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July 2020
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Religious Youth Service

RYS Participants Paint and Clean a Muhammadiyah Center

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Nova Certeza, Singapore – This was the first time Nova Certeza engaged in an RYS project. The event coincided with the Islamic festival of Hari Raya Haji, when sacrifice of goats and sheep is made in mosques all around Singapore. This created a unique experience for the participants.

The participants learned about the different faiths by visiting places of worship including the Hindu temple, Sikh guduwara and Muhammadiyah mosque. They also witnessed the intermarriage ceremony of a Chinese Christian and a Sikh. It was extraordinary to see Buddhist devotees going to the Hindu temple to worship and show respect. These interfaith activities helped foster understanding and respect for other faiths. Participants also engaged in community service work, painting and cleaning the Muhammadiyah center. Interfaith teams were assigned specific jobs - a good way to facilitate teamwork, bonding and harmony. Finally, they were introduced to Silat, an art of self-defense.

Many of the RYS participants belonged to a Muslim soccer team. So it was curious for the local community to see a soccer team engaged in community service and peace work. People were also surprised to see the non-Muslim participants, on Dec. 31, helping to set up the Hajj prayers, conducting traffic, collecting the donation boxes and giving out flyers to the public. These activities of respect and tolerance were even captured by the Singapore television news.

On January 1, as part of this Celebration of Life, a friendly match between a Singaporean Muslim team, Nova Certeza and a Malaysian Hindu team was held. The event was also captured on television. And on January 1-2, 2007, 15 alumni from Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia attended an RYS workshop conducted by Dr. Burr and Dr. Hartman. This is part of the master plan to raise RYS interfaith and Asian youth leaders/trainers.

Participants: 72 Staff Members: 15
Religions Represented: 7 Nations Represented: 5

 December 29, 2006 - January 2, 2007

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