- ABOUT REJEFIR : What is YOUNIB (mostly known in French as RE.JE.F.IR. Réseau des jeunes pour la fraternité interreligieuse)?
The Youth Network for the Interreligious Brotherhood (YOUNIB) is a youth interfaith peace movement initiated by the Congregation of the Assumptionnist Fathers through an Assumptionnist Catholic religious Priest, Reverend Father MABOU SIMO Serge Patrick. It exist in order to
- build with, through and for the youth on the noble and generous initiative of a common world a historic milestone in interfaith relations
- create a space in which Christian and Muslim youths and those of good will from all faiths and none can meet in common affirmation of love of God and of a neighbor, an affirmation that is the core of our humanity
- impart to our African younger generation the truth that it is possible for them to build a culture of harmony, peace, tolerance, brotherhood and mutual respect among cultures and religions in Africa and in a world too often marked by fear, mistrust, tribalism, hostility and religious intolerance based on ignorance.
The YOUNIB through it activities wants to help our African youth to look at other religions and cultures not as primarily a source of harm, secondly to avoid confusing adherence to one’s own beliefs and faith with a call to be intolerant of others who have different beliefs and practices, thirdly to help them get rid of the feeling that one’s own value depends upon diminishing another person’s, and fourthly to look for connections and brotherhood among the sons and daughters of God. The YOUNIB saint Patron is Saint Francis of Assisi and the Younib makes of Saint Francis of Assisi’s prayer of peace its own prayer and creed of conviction.
YOUNIB ASSOCIATION (“Youth Network for Interreligious Brotherhood” abbreviated YOUNIB in short is mostly known in French as RE.JE.FI.R. (Réseau des Jeunes pour la Fraternité Interreligieuse)). The YOUNIB is a non-profit and nongovernmental youth interfaith peace movement which is being spread in other African countries. It is an open interreligious association of young Christians, Muslims and other religious denominations.
While creating the conditions favorable to the dialogue between religions, YOUNIB raises those that go against proselytism, syncretism and sectarian excesses. The Executive Board of YOUNIB may dissolve and consider resigning members who do not respect the provisions of the project constitution.
The organization was started in Togo but is currently spreading in Kenya with the Augustinians of Assumption also known as Assumptionnist Fathers.
Faced with the persistence of terrorism and the proliferation of conflicts in various regions of the world, faced with the insecurity and economic, religious, social, and environmental upheavals engendered by the current form of globalization, our societies are more vulnerable than ever before and weakened by the exacerbation of violence and tension. In a world of growing interdependence, we are all affected by these imbalances. There are more voices every day to reject violence in all its forms. The overcoming of the old war culture inherited from a past of dominations, obscurantism and ignorance is possible. And the challenge for the sustainable development of our societies is therefore this decisive choice that the YOUNIB (Youth Network for Interreligious Brotherhood mostly known in French as RE.JE.FI.R. (Réseau des Jeunes pour la Fraternité Interreligieuse) invites us to do today, for a culture of peace, love and interfaith fraternity. Peace and sustainable development are inseparable. A close interdependence links them, recognized by the international community at the Rio Conference on Environment and Development in 1992. From then on, peace can no longer be thought of simply as the absence of conflict, but as a positive process, dynamic and permanent building a culture and a common future between the citizens and peoples of the planet, sons and daughters of one and the same Father God, then becoming the ultimate goal of humanity and its development, a real project of society.
Since 1995, the UN and UNESCO have developed this concept by defining the culture of peace as the set of values, attitudes, behaviors and lifestyles that reflect respect for life, the human person and the environment. dignity, respect for all human rights, rejection of violence in all its forms and commitment to the principles of freedom, justice, solidarity, tolerance and understanding both between peoples and between groups and between individuals. The highlight of this reflection, the General Assembly decreed the decade 2001-2010, international decade of the promotion of a culture of non-violence and peace for the benefit of the children of the world. All continents, including Africa, have pledged to act in this way by supporting and implementing projects for a culture of peace in 8 areas of action.
Thus, living in a plural and pluralistic world, a worldwide movement to which YOUNIB has joined, is on the march to promote the culture of peace, love, interfaith brotherhood where each individual, each group, each institution each state has its place. Such a task requires the active participation of each of our fellow citizens both at the national and local levels to disseminate these principles enlightened by the God who is Love at the heart of our social relations, in our churches, mosques, temples, etc. And because peace is cultivated from the neighborhood to the planet, because the globalization of peace begins with the integration of this concept into the daily practices and life of the citizens, then the cities and their mostly young inhabitants are major actors and preponderant aspects of the promotion of the culture of peace.
The 8 areas of action for a peaceful and non-violent world:
- Strengthen a culture of peace through education.
By revising curricula to promote values, behaviors and lifestyles that support a culture of peace, such as peaceful conflict resolution, dialogue, consensus-building and Nonviolence.
- Promote sustainable economic and social development.
Reducing economic and social inequalities, eradicating poverty, sustainable food security, social justice, sustainable solutions to debt problems, environmental sustainability.
- Promote respect for all human rights.
Human rights and the culture of peace are complementary: when war and violence predominate, it is impossible to ensure human rights; in the same way, without human rights, in all their forms, there can be no culture of peace.
- Ensure equality between women and men.
