(Malang, East Java) The founders of Visions of a Peaceful Tomorrow Initiative, Princess Cheryl Halpern, Prince Damien Dematra, and Princess Natasha Dematra were awarded The United Nations World Interfaith Harmony Week 2020 Special Award by the Nusantara Culture Council.
The award was presented by KPH Prince Wiroyudho, the chairman of MATRA in the Dome of University of Muhammadiyah, Malang on January 27th, 2020
The Special Award was presented to the VOPI in recognition of the significant contribution that it has made by promoting peace, tolerance and respect for all faiths through the visions of youth.
During the World Interfaith Harmony Week 2020, VOPI visited the Islamic Boarding School of Sabilurrosyad and held its Awards Ceremony in the Dome University of Muhammadiyah. The VOPI continued to Surabaya and held a similar event in the Junior State High School 12. The VOPI ended its three city visit with a closing event at the distinguished Tebuireng Islamic Boarding School in Jombang.
Princess Cheryl Halpern stated, “It is a privilege for me to view the Visions of Peace and interfaith harmony as expressed by the Indonesian youth with whom I have engaged. They are going to emerge as the leaders of the future and it important for them to be heard. I am looking forward to acknowledging the VOPI goal of respect for the diversity of humanity as envisioned by the younger generations as I continue to visit many more Indonesian schools.”
Prince Damien Dematra added, “We chose to focus this three day visit in Java since the island of Java is known for its diversity of people, faith and culture. The mission of the VOPI is to encourage a commitment to peace by the Indonesian youth wherever they are being taught; in public schools, private schools, orphanages or in the parochial schools of the Muhammadiyah, The NU, as well as the schools supported by Christian, Hindu, Buddhist and other faiths.
The first week of February is observed as the World Interfaith Harmony Week by the United Nations. The World Interfaith Harmony Week provides an annual opportunity for the diversity of faith based groups to come together and reaffirm the importance of peaceful coexistence with respect and tolerance for all.
The Visions of Peace Initiative is focused on young students from the ages of 5 to 18 and is dedicated to motivating their self expression through the variety of art and film modalities. The Visions of Peace Awards celebrate both the excellence of an individual student but also recognize the total participation of all students as well as the teachers and administrators at each school they are all Ambassadors for Peace.
The Initiative has visited 33 cities since its inception in August 2018 in Yogyakarta.