MPI Alumni Local Gathering
Southern Christian College, Midsayap, Mindanao
On March 17, 2018
Top picture, MPI Alumni, SCC staff and MPI staff: Left to right in front: Debbie Satentes, Maechille Quĩnones, Elma Neyra, Mely Lengkong, Novee Rafaela, and Jeanyline Alvarado. Left to right at behind: Mary Jorolan, Joseph Reyson, and Jonathan Deluvio
The Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute Foundation, Inc., in partnership with Southern Christian College (SCC), Midsayap, successfully held the first MPI Alumni local gathering in Central Mindanao, Philippines. The event took place on March 17, 2018, at Southern Christian College in Midsayap. Seven MPI Alumni from different years and some faculty members from SCC attended the gathering. The alumni included: Joseph Erson Reyson, Maechille Quĩnones, and Jonathan Deluvio (2007); Jeanyline Alvarado, Redentor C.Alejado, and Mary Jane Jorolan (2013); and Debbie Satentes (2014). The three representatives from MPI were: Peacebuilding Training Program Officer, Novee Wila Rafaela, MPI Alumni Outreach Assistant, Mely Sabina Ester Lengkong (Mely on the left and Novee on the right in picture), and MPI Student Intern from the University of Southern Mindanao, Datu Beds Kali.
The activities began with welcome remarks from Dr. Elma M. Neyra, the Vice President for Research and Extension of SCC. Mely Lengkong and Novee Rafaela also delivered short speeches regarding the purpose of the alumni gathering. After that, the activities turned to the short introductions from each alumni when they shared their inspiring stories.
Jonathan Deluvio (2007) (left) inspired us with his experience as being a peacebuilder through his current work as the Dean of the College of Extension and Community Development at SCC, Midsayap. He took two courses during the Annual Peacebuilding Training: Conflict Resolution and Gender and Development. These two courses from the MPI Annual Peacebuilding Training enriched his knowledge and his capabilities to present lectures to his students, especially about the culture of peace. He uses fifty percent of these peacebuilding training course materials as reference sources in his lectures.
Jonathan frequently delivers presentations on Gender and Development to the Municipal Council of Midsayap. He is scheduled to be a resource person on April 9, 2018, on “Culture of Peace: Do No Harm” for the Iloilo Municipality. The peacebuilding training from MPI developed his capacity to deliver lectures about peace at both the academic and Local Government level. The most valuable lesson from the training that still remains in his mind is how to handle conflict in himself. Performing duties as a Dean, a lecturer and a peace facilitator in Local Government Units requires him to be a master of time management, but this is not a barrier to spreading peace education. As a final word, he encourages all peacebuilders, particularly the other MPI Alumni in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond to continue building peace and not to be afraid.
Maintaining communication to improve connections between alumni from different regions in Mindanao was an expressed concern. Maximizing digital communication platforms through WhatsApp groups and E-mail were preferable in order to have a wider network with MPI Alumni from the three main regions of the Philippines (Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao). MPI will follow up on these great ideas, but always taking into consideration the privacy of the MPI Alumni. Hopefully, new communication platforms can break the communication barrier between MPI Alumni from different areas and increase the level of discussion among them.
This gathering rekindled our alumni’s memory of some of the moments during the Annual Peacebuilding Training they attended. They shared about the courses, most of which are still offered. The alumni also shared some recommendations with MPI. One suggestion was to add two or three more days onto the courses because five days for one course is not adequate. Another recommendation was to have emergency preparedness in the first day of the training.
The alumni gathering was very meaningful for MPI and helped us reconnect with our alumni. Their stories are very inspiring for other alumni. MPI expresses its sincerest gratitude to Southern Christian College at Midsayap, especially to the President of SCC, Dr. Edwin T. Balaki, and to the Vice President for Research and Extension, Dr. Elma M. Neyra, for their assistance in arranging this MPI Alumni Local Gathering.
Keep spreading the peace forever!
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Photo credit to Redentor C. Alejado (MPI Alumni 2013)