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Saturday, 29 March 2008

Operating below the media radar ...

This blog is a bit irregular. I have been involved in leading an intensive seminar on Christianity and Australian Society for the past few days and just have not had the time and energy to do any postings.

So the famine will be followed by something of a feast.

First cab off the rank is an extract from an email by a friend who has just spent some time in Burma. Beneath the media radar focusing on the spectacular and frequently the violent much else is happening to build community and to work for peace across the lines of difference. She observes (some details have been omitted) ...
I learned very much especially about the efforts at the grassroots for community development, capacity building, and awareness raising. Even though it is a tightly controlled country, committed people are finding ways to engage in social change. It is very challenging and I am now trying to absorb all that I learned and make sense out of it ... I met wonderful people who shared about their work and their lives.

For example, I attended a workshop on "Women for Peace" that was given by a Thai Buddhist professor who is involved with dialogue between the Muslims and Buddhists in southern Thailand. She spoke in English and then a Burmese Baptist medical doctor translated. There were about 25 women who attended and there were Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, a Catholic sister, and Protestants mainly connected to a Baptist seminary .... This workshop was an attempt to bring women together who share different religious beliefs and come from different ethnic backgrounds to discuss dialogue, violence and peacebuilding.

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