Sunday, June 19, 2011

Youth holds peace workshop in Zamboanga City

Participants of the “A Day with Peace,” seminar in Zamboanga City in the southern Philippines.

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / June 19, 2011) - Youth leaders in Zamboanga City on Saturday held a one-day peace workshop that aims to foster peace building through continues dialogue.

Dubbed as “A Day with Peace,” the project was initiated by PeaceTech and Youth Philippines and sponsored by Ateneo Peers’ Circle, The Mindanao Examiner, Young Moro Professionals Network-Western Mindanao and Alumni of the Congressional Internship Program for Young Mindanao Leaders (CIPYML).

PeaceTech is an organization whose mission is to promote the use of technology and dialogue in building respect and understanding between groups of people. Through the use of technology to bring people from different groups together across large distances, we build bridges of understanding, reduce ignorance, and ultimately, lessen conflict.

PeaceTech recognizes the need to promote an understanding of the causes and consequences of conflicts in the Philippines and the common challenges young Filipinos face. Its goal is to build understanding among the youth throughout the Philippine archipelago.

While Youth Philippines is a new initiative that is youth-led, created and managed. It was conceived out of the need to provide a genuine opportunity and venue to express youth’s ideas, creativity and voice.

The organization felt the need to reform the youth organization that was being used only for political purposes and/or the start-up organizations that weren’t able to perform its mission to achieve its vision.

“There’s no alternative to peace,” said Amir S. Mawallil, PeaceTech ambassador and the associate regional director of Youth Philippines for Mindanao.

He added that the youth should “never stop searching for peace.”

Christian Olasiman, a known youth leader and peace advocate in the city, who talked about ‘overcoming prejudice and discrimination,’ said that communication plays a vital role in achieving peace. “Constant communication is important,” he said.

“Peace is about people,” said Aldrin Abdurahim, executive coordinator of the InterReligious Solidarity Movement for Peace (IRSMP).

Abdurahim, a multi-awarded peace advocate, gave a brief talk on the peace and order situation in the city.

Close to 20 youth leaders, mostly college students participated in the workshop. Participants gave their commitment to pass to others what they have learned in the workshop and promised to engage actively in peace dialogues.

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