Non-government organization pushing for peace education to teach nonviolence (Philippines)

TPBPM Founder Bai Rohaniza Sumndad-Usman with a group of 13 to 15 year old children.

(Reposted from: LionHearTV.  September 1, 2017)

Teach Peace Build Peace Movement (TPBPM) is a non-profit organization that was formed to strengthen Peace Education and institutionalize Peace building programs in schools and communities. The organization aims to have a peaceful society where young people of different faiths, cultures, and ethnic groups are working together as prime movers in building a Culture of Peace and practicing Peace as a Way of Life. Seeing that children is one of the most vulnerable sectors when it comes to violence, TPBPM gives importance to their well-being and seeks to improve subjective conditions that may breed violence.

As always emphasized by the TPBPM Founder, “We have to Teach Peace to build a Culture of Peace, because it is in building a Culture of Peace that we can create different generations of Peace Builders.” TPBPM has been conducting Peace Education Formation Sessions to teachers, students, youth and community leaders to create a Community of I TEACH PEACE Champions and Peace Heroes Child Ambassadors.

Furthermore, it recognizes the importance of including the different sectors in society in honing the children and youth towards being peace leaders, often called by TPBPM peace heroes in their own schools and communities.

A few months ago, on May 23, 2017, when the Marawi crisis took place and has given the country especially Mindanao another challenge, many organizations and institutions seek to give aid to the survivors. Ten (10) days after the crisis in Marawi took place, TPBPM in partnership with different individuals, organizations and institutions such as Create and Learning Paths School, YGOAL and Armed Forces of the Philippines through the 1st Infantry Tabak Division has continuously conducted Psychosocial Peace Building Sessions (a coined term of TPBPM integrating Pyschosocial Care and Peace Education for the children affected by the Marawi Crisis) and will continue to hold Peace Education Sessions in different evacuation centers in Iligan City, Lanao Del Sur, and Lanao Del Norte.

TPBPM strongly emphasizes the importance of Peace Education. “If we want our children to live Peace as their way of life and to grow up as peace-loving citizens who will always use non-violent solutions in response to the different forms of conflicts we have in our society, we have to TEACH them PEACE,” Sumndad-Usman said.

In these Psychosocial Peace Building Sessions, the children got to play different Peace Games and learned values integrated in each game; they also had a drawing workshop, drawing activities with questions that can help them process their thoughts and feelings, and sessions wherein they get to communicate positive emotions through writing cards for their loved ones.

Alongside with Psychosocial Care are Peace Education sessions that teach them about the Art of Peaceful Living – giving them knowledge, attitudes, skills and behavior for them to begin their journey in helping build a Culture of Peace as well as to prevent and reject violence. More than the materials things that the children need, we also need to give them hope – for them to develop resiliency and to be able to believe that peace will always be possible despite conflicts happening around them.

When one child was asked to draw out what drives out his fear and gives him courage, he drew a picture of himself lying on his bed covered with his blanket. It was a symbol of comfort and security that he feels in his own home, which was taken away by the conflict that happened; but he continues to remain hopeful despite the situation that he’s in and shared that he aspires to be a policeman someday.

Other than the Psychosocial Peacebuilding Sessions, Teach Peace Build Peace Movement also distributed Hope Kits, which consist of sketchpads, coloring materials, bracelets which the volunteers made, and coloring books that have Islam art-inspired patterns which was also made by volunteer artists for peace. They have also distributed Care Kits that has hygiene materials – around 2000 Hope Kits and 2,500 Care Kits were distributed in the evacuation centers visited by the team.

The response to the Marawi crisis has highlighted the importance of having a sense of community among different sectors and working together towards holistic improvement. The reality of armed conflict’s long-term effect on children cannot be ignored which signifies the need for Peace Education in the rehabilitation program for Marawi with the help of different organizations and institutions. Armed conflict should not inject fear in society but should encourage us to move forward, unite, and work for peace especially for the children.

To encourage more schools and communities, TPBPM designed a program called, Schools and Communities of Peace Heroes Formation Program. Pilot schools include areas in Mamasapano, Maguindanao, Maharlika, Taguig and an Aeta community in Porac Pampanga. It is a holistic approach to Peace Education with Conflict Prevention, Conflict Transformation and Proactive Citizenship Peace Building as its components. It promotes a culture of peace environment for children and youth in schools and communities that addresses the learners’ cognitive, affective and active dimensions.

To mark its 1-year journey, TPBPM conducted a Peace Fair in Mamasapano, Maguindanao last August 8 and 9, 2017. A Peace Fair creates a venue that imparts a culture of peace and dialogue where children and youth can learn more about their role in helping build a peaceful society. It includes creative booths and activities using arts, games, music and movement that talk about proactive citizenship peace building and resiliency. Parents and teachers from TPBPM’s two pilot schools in Maguindanao, Hadji Salik Kalaing Elementary School and Tatak Elementary School, as well as partners from different institutions such as Create and Learning Paths School, Municipality of Mamasapano, ARMM HEART, DepEd ARMM, 6th Infantry Division, 40th Infantry Battalion, 524 Engineer Battalion, Juan Portrait and The Story-Telling Project worked together to make it possible.

With everything that has been happening in our society, in our country, it is high time that we all work together in institutionalizing Peace Education in every school, in every community in the Philippines. A kind of Peace Education that is localized, contextualized and sensitive to all faiths and cultures. Ever since Teach Peace Build Peace Movement started, we have been crafting peace education materials to encourage everyone to Teach Peace.

We have been creating a Community of I TEACH PEACE Champions as our way of helping build a Culture of Peace One Child, One School and One Community at a Time. Our Community includes teachers, parents, children, youth, community leaders, security sector and government leaders. Be part of our journey in Making Every Filipino Child and Youth a Peace Builder.

To support the Peace Education efforts of Teach Peace Build Peace Movement, email [email protected]. Know more about TPBPM, visit www.teachpeacebuildpeace.com or www.facebook.com/teachbuildpeace .

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