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WEEK 3: May 27 – May 31, 2019


The Thematic Courses build on the foundational material by delving into particular strategic areas and focused applications.

The Field-Based Courses provide learning opportunities by engaging real world communities where peacebuilding practices and initiatives are being implemented, challenged and refined. These courses will draw on the diversity of peacebuilding initiatives present in Mindanao, Philippines, and help the participants consolidate their classroom-based learning.

Bottom-Up Transformation: Experiences and Practices of Grassroots Peacebuilding in Mindanao (BT) (Classroom and Field-Based Course)

Catholic Relief Services Peacebuilding Team (Philippines) and MPI Partners

This combined classroom and field course will explore experiences and practices of grassroots peacebuilding in Mindanao. It seeks to distill lessons, emerging strategies, and also challenges in addressing violence, transforming conflict, and rebuilding communities from the perspective of grassroots peacebuilders. Understanding that grassroots peacebuilding needs to be contextualized within the larger framework of building peace, the course also will examine how efforts from the ground are harnessed, constrained, and complemented amidst the wide array of efforts of various stakeholders and actors in the society.

Visits will be to communities in Central Mindanao that have experienced sectarian violence and have undertaken community-based peacebuilding efforts. Participants will have the opportunity to engage with key leaders and local people to learn about initiatives in interreligious dialogue, zones of peace, peace education, peace advocacy, conflict resolution and peace governance.

 

Dealing with Trauma in Times of Conflict (DTTC)

Gladston Xavier (India) and Florina Xavier (India)

Conflicts or disasters at any level or of any type can trigger a traumatic reaction among individuals, groups, communities and societies. The series of reactions produced depend upon the type of trauma experienced. Oftentimes, people who are traumatized cannot escape the environment that caused it. In addition, they may not even be aware that they have been traumatized and carry on without understanding the signs and symptoms. They are unable to seek help due to a lack of awareness and/or access to therapeutic intervention.

This course will explore and discuss the basic understanding of trauma, including practical ways to overcome it during and after conflict. The course will adopt an “elicitive” learning process and follow a workshop format using experiential role plays and case studies combined with short lectures. By the end of this interactive course, participants will: a) be able to recognize the causes of and reactions to trauma from multiple perspectives; b) have an understanding of the specific dynamic causes and effects of trauma in relation to conflict; and c) have tools and techniques to deal with trauma which can assist in the process of healing.

This course is designed for peacebuilding and development practitioners, community leaders, government and non-governmental workers, humanitarian relief service providers, and anyone who may have worked in conflict settings and areas affected by natural disasters.

Indigenous Peoples’ Culture-Based Conflict Resolution Practices: Its Potential Contribution to Mainstream Peacebuilding in the Philippines (IPCB) (Field-Based Course)

Joey Ganio Evangelista, MJ (Philippines), Marites T. Gonzalo (Philippines) and Primo Mique Fagel, Jr., MJ (Philippines)

This community field-based course will focus on the Tagakolu community culture-based conflict resolution practices in Malita, Mindanao, Philippines. Participants will receive a glimpse of one of the communities of the Indigenous Peoples of Mindanao, who are collectively referred to as lumad. Through discussions and interactions with Tagakolu elders, leaders and family members, who will be the resource persons, and an immersion into the life of the community, the participants will learn about practices related to conflict resolution from an indigenous perspective. It is hoped that the participants’ experience in the community will help them appreciate, recognize and better understand the indigenous perspective on peace. It is also hoped that the participants will be able to perceive the different dynamics in the community that are integral to traditional peacebuilding practices and its sustainability.

If the opportunity presents itself, the substantial queries on indigenous people’s historical struggles over time will be tackled and explored. The class will also look into the efficacy of traditional indigenous approaches to resolving conflict when communities are confronted with coercions from the outside and how it could also be co-opted to benefit only the interests of outsiders. As such, the interactions between participants, indigenous elders, leaders and family members would be a venue to learn about culture-based conflict resolution practices interfaced with legal and judicial procedures of the Philippine government, particularly local government units.

Interreligious Peacebuilding: Approaches for Cooperation, Social Cohesion and Reconciliation (IRPB)

Shamsia Ramadhan (Kenya), and Myla Leguro (Philippines)

Religion, in recent years, has gained prominence in the public domain contrary to the thinking that it will become irrelevant. However, its role in many societies has been both constructive and destructive. Religion has been manipulated to perpetrate violence leading to fear and suspicion among people of different faiths. Religion has also been used to promote reconciliation and social cohesion. The course is designed to promote joint action by faith actors, particularly those working in multi-religious contexts, in regions experiencing interreligious hostility and religious motivated violence.

This course will explore processes to engage religious actors and institutions to support peace in settings where religion is a key factor in conflict and where religion is already a driving force for communal cooperation. The course will further highlight religious teachings on justice and peace from different faith traditions and demonstrate how they can be applied to peacebuilding and conflict transformation. Through case studies, role plays, group discussions and exercises, participants will analyze religiously-motivated conflicts, map out religious resources for peacebuilding, and examine challenges and opportunities for interreligious action and cooperation. Participants will outline plans that will facilitate concrete applications of interreligious peacebuilding in their respective contexts.

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