Peacebuilding workshop held in celebration of World Youth Day 2023

In celebration of World Youth Day, 22 children and young peace ambassadors attended a training-workshop for the development and finalisation of a peacebuilding module organised by Plan International Pilipinas through the BRIDGES Project.

Held in Koronadal City from 23 to 26 August 2023, the workshop aimed to gather input from children and young people to be integrated in the module which will be part of a life skills training manual for senior high school students and alternative learning system (ALS) students. It covers sessions on identity, challenges of conflict transformation, peaceful approaches and visioning.  

ALS coordinators and Instructional Managers and Technical-Vocational Institute VMC Asian Institute and staff from the Bangsamoro Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE) were also in attendance.

A youth participant speaks at the workshop
A youth participant speaks at the workshop.

Gender and digital resources in peacebuilding

Plan International Pilipinas’ Portfolio Manager for Inclusive Quality Education and Youth Economic Empowerment, Ariel Frago, highlighted the importance of gender concepts in mainstreaming peacebuilding and conflict resolution.

“We cannot talk [about] peace without understanding ourselves and others. It is important to add voices, strength and experiences of women and children in the peace process. We need to understand our differences and learn from each other,” said Frago.  

Ariel Frago delivers a module on gender in peacebuilding
Ariel Frago delivers a module on gender in peacebuilding.

The workshop capped off with the launch of the Hope Town Hero app and its new functionality on financial literacy. Hope Town Hero is a mobile app that equips users with important life skills knowledge which are learned through interactive, gamified activities. The app was developed and contextualised with the participation of youth participants from Maguindanao. With funding from Visa, lessons on financial literacy were added to the digital app.

Ridha Ebrahim, President of Titayan (the bridge of youth) expressed his appreciation of the initiative and called on his co-participants to strengthen the dissemination of these resources within their respective youth organisations. “We will find ways to share these life skills modules to all youth in our communities,” said Ebrahim.

Partners from the MBHTE ALS have likewise solidified their commitment to support the popularisation and roll-out of these modules and apps to their learners.

This initiative is part of the 3-year BRIDGES Project: Promoting peace through community-based conflict resolution and empowerment of young people, funded by German Federal Foreign Office and implemented in 6 municipalities of Maguindanao Del Sur by Plan International Pilipinas, Magungaya Mindanao, Inc., and Nonviolent Peaceforce.