One hundred students from fifty Javanese high schools, universities, and pesantren (Islamic boarding schools) came together in late December 2009 to declare the birth of SAVE Indonesia (Students Against Violence and Extremism). The students drafted a 10-point declaration, resolving to respect every difference, refuse discriminatory behaviour, speak out against violence and promote the spirit of sisterhood in Indonesia. The declaration was the culmination of two Indonesian Students’ Youth Peace Camps 2009 held in Tawangmangu and Lembang, in central and west Java. The camps were organized by the Center for Pesantren and Democracy Studies (CePDeS) Jakarta in cooperation with local organizations in Solo and Bandung, with the support of Initiatives of Change (IofC) Indonesia.
Lily Zakiyah Munir, Director of CePDeS and SAVE Member, emphasized that the “activities were initiated because of deep concerns [about the] violence which has emerged using religious doctrines and dogmas mainly targeted [at] youth. We hope these camps will give birth to a new generation of Indonesian youth who will internalize the values of love and peace, and appreciation of diversity.” Each camp lasted for four days, during which the participants reflected on acceptance of self, belief in diversity and ability to lead.
Declaration of Indonesian Students on Peace in 2009:
- I, the Indonesian young generation, highly respect every difference that should be safeguarded and respected in our daily lives;
- I will cast away from any discriminatory attitudes and behaviours disadvantaging other individuals or groups;
- I will prevent any kind of acts of violence and extremism;
- I refuse any forms of violence and extremism on whatever grounds;
- I am prepared and committed to become a peace activist and to be part of an international peace network that continually seeks to end all forms of violence and extremism;
- I fully support all positive actions of the Indonesian young generation in performing peace activities;
- I am prepared to become pioneer of peace movement and form the SAVE Indonesia Network developed by Indonesian students and santris;
- I will involve the government, students’ organizations and the society to play an active role in safeguarding Indonesia’s young generation from all forms of violence and extremism;
- I will uplift the spirit of sisterhood, mutual respect and peace in guarding Indonesia’s harmony and diversity;
- I will speak out against all forms of discrimination and violence by anybody through various media.