|The intricate subject of peace and peaceful coexistence in the society, as PROCMURA views it, must be an agenda for all in the society.
|Young people are not only key in all that takes place in the society in terms of relations whether good or bad but are also the majority in most communities around Africa. They are, therefore, heavily and widely affected with all problems in society. It is on this basis that PROCMURA continually sensitises its Area Advisers and Regional Coordinators to involve young people in their programmes and to consciously evolve programmes that meet the needs of young people.
It is the belief of PROCMURA that the energy and zeal found in this group must be harnessed and put to good use lest it serve as a reservoir for destructive religious elements to use in promoting animosity and violence. It is within this context that PROCMURA ensures the participation of young people in Christian-Muslim relations so that they eventually become major players in the work of PROCMURA in the continent.
The Youth Programme within PROCMURA focuses on two levels:
The first level engages Christian Youth on how to work towards the promotion of a peaceful environment in an interfaith milieu of Christian and Muslim co-existence. This level focuses on Issues of particular concern to youth in Christian-Muslim relations in particular with specific attention given to the following:
- Peace and peaceful coexistence – the Christian youth are engaged in actions to prepare them to work for peace in the society and also promote harmonious living between Christians and Muslims in general and among young people of the two faiths in particular.
- Religious tolerance – through PROCMURA programmes, the youth agenda encourages a culture of mutual respect, tolerance and acceptance in an interfaith environment of Christians and Muslims. As a result, the organisation envisions a concentration of efforts towards issues that bring the two communities together while at the same time remaining fully conscious of those that can divide them.
- Peaceable Christian witness – one of the fundamental cornerstones of PROCMURA’s operation is the promotion, within the churches, of responsible and faithful Christian witness in an interfaith environment of Christians and Muslims. Youth programmes are therefore seen as an important supplement in ensuring a serene and mutually tolerable environment for witnessing to the Gospel.
- Christian-Muslim marriages – the aspect of marriage whether mixed (Christian-Muslim) or purely Christian usually demands for preparation at both the family and religious levels. In order not to succumb to confusion that may result in dejection in terms of marital life, the Youth Programme embarks on educational activities geared towards engaging young people on the complexities of marriage, especially interfaith marriages. Such programmes assist the youth to make decisions based on knowledge and not ignorance or prejudice.
This level consists of activities that enhance cooperation and collaboration between Christian and Muslim youth. It is the intention of the programme to have the constituencies continuously develop joint strategies that identify and formulate actions that address common issues of concern to the youth in particular, and Christian-Muslim relations in general. Therefore, Christian-Muslim joint Youth Programmes focus on bolstering the constructive engagement of youth in Christian-Muslim relations with specific attention given to:
- Curbing communal violence – uncontrolled conflicts or misunderstandings between people of different faiths usually forms a vicious circle and thus promotes an unending culture of hatred and revenge. Young people make up the constituency that usually becomes highly involved in these conflicts due to ignorance and economic vulnerability. To this end, they become both victims and perpetrators enmeshed in situations that cause them to be violent. The results of these circumstances are diverse (mainly destructive) and include living with trauma and a culture of hopelessness.
- Working towards ensuring that young people interact and engage with each other without feelings of segregation or discrimination against each other. Young people have immense energy, thoughts, and a reservoir of ability to work. PROCMURA feels that by involving them, at grass root level, in actions that enhance the principle of working together for the sake of human identity they shall, in the end harmonise their efforts towards eradicating communal violence and any other misunderstanding that may arise between the followers of Christianity and Islam. – it is the general belief that in an interfaith community of Christians and Muslims, all efforts must be made to build an environment of peace and ensure that living together in harmony is upheld. On these grounds, the PROCMURA Youth Programme centres its attention on enhancing the capacities of young people, both Christians and Muslims, in the realising mutual harmony and building structures that guarantee sustainable peaceful living.
- HIV/AIDS – many researchers and statistics indicate that young people are the most affected persons when it comes to health issues such as HIV/AIDS and other health issues. This is because at this stage, they are active and exploring. More often than not, they do not obtain sufficient guidance on what to do or not do, and how to explain various changes in their bodies. From the religious perspective, educational efforts have been minimal. The PROCMURA Youth Programme on HIV/AIDS seeks to involve both Christian and Muslim youth to identify those factors that hinder them from being either jointly or individually at the forefront of HIV/AIDS prevention efforts. Together, young people who attend PROCMURA’s workshops do come out with a joint agenda to address not only how to curb the pandemic but also how to address the stigma associated with it.
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