Expand Community Networks to Take Joint Action

PEKA Community, consist of youth from different religious backgrounds in Ternate, that committed to take action together to preserve the environment

In Ternate, North Maluku, interfaith women and youth throughout Ternate, joined the Eco Bhinneka Partner community known as PEKA. The PEKA Community was launched on April 5, 2023, at the same time as the Press Release Writing Workshop. “We hope that this community can be at the forefront in guarding environmental and harmony issues in North Maluku,” said Usman Mansur, Regional Manager of Eco Bhinneka North Maluku.

At the beginning of its formation, PEKA had 19 members consisting of 9 women and 10 men, who came from the Maluku Protestant Church Youth Force (AMGPM), Muhammadiyah Youth, Muhammadiyah Student Association, GKPMI Immanuel Youth Force, Tabanga Youth, PMII, ‘Aisyiyah, and Nasyiatul Aisyiyah (NA) North Maluku. Uniquely, at the beginning of its formation, the PEKA Community was chaired by Marias Koupun, or familiarly called Aisko, a young man who was the Chair of the Maluku Protestant Church Youth Force (AMGPM).

By the end of 2023, PEKA members increased to 33 people. The types of changes that occur, apart from the number of members, are also in terms of building networks with fellow communities who care about environmental sustainability in Ternate. This is proven by the successful implementation of the Friendship Camp and the Smart Waste Management Campaign, which received extraordinary support and appreciation from stakeholders such as the Local Government of the Fisheries Service, PKK (A Women Community), and the Ministry of Religion of Ternate.

May 28 2023, Smart Campaign to Manage Plastic Waste with Interfaith Youth and Womenin Ternate, together with Ternate Local Government along the coast of Mangga Dua Beach to Kota Baru Ternate Beach

According to Usman, the Friendship Camp for interfaith youth and women in Ternate, which was attended by 32 people on 28-30 July 2023 at Masirete Beach, Sulamadaha District, had never been thought of by PEKA, or even the city government. “Well, when the Head of the Ministry of Religion comes to provide material, the Local Government of the Fisheries Service comes, and PPK Ternate comes, they often appreciate that this activity is quite good to do,” said Usman.

“To the point that, after this activity, when I met the head of the Ministry of Religion, they said again that the Friendship Camp activity that we had carried out was very good. They said that they had planned a similar activity but Eco Bhinneka Muhammadiyah had made it first. “So they appreciate it,” Usman continued telling the story enthusiastically.

Another activity that has an impact on increasing the spirit of religious harmony in Ternate is the Smart Waste Management Campaign activity which consists of education about picking up trash and an action to pick up rubbish on the beach on May 28 2023, from Mangga Dua Harbor to Kota Baru Harbor. “Ternate TP PPK Fisheries Service, interfaith friends, other communities, and the media, after this activity, many were interested in participating, joining, and asked when else we would do activities like this,” said Usman.

Furthermore, Usman said that the PEKA community was often invited to be a speaker in various activities, such as training and media talk shows. “We were happy to receive an invitation as speakers for a talk show on Radio Republik Indonesia Pro 2 Ternate to promote this activity 2 days beforehand,” he explained. As a result, the trash collection action was able to attract sympathy from communities and media who were not invited. After this activity, many communities were invited to collaborate and create similar activities.

After this activity, Usman and the PEKA community will invite more other communities and youth groups in local sub-districts to collaborate to clean the beaches in Ternate. “This is also our way of protesting to the Ternate Local Government to pay more attention to beach cleanliness and environmental sustainability in Ternate,” he concluded.

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