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Alumni News

News from and about MPI Alumni

Volunteers’ Initiatives in Bridging and Empowering Society

Volunteers’ Initiatives in Bridging and Empowering Society

From small initiatives of voluntary outreach programs in Cotabato City and the adjacent communities, the Volunteers’ Initiatives in Bridging and Empowering Society (VIBES) was born.

It has been said that the future lies in the hands of the youth.

VIBES started off as a spark of passion in the hearts of young professionals in Cotabato City longing to give back to their communities.

The learnings and experiences of the Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute alumni, Lo Ivan Castillon, the founder of VIBES and Abdul Majid Nagamura, the co-founder shaped them to establish this initiative.

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North East India Peace Award conferred to Fr. Dr. C. P. Anto

North East India Peace Award conferred to Fr. Dr. C. P. Anto

The 7th North East India Peace Award 2019 was being conferred to Fr. Dr. C. P. Anto on 7th December 2019 at Christ School, Nongsder, Umiam, Shillong, Meghalaya. The North East Peace Award is an initiative of Christ School International, Meghalaya and KKLL Foundation, Guwahati, Assam since 2012. The main purpose of presenting this award is to bring to limelight the works and achievements of the grass root personalities in North East. The main objective of the North East India Peace Award (NEIPA) is to motivate the youth and bring a positive change in the mindset of people to create a better North East, India. 

Dr. D. D. Lapang (Former Chief Minister of Meghalaya) conferred the Award 2019 to Rev. Dr. C. P. Anto during an annual function organized by Christ School International Shillong and KKLL Foundation, Guwahati. The Managing Trustee of KKLL Mr. D. Loyi addressed the gathering and the Chairman, Selection Committee Dr. C. Varghese read the citation during the award ceremony and has appreciated the Awardee for initiating the peace movement called Peace Channel and Establishing first Master of Social Work Institute for promoting Peace and Conflict studies in India. He as been doing a commendable job in promoting inter-faith harmony in Nagaland. His intervention in peace building has surpassed the boundaries of tribes, caste and region. He also appreciated the contribution of the catholic missionary to the state of Nagaland and in the region.

Peace Scholarships for Post-Conflict Areas in Papua, Indonesia

Peace Scholarships for Post-Conflict Areas in Papua, Indonesia

Scholarships can be the glue to bind together friendships that were torn apart. By bringing together East Indonesian students, especially those in Papua, where there has been fighting between groups in schools, we can restore harmony. Thus, the Social Trust Fund (STF) UIN Jakarta is collaborating with the Indonesia Peacebuilding Institute (Lembaga Perdamaian Indonesia, LPI) on a program called “Peace Scholarships for Post-Conflict Areas in Papua” in 2020.

Educational assistance is not enough. For children who live in post-conflict situations or in areas vulnerable to conflict and violence, the Peace Scholarships are a valuable asset for the children, their families, the implementing institutions and the surrounding community. The scholarships create an opportunity for students to contribute to creating spaces for them to be able to greet each other respectfully.

This scholarship model not only provides for the needs of education costs such as tuition fees, textbooks, examination fees, pocket money, uniform money, but also is oriented towards strengthening relations between recipients, families and different religious groups. Besides gender, the proportion of ethnic Papuans and non-Papuans is also taken into consideration. This kind of model will not expand if scholarships only focus on access to education or supporting achievement.

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In Memoriam: Tawanda Chandiwana, 1989 – 2019

In Memoriam: Tawanda Chandiwana, 1989 – 2019

Tawanda Chandiwana was a young peacebuilder from Zimbabwe who attended MPI's 2018 Annual Peacebuilding Training. Tawanda passed away from what was most likely leukemia on December 13, 2019. The General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church wrote he "had been hospitalized for several weeks, likely suffering from leukemia. His health situation and treatment were complicated by a prolonged strike of many doctors in Zimbabwe."

Tawanda came to the Philippines as a Global Mission Fellow along with two other MPI alumni, Miracle Osman and Mely Sabina Lengkong. Mely was assigned to MPI, while Tawanda and Miracle were working with Initiatives for Peace in Mindanao (InPeace Mindanao).

Small arms trade: A deterrent to peace

Small arms trade: A deterrent to peace

One of the factors making conflict varile in our region (Greater Horn and Eastern Africa) is "access to small arms." This is made possible by the existence of a thriving arms trade and arms trade routes with agents and buyers, investors, and users of arms.

Most of the small arms trade is done outside normal formal trade. Laws to manage the movement of arms exist. However, the enforcement mechanisms are conducted by fellow human beings. Invariably then, the factors of principled values, principled practices and adequate level of pay to law enforcers are laid aside, making arms trade possible.

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