Encompass - The Daniel Braden Reconciliation Trust

Encompass works to bring together young people from different cultures and backgrounds, supporting them to become more understanding and tolerant of each other while giving them the skills and confidence to promote intercultural understanding in their communities.
Aug 14, 2015

Expanding Unity, Celebrating Diversity - Indonesia

Bhinneka Camp! (Bhinneka means unity in English)
Bhinneka Camp! (Bhinneka means unity in English)

Expanding unity, celebrating diversity

Thank you for supporting our work, which aims to bring about better understanding and unity between diverse communities, cultures and religions around the world.

In this update I am delighted to tell you about an exciting project that our friends at Encompass Indonesia are planning. Encompass Indonesia is hoping to be at the forefront of a new era of cooperation between Southeast Asian nations.

This year, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) entered a new era of collaboration between its members – Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. This means a more fluid flow of products, services, workforce and investment.

However many worry that, in reality, this will highlight long term friction between some member countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia and Thailand and Cambodia. Encompass Indonesia wants to do something about this! They are planning a new project which will mirror the Encompass international Journey of Understanding of which many Indonesian young people have already taken part in, together with Palestinians, Israelis, Americans and British.

Each of the ASEAN member countries will be given the chance to send three participants aged 18-23 on to the nine day programme to be hosted in Indonesia. Objectives of the programme will be as follows:

  • To empower participants as leaders of inter-community cohesion
  • To allow participants to address the various stereotypes and prejudices and building respect between diverse communities
  • To build self-esteem and confidence
  • To provide an ideas forum

Encompass’ roots are in the Bali bombing of 2002 and so Indonesia has been central to the organisation since its inception. Encompass Indonesia was established as an organisation in its own right in Indonesia in 2011, and is based in Malang (on Java), a town heavily populated with students.   They have a very strong and active group of volunteers as well as an excellent staff team.  

The key figure at Encompass Indonesia has been Heroe Soeprapto who initially ran a youth pioneer organisation called YEPE which Encompass began working alongside. Heroe has ceded control to his daughter, Adhitya Putri – a 24 year old Indonesian film star – but remains the guiding hand whilst on twice-weekly kidney dialysis. The other key player is Bambang Sarasno who is heavily into music and arts and uses his skills to run programmes on behalf of Encompass Indonesia.

Putri said about the plan to roll out their work with ASEAN countries, “We are very keen to get this project going and think that we can make an enormous difference.”

Other Encompass Indonesia projects have included:

  • A Children’s Art competition where Encompass Indonesia alumni visited 75 schools in the Malang area to get children (ages 5 – 17) to take part in an art competition under the heading ‘Harmony in Diversity’. It was supported by the local Arts Council and hundreds turned up on a Saturday to take part.
  • Metamorphosa - A music and dance workshop/festival/competition bringing young people from across Indonesia, notably from some of the areas where there is conflict and/or discord with other parts of the country (Aceh, Papua). Musicians’ form Papua were amazed at being able to take part in something where they were accepted as normal, listened to and appreciated and not treated as sub-human and a joke, as is their usual status in Indonesia.
  • Their own local programme Bhinneka (meaning unity) Camp
  • Encompass goes to school – alumni going into schools to run workshops and talk about the Encompass message

Encompass Indonesia are currently working hard to make the new ASEAN project a reality. They are building networks of contacts and sourcing sponsorship. If you feel that you can help at all, please do let us know. Support for this work is vital -  both financial and in kind.

Thanks again for your support for our work.

Bhinneka Camp workshop
Bhinneka Camp workshop
Planning for a workshop on tackling conflict
Planning for a workshop on tackling conflict
Bhinneka Camp
Bhinneka Camp
May 14, 2015

Israel and Palestine - what's our impact?

One of the interfaith choirs in action
One of the interfaith choirs in action

Towards the end of last year Lucy Frankenburg and Sahdia Khan from Encompass boarded a plane bound for Israel. Their mission was to connect face to face with our then Israeli co-ordinator Amit Lavi and our Palestinian co-ordinator Karen AbuZant, meeting many of the Israeli and Palestinian alumni, getting feedback on the Encompass programme and seeing first-hand the impact of it on their lives.

Given that the summer of 2014 had been fraught with tension and violence in the Middle East, Lucy and Sahdia were expecting their visit to be at the very least difficult, if not incredibly challenging. It turned out to be extremely encouraging as well as moving and thought-provoking.

