Archive for November, 2017

Mindanao Week of Peace on its 20th Year

“We continue taking shared steps in our journey to peace. We make special mention of this year’s events highlighted by the violence in Marawi and the separate explosions in Maguindanao, Basilan, Sulu and other places in Mindanao. This is also a year that gives place to the search for peaceful alternatives to local conflict such as the Enhanced Bangsamoro Basic Law, the issue of Federalism, and other approaches that mean to address our historical differences. Added to that is the on-going war on drugs, poverty, and corruption,” the Interreligious Solidarity for Peace stated as it officially opened the Mindanao Week of Peace 2017.

The observance of the Week of Peace started in 1997 as initiated by Peace Advocates Zamboanga (PAZ) and the SALAAM Foundation Inc., and later on by the Interreligious Solidarity Movement for Peace which turned into a Mindanao Wide-celebration then providentially declared through Presidential Proclamation No. 127, series of 2001 under the administration of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. This has been nationally celebrated through the Mindanao Peace Weaver Networks.

For 20 years now, the Mindanao Week of Peace celebration gathers diverse group of people beyond cultural and political differences participating in various activities such as a Grand Peace Parade (Opening Parade) and Grand Parade of Lights/Torch Parade (Closing Parade).

Majority of the activities of the Mindanao Week of Peace 2017 still brought together people from different sectors. From November 21 to 23, PAZ organized a Regional Peace Forum gathering around 65 Youth from Schools, Peace Clubs, Student Government, and Youth Sector Representatives from Barangays.

Part of the Mindanao Week of Peace 2017 Celebration is the recognition of the Peace Weavers Awardees wherein Peace Builders who has shown and/or given outstanding efforts towards the achieving Peace and Solidarity in Mindanao are nominated and are chosen from. For this year, Peace Weaver Awardees 2017 are Professor Noor  Mohammad-Saada of the Academe, Lt. Gen. Carlito G Galvez, Jr. of the Security Sector, Dr. Aboulkhair Tarason of the Religious Sector, Mrs. Juanita M Cabugatan of the Women Sector and Mr. Nulhamdo Cegales of the Indigenous People Sector.   

For Basilan, on the otherhand, Nagdilaab Foundation Inc., (NFI), a member-organization of ZABIDA, celebrated the Mindanao Week of Peace through a Walk-Marathon, a Zumba for Peace, and Mangrove Planting. Partner-Schools and Partner-Municipalities showed solidarity through their participation. (Deorenzie Frances Carreon/ZABIDA)

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Children’s Camp 2017 in Tairan, Basilan

In line with the 25th National Children’s month celebration on November, Nagdilaab Foundation Inc. (NFI), in partnership with Zamboanga-Basilan Integrated Development Alliance (ZABIDA), Kinder Not Hilfe (KNH) and other organizations; Philippine Information Agency in Basilan, Red Cross of the Philippines, Isabela Water District, International Rotary Club, and Department of Education conducted a three (3) days Children’s Peace Camp on November 24-26, 2017, held at Barangay Tairan, Lantawan Basilan, with the theme: “Bata, Iligtas sa Droga at Terrorista”. There are 184 children, 15 youth facilitators and 26 teachers participants from three (3) municipalities of Basilan namely; Akbar, Lantawan and Maluso.


The activity focused on “Peace-Building Advocacy “ which aims to strengthen awareness on environmental issues, enhance their skills and talent through arts and to deepen children’s understanding on children’s rights.


Mr. Rene V. Carbayas, Information Center Manager, PIA-Basilan served as resource speaker on ASEAN integration on the first day of the camp. He also challenged the children to listen and to open their minds and heart in realization happening nowadays.


Children were clustered into four (4) thematic sessions namely; Disaster Risk Reduction Management and Life support or First Aid Training, Arts and Crafts, Sing and Dance, and Stress Debriefing Sessions. Each thematic session were participated by pupils of different participating schools. The purpose of doing this is to make sure that each pupil will have the idea, additional skills, and knowledge of the thematic sessions and also used their talent and skills to advocate Peace. The children camp was also packed with team-building activities such as children amazing peace race in order to test and strengthen their camaraderie, communication, endurance and agility. During solidarity night the children showcased their hidden talents. 


Present during the Talent Presentation were  Ms. Deddette L. Suacito, Executive Director of Nagdilaab Foundation Inc. (NFI), Ms. Aleli Almodovar, Manager of Isabela Water District, LT,Col. Andrew B. Bacala Jr.,Commander of 4th Special Forces Batalion, Capt. Ronald G. Odchimar, CMO officer 104 Brigade & Company, Hon. Carlito M. Suela,Barangay Chairman-Tairan, Lantawan, Hon. Ustadz Patta Lazaro, Municipal Councilor-Lantawan Municipality, Mr. Haber Bebio, Principal of Pamucalin Elementary School, and Mr. Protosendo Rago, Principal of Switch Yakal Elementary School. (Ayara Jaimin/Nagdilaab Foundation Inc.)

