Photo by: UVPN

Bringing Moro youth in the frontlines of peace advocacies, countering violent extremism

A Young Moro organization initiates project that brings the Moro youth in the frontline of peace advocacies, peace-building, promoting the gains of the peace process and countering the emerging violent extremism which has sown devastation in the Islamic city of Marawi.

The initiative, undertaken by the group United Voices for Peace Network (UVPN), Inc., is called TYACAP Kapayapaan (Triggering Youth ACtion And Participation towards PEACE) Project, which aims to mold the youth to become vicegerents and heralds of peace in Mindanao.

Hamodi Lao Tiboron, UVPN chair said, “Our organization envisages a homeland where people co-exist harmoniously with high sense of respect, understanding, open-mindedness, camaraderie and unity amidst diversity of beliefs, cultures, principles and life's status.”

He explained that their mission is to become a solid well-knit structure of young leaders and professionals who voice out and act for peace and determined to delve in inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong.

Tiboron related that TYACAP Kapayapaan kicked off through a Peace Forum conducted last February 22, 2018 at the Function Hall of Department of Education-XII Schools Division of Cotabato City with the theme “Protecting Schools as Zones of PEACE”.

“The said forum was graced by Mrs. Noraida Chio, Program Manager of The Asia Foundation, Ustadza Anisa Taha, Chairperson of Nuros Salam Central Mindanao, Engr. Misuari Abdullah, Program Officer-III of Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process, Mr. Haron Meling, Executive Assistant to the Implementing Panel Chairman of Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Mr. Renato Bendigosa, Peace Coordinator of DepEd XII Schools Division of Cotabato City and other officials of DepEd XII headed by Dr. Concepcion Balawag, CESA,” he said.

In the said activity, Mrs. Chio presented about the Understanding of Violent Extremism in Mindanao and described various push and pull factors of violent extremism.

 Marifa Agar, UVPN Research Team Head, illustrated various international and national efforts that are already being undertaken to address radicalization and violent extremism.

Engr. Abdullah and Meling gave updates on the Bangsamoro peace process and how it can help address violen extremism. 

Both speakers believe that the enactment of Bangsamoro Basic Law is a sustainable antidote to violent extremism in Mindanao.

Ustadza Taha presented the difference between authentic Islam and violent extremism giving clear idea to the participants that “extremism has no space” in the authentic teachings of Islam.

Tiboron presented TYACAP Kapayapaan Project and illustrated how it can complement the ongoing initiatives of integrating the culture of peace in both public and private high schools.

Mr. Bendigosa welcomed the Project to be implemented in both public and private high schools in Cotabato City which is to be governed by a 15-Month Partnership Agreement between UVPN and DepEd XII Schools Division of Cotabato City.

“This project may serve as a means to prevent violent extremism in schools and continually protect and preserve them as Zones of PEACE,” Tiboron said.