Cambodia:Buddhist engagement in promoting community peace building

Buddhist engagement in community development

The Buddhist Coalition for Social Development has led workshops promoting ethnic and religious understandings in local communities.

From April to May 2011, traveling from Phnom Penh to Kompong Chhnang to monitor network and conduct activities, it was a journey which revealed a vitality and openness in their experience of community life.

The networks of three districts Rolea B’ier, Tuek Phos and Kompong Chhnang cooperated with the Buddhist Coalition for Social Development and the Alliance for Conflict Transformation. Together, these organisations collaborated to deliver activity training workshops on community peace building and conducted many gatherings of local communities to talk about religions and peace to 384 participants (199 female).

In particular, the network organized these activities aims to

  • To share knowledge of conflict and peace understandings to communities
  • To help the community to identify the causes and effects of conflict
  • To reduce prejudice, stereotypes, and discrimination within the multi ethic and religious communities
  • To integrate Buddhist engagement via dissemination into community peace building and deepenen their own personal mindfulness practice

The results were opportunities to network and share what they learned from both Alliance for Conflict Transformation and the Buddhist Coalition for Social Development into practice to raise the community awareness on peace and conflict understanding in the remote area of Kompong Chhnang. It was an important space where community can be exposed to new idea about positive peace and the cause and effect of conflicts. “It is an honor that the network of ACT conducts this event in our village. This is a one day activity but an important gathering that we can learn how to live in harmony within multi ethic and religious community. I strongly encourage you to listen and ask question for understanding,”said the local authority in his opening in TnalTaseng, SvayChrom.

Buddhist engagement in community development

Source: Alliance for Conflict Transformation

Photo Credit: Alliance for Conflict Transformation