Violence is very difficult to avoid. Unfortunately, violence is a practice that exists everywhere, including in the world of education. Schools and campuses, which are meant to be locations where the nation’s future leaders are developed via instruction and leadership, may sometimes turn into hostile environments. Therry Alghifary, an alumni of Unhas, was inspired by this to establish the Kita Bhineka Tunggal Ika Foundation (KITA), which promotes anti-violence and peace education.
The problem of violence that Therry experienced as a student at Unhas inspired him to start an anti-violence education program. One of them is the academia, which is still rife with violence and disputes on campuses between faculty and students.
“At the cadre I experienced violence. Beating, slapping, and other physical and mental violence. However, at that time I persisted, with the intention that one day I might have the space and role so that I can change that,” said the 2007 student.
However, until he became chairman of the FT senate for the period of 2011-2012, in fact Therry had not been able to eliminate the culture of forming cadres using violence. At that time, he felt he had a role to play in changing the culture of violence in the cadre, but difficulties and challenges came and went. Starting from pressure from institutional residents to brawls between FT and many faculties that often occurred at that time.
According to this Electrical Engineering alumnus, his experience as a survivor of violence on campus played a very significant role in his steps as a pioneer in anti-violence. “I have never regretted being involved in all violent practices during college, because I believe God wanted me to experience it and finally put myself on the path of an anti-violence education activist,” he added.
According to Therry, the experience gained while being part of a student body trains him to empathize and care. Maybe at first it was forced but over time, it made him care about his surroundings and feelings that continue to grow until now.
In addition, the side of violence and inner conflict that Therry experienced while on campus galvanizes his soul to be more resilient. “I went through that dynamic and made my soul stronger. In addition to toughness and empathy, I was also trained to be critical and logical and to explore my analytical skills in looking at things,” he said.
The Kita Bhineka Tunggal Ika Foundation (KITA) which was built by Therry is an NGO or Non-Governmental Organization that accommodates volunteer activists for anti-violence education. This foundation focuses on the intervention of violence in education and how to harmonize all the differences that usually lead to conflict. Therefore, KITA strives to provide understanding to teachers and educators from all walks of life, activists in educational communities, and young people to be more aware of the issues of violence that are currently occurring.
The foundation, which has been established since 2015, has assisted more than 5000 educators and young leaders in strengthening their capacity to fight violence in education. The alumnus of the Department of Peace and Conflict Resolution at the Bogor Defense University hopes that these leaders and educators will pass on the impact to other recipients indirectly.
“We believe that the more recipients, the more people will feel the presence of the values we carry and hold dear,” said Therry.
The decision to become an education activist forced the FT Unhas alumni to accept the consequences and various challenges. However, he realized that peace must start from himself and his family. Therefore, he always involves his parents and wife in initiations and discussions regarding the foundation’s activities.
According to Therry, consistency and sustainability are challenges in running an institution, but they can all be overcome by continuously remembering or strengthening the original reasons for a movement and the vision and mission that was brought from the beginning must always be firmly held and maintained.
Although various efforts have been made to create non-violent education, there are still many cases of violence that occur and the only way to stop it is to always actively campaign for peace.
“Our dream is to always contribute to the maintenance and development of peace in Indonesia as a form of participation in creating world peace,” concluded Therry.
Original Writers: Annisa Luthfia Basri
Translator: Corvi Dipda