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Realizing Peace Starting From the Village

Information circulating in the media that is not based on facts and data can often create tension. The Peace Village program launched by the Wahid Foundation and UN Women two years ago, aims to increase the public’s immunity against hoaxes and to develop tolerance starting from the grassroots.

Good news again came from Central Java in that following Gemblegan and Nglinggi Villages, Jetis Village, Klaten Selatan Subdistrict on Sunday (3/3) declared itself as a Peace Village. The celebration for this declaration was carried out at the Jetis Village Hall, which was attended by approximately 1000 people and village officials.

The event with a theme named “Gumbreget, Gumbregut, Gumbregah, Gumebyar” contained various activities. The activities included a fun walk, the declaration of the Peace Village, the signing of the Peace Village inscription by the Regent of Klaten Hj. Sri Mulyani, and a talk show with the theme "Preventing Hoaxes to Build Interfaith Tolerance Among Believers ".

Three figures were the speakers for this interactive dialogue, namely Mujtaba Hamdi, Executive Director of the Wahid Foundation; Sigit from the Klaten branch of National and Political Unity Office (Kesbangpol); and Gus Marzuky from the Klaten branch of the National Committee of Indonesian Youth (KNPI). "The concept of the Peace Village is to build peace and tolerance starting from the grassroots level. Therefore, there is a need for commitment from leaders, in this case, the village head and the village community, one of ways to do this is by developing local wisdom," Mujtaba said.

Agreeing with what Mujtaba said, Sigit, the Head of the National Unity and Political Unity Office in Klaten, said that the community must be more alert, and not spread information that is not evidently valid. "Disseminating hoaxes is a crime and the sentence is imprisonment. It is regulated in the law regarding electronic information and transactions (UU ITE)," Sigit added.

Klaten Regent Sri Mulyani, who was present at the Jetis Peace Village declaration, also conveyed a message to uphold tolerance including the Village Head/Lurah Election (pilkades) which will soon be held. "The community must support and commit to be an example for 298 other villages," added Sri Mulyani.

The declaration of the Peace Village received support of the Klaten Regency government and the Governor of Central Java. In an event held by the Wahid Foundation in early February, Central Java Governor Ganjar Pranowo promised to replicate these Peace Villages in other villages in Central Java.

With its declaration as a Peace Village, Jetis Village became the 10th Peace Village in the Wahid Foundation's assisted program. Nine other villages that have declared themselves as Peace Villages are  Kelurahan Pengasinan, Sawangan District, Depok City, West Java; Tajur Halang Village, Tajur Halang Subdistrict, Bogor Regency, West Java;  Gemblegan Village, Kalikotes Subdistrict, Klaten Regency, Central Java Province; Nglinggi Village, Klaten Selatan Subdistrict, Klaten Regency, Central Java Province; Kelurahan Candirenggo, Singosari Subdistrict, Malang Regency, East Java Province; Sidomulyo Village, Batu City, Batu Subdistrict, East Java Province; Guluk Guluk Village, Guluk Guluk Subdistrict, Sumenep Regency, East Java Province; Payundan Dundang Village, Sumenep Regency, East Java Province; and Prancak Village, Pasongsongan Subdistrict, Sumenep Regency, East Java Province.

By: Ester Pandiangan

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Peace Village initiative aims to tackle the threat of radicalism by empowering communities, one village at a time, through cultivating social cohesion, community resilience, as well as promoting societal equality and respect for diversity.

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