Almost two (2) decades now since Peace Advocates Zamboanga Foundation, Inc. initiated the Young Peace Weaver Awards. The award is granted to graduating students of both the Secondary and Tertiary Level who are actively involved and are contributing to Socio-Civic activities addressing Peace, Leadership and Service. It serves as a recognition of their valuable contribution to social change regardless of how big or small their efforts are.
Under the Convenio Project, supported by the Spanish Agency for International Development (AECID) and INGO, Manos Unidas, that started in 2015, roughly around 60 were already awarded. And, since the implementation of the K-12 educational system in the Philippines last 2015, the inclusion of the secondary level was put on hold. But, for 2018, PAZ opened the opportunity to Senior High School students and from the Call for Applications in January 5 to January 30 of this year, 40 Senior High School students of both the private and public schools in the Eastern to the Western part of Zamboanga City submitted their application.
The selection of the Young Peace Weaver Awardees has three phases; Phase 1 is the promotion and campaign followed by the Phase 2 which is the validaiton and pre-selection through reviewing the documents submitted thereafter the Phase 3 for interview and deliberation. Given the number of applicants for this year, the Interview and Deliberation took 4 batches. The first bach: “East Cluster”- High School candidates were interviewed last February 8, the second batch: “West Cluster” – High School candidates were interviewed last February 13, the third batch: “Central Cluster” – High School took place on February 20 while for the College/Tertiary Level candidates were screened on February 15.
The 3-cluster interviews were supported by the host schools namely, Maria Clara Lorenzo Lobregat National High School for the East cluster, Ayala National High School for the West cluster, and Claret School of Zamboanga for the Central cluster.
Albert Putong, the Project Staff behind the Search of the Young Peace Weaver Award 2018, was asked about his take on the annual award for the Youth wherein he shared that, “Yung punto kasi (ng Young Peace Weaver Awards) is to give recognition to students who are doing little things from the ground…ZABIDA and PAZ under the Convenio Project appreciates and recognizes these small efforts to inspire them and others na to also do the same…sa usapang pang kapayapaan lahat may parte…lalo na ang mga batang ‘to…”
He then added that “you don’t have to have a position to make a change…the challenge is it’s not for the sake of having an award, to help them have the drive to continue being a Peace Advocate…parte sila sa efforts…and the Challenge for PAZ is to creatively come up with programs to sustain their (the Awardees’) efforts and involvement…”
After the series of deliberation, around 32 finalists are now awaiting for their confimartion of award. The Awardees will receive their recognition during their graduation ceremony this coming March 2018. (Deorenzie Frances Carreon/ZABIDA)
Peace Advocates Zamboanga Foundation Inc., is a member organization of ZABIDA and its currently implementing the Convenio Project in Zamboanga City focusing on Peace and Development initiatives. The Convenio Project through ZABIDA is supported by the Spanish Cooperation Agency for International Development (AECID) and Manos Unidas.