Delivered during the internally displaced 10th Hooding Ceremony of the Mindanao State University – Marawi Graduate School at Iligan City on July 12, 2017. Trimizy is an alumnus of MPI and former secretariat volunteer. He was also a fellow with the KAICIID International Fellows Programme. Tirmizy was conferred this Ph.D. in Philippine Studies.
Bismihi subhanahu. In His Name be He glorified.
Assalamu ‘alaykum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh.
Our esteemed mentors, University administrators, our great self-sacrificing parents and family, family that make up our support system, friends, fellow graduates, may peace and the blessings of God, Allah be upon us all now and in the days to come. Good morning.
I pray before Allah subhanahu wata’ala that this momentous event, our hooding ceremony, serves a form of collective prayer for the reign of peace, justice, and harmony in Mindanao, in the country, and beyond, if not in the physical world, in our hearts at least. For dark clouds seem to loom not only in our land, but also in many parts of the world, especially in Aleppo, Syria and Mosul in Iraq. To the list of war-racked and war-devastated places must now be added our very own City of Marawi. Marawi is not just in our hearts. Marawi is our heart.
This article was originally published on the Elizabethtown College blog of MPI Facilitator Jon Rudy.
The Republic of Bendora is an island nation surrounded by lesser islands like Renbel, Kula, Papua New Guinea, Australia, Laos and Canada to name a few. Fictitious of course, Bendora is the name of one of the case study scenarios we used in the Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute (MPI) Human Centered Security course. Our training design was hands-on and used made-up scenarios with real-world challenges. Newly designed to help those seeking to reframe security paradigms in their countries, this course tasked work groups to use conflict analysis and mapping skills. One starting assumption in Human Security include that nations are most secure when the needs of people (freedom from fear, freedom from want and respect for dignity) are the reference points (click on image for a larger map).
This year at MPI we had a major delegation from the Ministry of National Unity, Reconciliation, and Peace in the Solomon Islands. During group work participants from five other countries tackled the Bendoran security issues which included clan tensions, an earthquake, outside meddling by foreign powers and weak governance. I observed that, in the minds of the participants, Bendora was imagined as an island nation among many other islands. The Bendoran mapping exercise proved the truism that our world is shaped by our perspective.
The following poem was written by Phebe Angus George, an alumna of MPI's 2017 Annual Peacebuilding Training. Phebe wrote the "binding, bonding and bridging" are concepts she learnt during week two and three courses.
A recovery of the lost self
From a wilderness of conflict
Rescued from the mirage of anxious pain
From the bottomless chasm of chaos
To a healing through the balm of hope
Sowed generously through
A path unknown discovers itself
That it's not alone
Across nations a unity of souls
A journey from the mind to the heart
Extending to the unreached through
A path of peace
Carved through sweat and blood
Commitment and passion
All moving towards one purpose
A three-day seminar (26-28 May 2017) was conducted on “Women in Peace building” by Nagaland Catholic Women Association in Collaboration with Peace Channel and Don Bosco Institute of Development & Leadership (DBIDL) Dimapur, Nagaland. The seminar was organised inorder to educate and empower the women about their rights and train them on the skills and techniques of peace to work for peace building in the society. The Resource Persons for the seminar were Fr. Dr. C. P. Anto (Founder & Director of Peace Channel), Dr. Akum Longchar (Chief Editor & CEO Morung Express), Dr. Rosemary Dzuvichu (Head of English Dept. Nagaland University cum Advisor of Naga Women Association), Mrs. Liangsi Niumai (Advocate, Director of Care-Centre for Environment and Rural Poor Dimapur), Mr. Samir Bordoloi (a freelance organic Farmer, Consultant and an Agripreneur). The topics which were being stressed upon by the resource persons during the seminar were “Skills & Status of Women in conflict situation,” “Women participation in conflict resolution & peacebuilding,” “Role of women in peacebuilding activities,” "Women as an agents for positive change” and “To bring peace in the society by improving the economy through organic farming.” The seminar consisted of lectures, group discussions, peace celebration, audio visual learning sessions and different exercises to learn the importance of Truth, Mercy, Justice and Peace and to convey the message of our present society.
This piece originally appeared in the online Elizabethtown College Faculty Blog of Jon Rudy and is reposted here with permission.
Things got really tense in Dapat when young John killed the neighbors chicken. In fact, tensions broke out to the point where the lowlanders blockaded the highlanders, threatening to kill any who crossed into their territory. Some tenacious villagers from the highlands succeeded in bringing the two sides together to negotiate a settlement. And then we stepped in and called a halt to the whole thing.
Called “The Chicken War,” this fictitious scenario was one of the simulations we use regularly at the Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute (MPI), held annually in Davao City, Mindanao, Philippines. Written several years ago, it starts with a young highlander innocently throwing a rock and killing a neighbor’s chicken, which sparks simmering tensions into wholesale war. All too real in its narrative, we regularly cast participants as community leaders, police, apathetic citizens, and peacemakers. Also like real life, there are those present who just don’t want peace.