Prior to MPI’s 2019 Annual Peacebuilding Training, Physics Professor Franklin Savarimuthu of Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, knew nothing about and had no special interest in peacebuilding. Frank finished his PhD in Physics in 2009, conducting research on crystalline structures. Nine years ago, he became a physics teacher for undergraduate science students at Bishop Heber College (autonomous) in his home town, Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu. In January 2019, the principle of the college informed the members of the different faculties about the United Board for Christian Higher Education (United Board).
Franklin and his colleagues were asked to look into the offer and apply for the Faculty Enrichment Program of United Board. He checked the website of United Board and saw the announcement for an Intensive English Learning Program that interested him, but due to some constraints, Frank was not able to apply for it. The very next program listed on the website was a scholarship for the Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute’s 2019 Annual Peacebuilding Training.
“Since peacebuilding was not a known word to me, I was not interested in it initially. Since no other projects were listed, I simply went through it to see what is there,” Frank explains.
The information he found about MPI and its Annual Peacebuilding Training Program fell on fertile ground. “I already had the long-term wish to serve the society.”