By Apipa P. Bagumbaran
MARAWI CITY, May 20–Twelve youth showcased in a Townhall ceremony on Thursday their community projects aiming to promote peace in Lanao provinces.
The presentation of their projects is a wrap-up activity of the three-month Peace Promotion Fellowship (PPF) where they underwent capability-building sessions on project management and mentored by individuals who are experts in the field that their chosen projects will respond to.
“Our project addresses the pressing issue of clan feud or commonly known as ‘rido’. We see this as a major hindrance to the development in the Maranao community and also the reason why there are families who were not able to seek opportunities for development outside their hideouts wherein there were also affected children and youth who were not able to pursue their education,” said Nurjehan Dimacangun of Project RINAWareness.
Dimacangun and three other fellows came up with RINAWareness to emphasize the role of youth and children in peacebuilding from conflict-affected communities in the municipality of Balo-i in Lanao del Norte through positive narratives.
Another project dubbed ‘Peace Harvest’ aims to address the problem of food insecurity and malnutrition among students in madrasahs and torils in Marawi City through sustainable gardening.
“We crafted this project in answer to food insecurity and malnutrition that we have here in Marawi City because our madrasahs are not self-sustaining, meaning, they rely on their donors and are not self-reliant at all. We want them to be self-reliant, self-sustaining, which means that they grow their own food instead of asking from donors,” said Jamal Pandapatan.
Project KaLAKElintad, on the other hand, focuses on improving the life skills of out-of-school youth (OSY) in the municipality of Marantao in Lanao del Sur and making them agents of peace.
Asliah Abdullah, one of the champions of Project KaLAKElintad, said they seek to develop the skills and capacities of OSY and provide them an avenue to express themselves and become more aware and responsible citizens of the community where they belong.
Meanwhile, Dimacangun expressed gratitude to Plan International and Equal Access International for giving them the chance to promote peace and positive social change.
“We are so much grateful for the opportunity, learnings, and values that we will bring with us in our lives,” she said.
The PPF is an initiative of the Equal Access International with the support of Plan International through the USAID-funded Marawi Response Project.
The PPF Townhall is just one of the activities lined up by Plan International in support of this year’s Marawi Week of Peace. Other activities include Child Protection and Gender-Based Violence Referral Pathways Workshop, Community-based Training on Basic Dressmaking and Basic Cookery, and Capacity Development and Barangay Entrepreneurship Program Orientation, among others. Philippine Information Agency