The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the world in an unprecedented manner, primarily affecting the sick, poor, elderly, and marginalized in our societies. Yet, every crisis brings with it a wealth of opportunities to do good unto others and self-reflect. At Musalaha we took advantage of the fluctuating lockdowns and restrictions to hire a consultant and diagnose the organization inside and out. After 4 months of analysis, multiple discussions, and assessment of solutions, the Musalaha board and staff gathered in August for the 2020 strategy meeting. Please watch our 3-minute video of our team sharing about the strategy meeting (watch here).
The challenge of change is universal, inevitable, and never-ending. On the ground, the reconciliation/peacebuilding world has been facing many changes. In January 2019, the United States government withdrew its funding for cross-border peace initiatives, and more than half of the peace activities vanished overnight in the Holy Land. On the other hand, the magnitude of local Israeli-Jews and Palestinian-Muslims interested in reconciliation based on Musalaha’s model and biblical principles has taken us by surprise.
We hear repeatedly people sharing their disappointments with the political leadership on both sides and frustrations over secularism’s simple approach to religion. The illusion of politics, religion, and conflict being separate is disappearing. Moreover, internationally, we are also being asked to help reconcile churches split over the democrat-republican dichotomy, the Black Lives Matter movement, and more. In other words, the supply is decreasing, and the demand is increasing, yet we are determined to defy the rules of economics and make our reconciliation activities affordable and available to all. The real test is how we react to change as individuals and as a team.
As a result, Musalaha is going through some changes based on the findings of the strategy meeting. We are changing our slogan to “A Vision of Reconciliation”, adding young board members, starting the process of restructuring the organization, dividing operations according to stakeholder focus, expanding the variety of groups we work with locally, and also embracing an international outlook for reconciliation in different contexts. The ultimate goal is to change our organization so that it is able to meet the current demand for reconciliation, stay up-to-date with the changes in the environment, adapt technologically, and become more professional and efficient peacemakers.
Daniel Munayer – Musalaha Business and Organization Development