This year, the Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute (MPI) is celebrating 20 years as a training institution in the Asia-Pacific region. Since 2000, MPI has trained over 2,000 peacebuilders scattered across the globe. We have achieved this due to dedicated facilitators, resource persons, volunteers, interns, friends, and colleagues. This May, MPI will be conducting its 21st Annual Peacebuilding Training without missing a single year. This has been so even in the face of many challenges that could have led to its cancellation.
MPI has prevailed for 20 years as a not-for-profit organization, trying its best to be as self-reliant as possible in order to uphold its Vision, Mission, and Goal without compromise. This has been due in no small part to committed members of the Board of Trustees who, over the years, have come from the ranks of the peacebuilding community in Mindanao and from across the globe. Today, MPI is as vibrant, relevant and dynamic as ever. It has not lost any of its enthusiasm and hope that propelled it into existence in 2000, believing firmly in the importance of building strong and lasting relationships among all its stakeholders. MPI continues to be blessed with an excellent, small team of dedicated, hardworking, and committed peacebuilders who are carrying out MPI’s mandate with determination and joy.
In the midst of the stark realities and serious problems that are facing our global community at the beginning of the 21st century, there is hope. The Vision, Mission, and Goal of MPI ring true today as it did in the past. It is a message that galvanizes peace and justice advocates throughout the world and calls them to be pro-active, creative, ingenious peacebuilders joined together in a common vision and commitment to speak truth to power and create just and peaceful communities wherever they are. A critical mass of peacebuilders is growing year after year and spreading all over the world. Relationships between and among MPI staff, facilitators, alumni, colleagues, and friends continue to be formed and deepened and have the power to keep us on the right path, hold us above the fray, and protect us from the forces of demoralization and despondency. We are there for each other—supporting, embracing, comforting—as we face adversity and work for justice and peace.
Now as we begin this commemorative year, we are collecting stories, poems, and so much more from our fellow peacebuilders who have been inspired and fortified by the spirit of MPI. These creative expressions illustrate how MPI has spread its vision and the positive changes it has made in their lives and communities. Let us all be inspired by these contributions that follow and join our fellow peacebuilders on their journey of building a world where justice and peace prevail!