The Philippine Army’s 1st Infantry (Tabak) Division took an active participation in the Inter-Camp Peace and Leadership Training for Marawi youth leaders with the theme: “Puso para sa Kapayapaan, Magkaisa para sa Bayan,” an initiative of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and Teach Peach Build Peace Movement, on October 4-6, 2017 at a beach resort in Lanao del Norte.
With 26 participants aged 13 to 30 years old selected from evacuation centers in Iligan City, the youth camp is aimed at capacitating the youth in their role and responsibility in peace building, environment stewardship and camp management.
The activity is part of OPAPP’s implementation of community-based comprehensive peace process program to demonstrate the government’s commitment to achieving just and lasting peace. In partnership with the Teach Peace Build Peace Movement, participants were provided seminars on basic orientation on peace, conflict and violence, holistic understanding of the culture of peace, dialogue as a pathway to conflict resolution, creative outlets such as arts and dance, agenda planning and formation of organization for youth evacuees.
“Anchored on the OPAPP’s Early Recovery and Rehabilitation Program, the three-day Inter-Camp Peace and Leadership Training is a key strategy to further strengthen and legitimize the youths’ participation and leadership in their early recovery and in preparation for their return to their communities of origin. Specifically, this activity aims to equip them with basic peacebuilding knowledge and skills, further explore their capacities and role in peacebuilding and early recovery, assist them in coming up with peacebuilding and early recovery strategies and solutions, and rebuild social networks of internally displaced youths as part of return and settlement strategies.,” said Kriselle Marie Aquino of OPPAP.
Teach Peace Build Peace, a non-government organization with a mission of making every Filipino child and youth a peace builder, is composed of an expanding network of active and empowered young generations of different faiths, cultures and ethnic groups who are working together as prime movers in building a culture of peace.
“We are utilizing an intergenerational approach on peace education, servant leadership and on the implementation of innovative and creative strategies: Music, Arts, Games, Sports and Community Service,” Sumndad-Usman said.
The participants were trained on various interactive activities that provide interfaith and intercultural dialogues and are designed to develop the values of compassion, service to others, empowerment, equality, respect and understanding. “This is the very foundation of a just and peaceful society where every individual practices peace as a way of life,” Sumndad-Usman said.
“The approach of the Teach Peace Build Peace Movement is: we have to Teach Peace to build a Culture of Peace. We have to build a Culture of Peace to create different generations of peace builders toward our goal of a just and peaceful society,” Sumndad-Usman said.
Lt. Col. Jo-ar Herrera, Assistant Chief of Staff for Civil-Military Operation (G7) of 1ID, provided guidance in crafting the activity program content. He was also a resource speaker representing Joint Task Force Marawi.
After providing an overview of the current situation of the crisis, Lt. Col. Herrera challenged the participants in taking part on positive activism in rebuilding Marawi. He emphasized that the youth should “dream for themselves and for Marawi” taking on the Maranao culture and heritage of unity and bravery.
Maj. Gen. Rolly Bautista, Commanding General of the Philippine Army said: “As we continue to build strong partnerships with various civilian organizations, this is one of the initiatives of your Joint Task Force Marawi to ensure that the youth children displaced by the crisis in Marawi City are given adequate community support for peace building programs.”