Learning to be a Peacemaker 2020

By Sabica Pardesi

12/08/2020
Sabica Pardesi

 

Sabica Pardesi

Sabica Pardesi is 24 years old and participated at this year's online version of Learning to be a Peacemaker. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Digital Business with a background in Fine Arts. Her research focuses on high-growth digital startups in South Africa and digital marketing. She is passionate about social impact through creative and entrepreneurial initiatives. 

"I am really thankful to the person who introduced me to the Initiatives for Change programme Learning to be a Peacemaker. It was life-changing in so many ways. It opened my eyes to things we know in theory, but don’t really put into practice either actively or consciously. So, here are some of my thoughts on the programme and why I enjoyed it so much.

From the outset, I found myself in a safe bubble with a wonderful group of keen learners. I had expected to attend a lecture, but instead found myself taking part in a dialogue with stories. Together we discussed and unpacked the “why” of peacemaking.

It was a unique experience where people from different backgrounds, cultures and journeys came together to understand what peace means. Growing up in a Muslim home, we all know the basics of Islamic teachings, the pillars, and the qualities of human attributes. Yet, we practice what fits, what is contextually appropriate and what meets our terms. In a few days we unpacked Islam as a means of preserving life. We started from the core principles of Islamic and Quranic teachings, the struggles, the life of the Prophet, perspectives on loyalty and global citizenship, finally building up to the qualities of a peacemaker, all intertwined with stories, and relevant examples. 

Islam means peace. This is not something that can be worn like a blanket when we feel the need for warmth, but something that needs to be processed, internalised and submitted to. Then, the warmth will come from within. We will no longer feel the need to be accepted, to be heard, to be followed. We will find that everything will be enough. We cannot be peacemakers without first ‘uncapping’ this inner peace. Anyone can uncap their inner peace by accepting the higher power. In Islam when we submit to the oneness of God, we acknowledge that He is all knowing and all seeing. Knowing that I am never alone feels like a big warm hug. His presence is eternal and that gives rise to the practice of awareness. That is right, it is something that is practised and developed overtime. To become more aware, we must be conscious of our every intention, action and utterance.

Before this course, I was another person looking to change the world and spread peace. As young people, we carry the anger and pain passed onto us by our parents, by our nations and cultural biases. We are quick to voice injustices and make statements. Although this is not wrong, we often fail to account for sustainability. The course really made me ponder how we do good for the short-term, we treat the symptoms and not the cause. This stems from a lack of knowledge and the pursuit of quick wins. We live in a world where we are continuously seeking to differentiate ourselves, to become better than one another. But a peaceful society comes from merely accepting our differences and embracing one another.

Now that the course is over I am still someone who wants to change the world, but I now know that peace does not just have to be spread, it needs to be cultivated and nurtured. For this I need to practice awareness, as well as the qualities of peacemaking. I also need to acquire knowledge and be patient. My generation which feeds on instant gratification for a living is in for a mighty challenge. But perhaps future generations will reap the benefits.

 

Featured Story
Off

related stories

Summer Academy 2021 screenshot square

Forging a network of problem-solvers to build a secure and sustainable future

The Summer Academy on Climate, Land and Security 2021 brought together 29 participants from 20 countries. From Egypt and Senegal to the United States and Thailand, zoom windows opened for six hours ev...

Salima Mahamoudou 21 July 2021 FDFA workshop CDES 2021

Remaking a world in peril

The Caux Dialogue on Environment and Security (CDES) 2021 ran online from 20 July until 30 July, for the second consecutive year, comprising three open plenaries and seven workshops. This year’s discu...

CL 2021 Hope square

A Journey from Uncertainty to Possibility

2021’s Creative Leadership conference took participants on a six-day journey ‘From Uncertainty to Possibility’. Between 25 to 31 July around 150 online participants living in over 50 countries engaged...

FDFA Baobabcowherd-1 Noah Elhardt through WikiCommons square with logos

A pathway to peace and prosperity in West and Central Africa

In the context of their partnership, Initiatives of Change Switzerland (IofC) and the Peace and Human Rights division of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs organised a webinar on the them...

LPM report 2021 square

Peacemakers in the making

‘I am super happy to have been part of the Learning to be a Peacemaker course – we learned the true colours of Islam!’ wrote 18-year-old high-school graduate Nma Dahir, from Erbil, capital of the Kurd...

Choir Musical Stories

Musical Stories from Caux

‘What a magnificent presentation of stories and music’, commented one of the participants of the only in-person, by invitation, event of this year's Caux Forum Online which took place on 1 August 2021...

Books for changemakers

Books for Changemakers

A bi-monthly drop-in book club to resource you and fellow change-makers. Dive or dip into important and inspiring resources and ideas, connect with kindred spirits and explore your inner wisdom. ...

ICBE 2021 square white background

Sustainable businesses needs purpose beyond profit

Corporations and industries need a purpose beyond profit, says Sunil Mathur, the Managing Director and Chief Executive of Siemens in India and South Asia. ‘Companies’ purposes are critical,’ he explai...

Stephanie Buri and Nick Foster Opening Ceremony Caux Forum 2021

Opening Ceremony of the Caux Forum Online 2021: Swiss perspectives on peace

The Caux Forum Online 2021 opened on 5 July with a panel on ‘Swiss Perspectives on Peace – past, present and future’ to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Caux Conference and Seminar Centre as the ...

Dhanasree Jayaram CDES 2020

A closer look at links between environment and security

Food security is a key to understanding the complex connection between climate and security, Dhanasree Jayaram, Assistant Professor in the Department of Geopolitics and International Relations Manipal...

Shrouk Gamal

'A better version of myself'

'The conference showed me how much I really love to socialize with people. The members of our dialogue group asked me questions I never been asked before. This made me think about lots of things, in n...

ZimbaWomen credit: ZimbaWomen

Empowering women to enter the market

The Co-founder of Zimba Women, Peace Kuteesa, is passionate about providing women with the tools and resources to participate in their economies and develop their communities. She spoke at last year's...

Hani Abou Fadel

'Humans are made of stories'

'This extraordinary conference has changed me to be more ambitious, intellectually honest and more consistent', said Hani Abou Fadel from Lebanon after his participation at last year's Creative Leader...

Harmen van Dijk

How to pursue personal development: 'Just start somewhere!'

Why would a diplomat throw in his career and give up a prestigious job to do something completely different? Find out what made Harmen van Dijk leave the Dutch diplomatic service to pursue a new dream...

CDES 2020 IofC Bards meditation bowl square

The art of making a difference to the climate crisis

‘Artists are uniquely positioned to face what is happening to the climate, to reimagine the world and create a new narrative,’ says Sveinung Nygaard (Sven), a Norwegian composer and musician. He was i...