Encompass alumni making a difference

Lucy and Sahdia had some very useful meetings with Israeli and Palestinian alumni, both at reunions and on an individual level.  Many of them commented on how (even several months and years later), the programme had a profound impact on their perspectives, and changed them as people for the better. Specifically it was the first time many of them had had the opportunity to engage with each other and this had opened their eyes.

One of the great joys of the trip was seeing some of the amazing work that the alumni are doing. For example, the Palestinian Steering Group is going strong. Lucy and Sahdia heard first-hand from them about how valuable an experience their summer camp was, and how they grew a lot in their skills and confidence. They now have plans for a project to do with Palestinian co-ordinator Karen’s Peaceful Education Centre, which is where they run most of their activities and workshops.

Lucy and Sahdia caught up with Dima (February 2014 Encompass programme) who now works for a Palestinian human rights organisation and Rawan (March 2013 Encompass programme) who works for Seeds of Peace.

Ben, Israeli alumnus (November 2013 Encompass programme) set up a community choir for young people from one of the rougher parts of Tel Aviv, and Lucy and Sahdia had the privilege of attending one of their concerts. It was evident that being part of this choir was having such a positive impact on the young performer’s lives and self-esteem.

Yair, Israeli alumnus (November 2013 Encompass programme) has become involved with a group called ‘Simply Sing’, which bring together Jews and Arabs in Jerusalem to learn and then perform songs. Some of their performances have been huge – bringing in audiences of thousands, but so far the interaction between Jewish and Arab Israelis has been limited to singing. Lucy and Sahdia facilitated their first ‘getting to know each other on a deeper level’ workshop. The two hour event was very successful. Many if the participants said afterwards that they found it very meaningful and thought-provoking.

Reut, Israeli alumnus (February 2012 Encompass programme) has been working on a project which helps the most vulnerable people in Israeli society.

Lucy reflects on the trip, “One of the most valuable things about our trip to the Middle East was the opportunity to meet so many different people and hear so many different perspectives on the situation.”

Interfaith workshop
Interfaith workshop
Left to right - Amit, Sahdia and Lucy
Left to right - Amit, Sahdia and Lucy
Feb 20, 2015

A massive difference

An identity workshop in action
An identity workshop in action

Thank you for donating to Encompass - The Daniel Braden Reconciliation Trust. This is a short report to show you how your donation has made a difference. 

Encompass aims to cultivate a network of confident, active young people who possess the skills and motivation to work across divides of faith, culture, conflict and ideology. 

1,300 young people from five countries have taken part in our international and UK based programmes, which blend team building and confidence building activities with workshops tackling the big issues; such as identity, culture, stereotype and religion. 

Do our programmes make a difference?  

We measure the success of our programmes in a number of ways. 

  • Young people participating in more positive activities
  • People experience inter community cohesion including initiating their own interfaith and inter community workshops and skills training 
  • People have increased confidence and self esteem 
  • People are more involved in community life 

Increased confidence and opportunities  

"I'd like Encompass to know that it has made a massive difference in not just my life but a lot of the other participants. It gives a lot of young people confidence in themselves. If only other people could feel the way I did after my programmes with them, I think that would be amazing." Mona 

Pasha explained that after attending the Encompass programme his life changed quite significantly.  He started volunteering at the youth centre where the programme he took part in was held and has lead a rock climbing session there for six to nine year olds, for which he has earned a qualification. 

"If that day never happened, I wouldn’t be doing what I do now, I guess. I volunteer at the youth centre now I've done the Duke of Edinburgh Award. I've received numerous awards from the youth centre and it's changed quite a bit of my life."

Pasha learnt a number of skills whilst on the programme, particularly around communication and confidence. He said he now felt far more confident to ask people questions. "The main skills I learnt were I guess, facing my fears, confidence, and communication. My social skills are better than they were before." 

Community cohesion 

We are delighted to tell you that a number of major interfaith initiatives are taking place as a result of our programmes. The US group, the Indonesian group and the UK group from the November 2014 international programme have all planned workshops aimed at breaking down barriers between communities. The Israelis and Palestinians are combining forces to run joint programmes! We are extremely excited about these initiatives and will keep you updated. 

Thank you again for the difference your donation has made to our work. 

Discussion on stereotypes
Discussion on stereotypes

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