu
Mr. Muhammad Nuruddeen Lemu is the Director of Research and Training at the Da’wah Institute of Nigeria (DIN), Islamic Education Trust (IET) in Minna, Nigeria. He develops, facilitates and conducts train-the-trainers courses in enhancing inter-faith dialogue and engagement, intra-faith cooperation, responding to various forms of religious extremism among Muslims, and promoting faith-based critical thinking – “Shari’ah Intelligence”. He is a Director of several organizations including: Lotus Capital (Halal Investments) Limited, the Development Initiative of West Africa (DIWA), and a co-founder of the Inter-Faith Activity and Partnership for Peace (IFAPP). He holds various positions on a number of other organisations that focus on issues related to social welfare, government policy, education, business, sustainable development, environment, leadership, family life, youth empowerment and gender equity.
Mr. Lemu has trained and given talks to students, lecturers, youth and community leaders in over 30 countries, and he has moderated, presented and produced more than 200 radio and television programmes. He was nominated by the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) to represent the Nigerian Muslim Leadership at the National Conference (CONFAB 2014), and his advice on issues related to violent extremism, religious intolerance and interfaith relations is regularly sought by various national and international agencies. He is a Fellow of Aspen Leadership Institute (ALI) and member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network (AGLN), Colorado, USA; a Fellow of the King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID), Vienna, Austria, and of the Africa Leadership Initiative – West Africa (ALIWA). He holds a MSc. in Resource Management from Edinburgh University, UK, and a bachelor’s degree in Agriculture from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria.
6. Reverend Susan Hayward
Reverand Susan Hayward is a senior advisor for religion and inclusive societies at the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP), where she leads USIP’s efforts to understand religious dimensions of conflict and advance efforts engaging religious actors and organizations in peacebuilding. While she covers USIP’s programs worldwide, her own work has focused on Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Colombia, and Iraq. She is particularly interested in the role of women in religious peacebuilding and co-edited a book on the topic entitled Illuminating the Unseen: Women, Religion, and Peacebuilding. An ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, she is currently pursuing her doctorate in theology and religious studies at Georgetown University, focusing on Buddhist and Christian responses to authoritarianism and conflict in Myanmar.
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