Lanao youth’s art therapy plan selected as best peace project
A Lanao del Sur youth group’s proposal to use art therapy for residents in the war-torn areas in Mindanao has been selected by the Office of the Vice President (OVP) and its partners as the best project for promoting peace.
Out of the 28 youth groups who pitched ideas for a project for children affected by the months-long Marawi siege, the Okir University Arts Club received the top award on Thursday during the Angat Buhay Youth Summit in Cotabato City.
The club proposed a workshop entitled “Teaching Artistry Learning Advocacy” (TALA) for out-of school children aged 7 to 13 years old.
The group will represent the country in the Asia Pacific Youth Exchange (APYE) in Seoul in August 2019.
Vice President Leni Robredo who initiated the Angat Buhay program, said the purpose of the youth summit is to empower young people to share in the peace-building efforts within and outside their communities.
“Ito kasi, start lang. Iyong pinaka-purpose niya talaga is to change mindsets. Iyong una, iyong paniniwala sa sariling kakayahan, na kahit bata pa sila, mahalaga iyong role na gagampanan nila sa community,” Robredo told reporters after the event.
(This is only the start. The real purpose is to change mindsets. First is the need to believe in one’s abilities. Even if they are still young, they have an important role in the community.)
“Iyong pinaka-buod talaga nito, empowerment — empowerment ng bawat isa — kasi iyong paniniwala natin, iyong empowerment iyong magtutulak sa governance, sa good governance,” she added.
(The general idea is empowerment — empowerment for all — because we believe that empowerment can lead to good governance.)
During the summit held from October 21 to 25, participants went through workshops on understanding violent extremism, religion, community sensitivities, and the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL).
The BOL is expected to change the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) into a Bangsamoro region, if the electorate votes for it in a plebiscite scheduled in January 2019.
Okir Arts Club and nine other winners will receive grants of P50,000 — half from the United States Embassy’s small grants program, and half from the Office of the ARMM Regional Governor.
Governor Mujiv Hataman said the rest of the participants would also receive P25,000 seed grants from his office.
The Angat Buhay Youth Summit was a project of the OVP along with partners— Office on Bangsamoro Youth Affairs, US Embassy, and the ARMM Development Academy and United Voices for Peace Network. /ee
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