Science of Harmony: 5th Summer Peacebuilding Course Held This Week

Seeking to foster a more systematic and efficient way to build communal peace, the local civil society consortium Zamboanga-Basilan Integrated Development Alliance, Inc. (ZABIDA is holding its 5th Summer Peacebuilding Course this week, from April 20 to 23.

It is not enough talk about peace, but we have to walk the talk by learning peace-making techniques and understanding the culture of violence and culture of peace, ZABIDA president Fr. Angel Calvo, CMF said. Some 33 peace education teachers from five local national high schools, policemen, militarymen, barangay officials, in and out of school youths and civil society representatives are attending the annual training that started in 2011.

Peace is a universal aspiration and while many complain about the violence in their communities, the best way to enjoy peace is to understand what it is all about, learn about it methodology and ideology in the way that to make music one must learn to play a musical instrument like the guitar, Fr. Cavo said.

The course includes topics like “Promoting Interreligious Reconciliation and Solidarity”, “Promoting Responsibility, Honesty and Participation in Government”, and “Expanding Frontiers of Human Security”, as discussed by Fr. Calvo. Dr. Grace Rebollos, vice-president of training organizer Peace Advocates Zamboanga (PAZ), will deal on talks on “Harmony with the Earth”, which includes a field trip to Zamboanga City’s garbage dump, the newly-opened landfill facility, and its four waste recovery plants. She will also talk about “Engendering Peace”, or on the role of women in peace-making, as well as “Violence Analysis-Conflict Transformation”, ”Dealing with the Siege, Mamasapano Incident, Bangsamoro Basic Law”.

ZABIDA trustee Miriam Suacito will dissect the “Art of Hosting”, which is centered on personal peace, while Ayala National High School peace education coordinator Hassan Kaniya will handle “Peace Education”.

Two alumni of the summer course oriented the participants by narrating how they applied what they learned from it. Zamboanga City High School-Main peace education coordinator Katherine Tampon said that her school now regularly holds for its students such peace-awareness and –building activities like peace camps, art contests, ecological promotion, classroom lectures and participation in the annual Week of Peace celebration. On the other hand, Recodo barangay kagawad Thillis “Totoh” Granada said he has resolved conflicts between his constituents through dialogue and educated them on the need for respecting one another and promoting camaraderie.

The whole course is based on the PAZ-modeled framework of peace-building that deals on inner peace, human security, women’s and human rights, sustainable development and protection of Nature, interreligious dialogue and solidarity, educating for peace, human security, and building responsibility, honesty and participation in government. The participants will learn the causes, threats, problems and corresponding solutions to violence and unpeace arising in those areas at the level of the personal, interpersonal and social.

The course’s venue is the Claret Formation Center. (ZABIDA)

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