Through the full participation of women in economic, social and political decision making, through the elimination of all forms of discrimination and violence against women.
- Promote democratic participation.
Through the affirmation of principles, practices and democratic participation in all sectors of society, a transparent government and administration, the fight against terrorism, organized crime, corruption, illegal drugs and money laundering .
- Develop understanding, tolerance and solidarity.
To abolish wars and violent conflicts, it is necessary to transcend and overcome the images of the enemy through understanding, tolerance and solidarity among all peoples and all cultures. Learning from all our differences through dialogue and the exchange of information is a process that can only be enriching.
- Support participatory communication and the free flow of information and knowledge.
Freedom of information and communication and the sharing of information and knowledge are essential for a culture of peace. At the same time, measures must be taken to counter the promotion of violence by the media, including new information and communication technologies.
- Promote international peace and security.
The human security and disarmament gains of recent years, including the Nuclear Weapons Treaties and the Anti-Personnel Mine Action Treaty, should encourage us in our efforts to, for example, negotiate peaceful disputes, the elimination of the production and illicit trafficking of weapons, humanitarian solutions in situations of conflict, initiatives to address post-conflict problems.
In order to launch a vibrant call to the African youth to find, through the path of dialogue and forgiveness, the plan of harmony desired by the Creator for his creation, by God for humanity, to somehow advocacy for peace and fraternity, secular communities (independent of all religions) and religious communities generally carry different but complementary ethical projects in the service of “living together”. The former are fond of universal and social values: those of human rights. Seconds refer to general and moral terms such as: trust, forgiveness, courage, jealousy, loyalty…. Efforts must be made to reconcile these two ethical projects: by inviting to consider human rights as social duties towards others but also as moral duties towards oneself. Beyond the external behaviors that they regulate and the collective order that they guarantee, human rights are also principles of spiritual wisdom that can improve the intimacy of the human being. It is a matter for everyone, to become aware of the discrepancy between his external behavior, which apparently respects human rights and his inner attitude, which often applies them for selfish interest, masking his true face marked by: xenophobia, racism, fear, hatred, sectarianism, slander, slander, indifference, impiety, pride, cruelty, cowardice, envy, greed, excess, intolerance … That is why we, young religious and laity of all kinds decided to find ourselves in an Association called REJEFIR (RESEAU DES JEUNES POUR LA FRATERNITE INTERRELIGIEUSE) or YOUNIB (YOUTH NETWORK FOR INTERRELIGIOUS BROTHERHOOD).
Youth Ever The Best and United for Peace (YET B UP)
Our greeting: EVER THE BEST … looking up and touching the neighbor’s thumb, smiling. By this gesture it is for everyone to give the best around oneself. To work to see in the other not a rival or an enemy to fight and kill but a brother, a sister to love, to raise and to raise. The best project is to defuse the young in the balls of rivalry, of selfish interest, of struggle for destructive ends. And this is why the association insists on the truth that there is no question of being better than others (it is not a quarrel), but of being better than oneself and to work to make others better.
- Mobilizing the youths around Africa and the world to use their talents and energy for peace building and togetherness.
- Being a source of inspiration for many youths.
- Continue creating open network communities where youths are connected and trained.
- Together with the youths forming a global positive movement that aims to prevent new armed, tribal, environmental and religious conflict mostly in African countries.
- Guided by the spirituality of nonviolence, we advocate and promote leadership for reconciliation with justice, inclusiveness, economic and interracial justice, human rights and care of creation.
- Offering a platform for a large community of youths regardless of their religions; religious communities, social entrepreneurs, volunteers, bloggers, journalists, media, musicians, businesses and active citizens to connect together and support with actions. For this reason our call to action is: Thumbs-up ever the best, Give the Best.
To inspire, connect, equip youth and to help them lead the way to a more sustainable world with fewer conflicts by promoting hope, non-violent, love, peace and unity.
Alongside with local leaders, creating that culture of peace, love, unity among religions, cultures, people through a variety of interfaith activities that include African interfaith and integration journeys, educational programs both for youngsters and adults, interfaith choirs, music, concert, sports, arts, dialogue, and a creative perspective for local change-makers via training and social enterprises.
QUALITIES OF A YOUNIB MEMBER
A YOUNIB member:
- Is a peace-maker and is humble
- Is trustworthy, always available and hardworking
- Portrays the virtue of faith, hope and charity as well as prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance
- Ready to learn from others
- Is creative
- Is kind, wise, obedient, generous and compassionate
- Establishes good relationships with neighbors irrespective of color, belief, tribe or nationality
- Talks positively to friends about his/her society
- Aims at uniting not scattering people
- Is informed on basic matters relating to religion and secular life thus forms part of the learning community
- Uses wisdom and is intelligent when handling problems
- Is objective and optimistic
- Fights with energy against pride
- Is prayerful and depends on the Holy Spirit of God to lead him/her
- Sets goals and asks God to make it possible to attain our goals
- Has love for all including those difficult to love
- Ensures healthy relationships at home with parents, brothers and sisters
PRAYER FOR PEACE
Lord make me an instrument of your peace
Where there is hatred let me sow love
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
And where there is sadness, joy
O divine master grant that I may
not so much seek to be consoled as to console
to be understood as to understand
To be loved as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it’s in dying that we are born to eternal life
St Francis of Assisi