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A Thousand Lights Program: Muhammadiyah Moves Branches, Schools, Islamic Boarding Schools, and Mosques to Prevent Climate Crisis

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JAKARTA, MENARA62.COM – The dominant energy sources that have been used for daily activities are starting to limit and have a negative impact on the environment. This raises awareness for the public to start looking for alternative energy that is much more environmentally friendly, as is done by Muhammadiyah, by initiating a program known as A Thousand Lights (Seribu Cahaya).


Seribu Cahaya is a program that builds the ‘Green Movement’ with a focus on Branches, Schools, Islamic Boarding Schools and Mosques,” said Hening Parlan, Seribu Cahaya Program Coordinator. “In three years we hope to have 1000 actions and shed light on the dark side of the impacts of the climate crisis,” she added. According to Hening, this program wants to encourage more Muhammadiyah charities to start sorting and choosing clean energy sources in each business sector.


Azrul Tanjung, Chairman of the Environmental Council (MLH) of the Central Board of Muhammadiyah, said that Muhammadiyah branches and Charity Businesses would be encouraged to be involved in this program. “Apart from involving Islamic boarding schools, schools, mosques, we will also involve business charities, hospitals, schools, colleges, prayer rooms, and mosques, and orphanages,” he said when opening the launch of the A Thousand Lights program on Monday (6/5/ 2024). According to Azrul, the MLH’s team will immediately develop a roadmap to further develop the renewable energy program, through waqf and energy alms. “I really want us to make maximum use of this program so that God willing, it will be a blessing and become a charity for all of us,” he continued.


Meanwhile, Abdul Mu‘ti, General Secretary of the Central Board of  Muhammadiyah emphasized that this program is part of a follow-up to the decision of the Muhammadiyah Congress, “Muhammadiyah is paying serious attention to climate change, and through this program we are trying to develop renewable energy resources, and also the use of energy which is more environmentally friendly,” he said. “This is something that must be done seriously, because the world is not only experiencing global warming, but the world is boiling,” continued Mu‘ti.


According to him, Muhammadiyah is well aware that natural processes can be seen and observed, so that climate change is not just a natural event, but also due to human behavior and culture. “Muhammadiyah together with all components of the nation and international partners are building a green movement that is not only environmentally friendly but also builds a healthy society. So Muhammadiyah‘s preaching must be enlightening and entertaining,” said Abdul Mu‘ti.


The Chairman of the Central Board of Muhammadiyah, Haedar Nashir, expressed his high appreciation because this movement wants to make concrete efforts for the environment, in the form of various concrete and enlightening actions. “Seribu Cahaya gives birth to a spirit to become light in times of darkness and emerge from darkness into light. This symbol ensures that we as Muhammadiyah have a sun symbol which inspires enlightenment in the environment,” he said.


Furthermore, Haedar advised that A Thousand Lights Movement should not stop at just program design, but become the practice of the Environmental Council and Muhammadiyah movement. “Let’s make this movement to save the environment, manage all our natural resources, with full responsibility for the benefit of life, as well as to build collective awareness within our nation and people, so that they are aware, care, and want to save the environment, our only place to live together,” he said.


Suzanty Sitorus as Executive Director of the Yayasan Visi Indonesia Raya Emisi Nol Bersih or known as Viriya ENB, explained that Viriya ENB was founded to help support community groups that have great potential in reducing greenhouse emissions in Indonesia. “From civil society groups, we see that Muhammadiyah has great potential to become a pioneer in this movement, and we hope that other civil society organizations will also have the opportunity to join in,” she said.


Suzanty hopes that this movement will reach Muhammadiyah branches. “In our opinion, small movements on a massive scale are much bigger, because if they enter the grassroots community, they will usually continue and become a culture,” she said. According to her, Viriya ENB wants to encourage net zero emission practices such as increasing renewable energy. “Net zero emission activities can be carried out through installing solar panels, sustainable waste management, and other clean energy initiatives,” said Suzanty. “Perhaps Muhammadiyah architects will need to be involved in designing buildings to minimize the use of air conditioning,” she said.


The launch of A Thousand Lights Program was held on Monday, May 6 2024 by the Environmental Council (MLH) of the Central Board of Muhammadiyah in collaboration with ViriyaENB. This event, which was held hybrid-ly, was attended by 110 people in the 6th Floor Hall of the Muhammadiyah Da’wah Center Building, 32 people on the ZOOM teleconference media, and 184 views on the Muhammadiyah TV YouTube live streaming (tvMu Channel). Participants who attended came from representatives of the Councils, Institutions, Autonomous Organization of Muhammadiyah, NGO partner, media, and the Embassies of Malaysia and Singapore.


This launch aims to invite more individuals and communities to take action to reduce the negative impact of the climate crisis through various innovative activities that use clean energy. Let’s invite our friends, family, and communities, including schools, Islamic boarding schools, Muhammadiyah branch communities and mosques to join this movement, by registering via the website https://www.1000cahaya.com/ . If it’s dark around you, maybe you are the light.


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