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Responsible Parenthood and Family Planning Orientation for PWD in Basilan

There are thirty (30) participants who attended the Human Rights Advocacy on Responsible Parenthood and family planning Orientation for Persons with Disability. Held at Querexeta Formation Center, Isabela City Basilan., last November 28, 2017. It was  initiated by Nagdilaab Foundation Inc. in coordination with the City Government of Isabela and Commission On Population (POPCOM)-Region IX.


Ms. Jesielyn O. Puno, City population and Management Development Officer (CPMDO) rendered her warmed welcome message and provided the rationale of the program with the objectives: to provide Responsible Parenthood- Family Planning, Adolescent Health and Development and other program information to parents of adolescent, children and directly to differently-able adolescents and to elicit vital inputs from PWDs and Senior Citizens participating in the different activities in the identification of their specific reproductive health needs in order to recommend effective measures and interventions in meeting them.


Mr. Ferwin S. Sanchez, Persons with Disability (PWD) President-Isabela City, Basilan. Discussed the Law on Republic Act No. 9442- An act providing for the Rehabilitation, Self-Development and Self-Reliance of Disabled Person and their Integration. He stated his reason why he need to discussed the Republic Act No. 9442 for the people with disability. First, he want an openness and awareness to the Rights of PWD. Second to encouraged PWD for their Self-Development and Self-Reliance.


In connection to the Human Rights for the PWD, Ms. Gemma Casas-Paculio, the PWD Sector-Vice President, Isabela City, Basilan also discussed and explained briefly the Law on Republic Act No. 10754- An act Expanding the Benefits and Privileges of Persons with Disability. She quoted that “in reality and in other eyes, PWD like us our useless and incapable of everything” some people tend to discriminating us anywhere, but don’t take it as the balk to developed our self, instead take it as a challenge perhaps we have the Rights and privileged in this world. Although were incapable in some part but were still capable in different way, wherein able person cannot, nothing possible if GOD permit (sic)”


Ms. Jesielyn O. Puno, also imparted the topic entitled Responsible Parenthood and Family Planning Orientation”. She expressed that nurturing and caring for PWD was not an easy task, but parents must be forbearance, patience and responsible to provide good future.


Afterwards, the participants came into realizations to stand firmly for their rights and strengthen and develop their self-esteem and self development. Ms. Zabala thanked the three speakers for their wholehearted inputs on the Rights of PWD. At the end of the program,PWDs received toiletries and energy drinks. (Ayara Jaimin/Nagdilaab Foundation Inc.)

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Zamboanga and Basilan Youth Transformed Into A “Broken-Healer”

Anchoring on this year’s theme of the Mindanao Week of Peace “Sustaining the Journey for Peace” some 60 Christian and Muslim youth leaders from Zamboanga City and Basilan Province had a three-day journey during the Regional Youth Peace Forum conducted last November 21-23 at Our Lady of the Pilar Retreat House, Mercedes this city.


The Regional Youth Peace Forum is a yearly joined activity of Peace Advocates Zamboanga (PAZ), Interreligious Solidarity for Peace (ISP), Youth Solidarity for Peace (YSP) and the Zamboanga Basilan Integrated Development Alliance (ZABIDA) which aims to gather the youth leaders from this city and the neighboring island province to Basilan to discuss the current issues that are affecting these two culturally diverse communities especially the youth sectors.


“For this year the activity aims to discuss relevant societal issues affecting the young generation and their roles as peacebuilding and to undergo the initial sessions on healing for personal and social transformation by using the concept of peace tables,” Rosie France M. Montojo, PAZ Project Coordinator said.


Miriam L. Suacito, the Executive Director of the Nagdilaab Foundation (NFI) a Basilan based non-government organization and a member consortium of ZABIDA was the led facilitator of the three-day stay in the healing session. She brought the youthful participants who are coming from the school organizations and community-based organizations into the deeper understanding of Trauma and Healing.


During her series of sessions with them, she underscored the different types of trauma that the youth now days are encountering such as the sexual and physical abuses, bullying and emotional abuses. She also presented mechanism how to go over with the pains and trauma and to formally be healed.


This year the Mindanao Week of Peace is on its 20th-anniversary celebration and it is putting more emphasizing on the need to continue the journey towards the just and lasting peace amid unending violence in Mindanao.     


The youth peace forum capped with a planning session where the participants initiated doable activities related to healing intended for their communities especially for their fellow youth. (Albert F. Arcilla/Peace Advocates Zamboanga)   



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