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Interfaith group in quest for another Peace Award

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Interreligious Solidarity Movement for Peace (IRSMP), fastest growing interfaith group in the region finally accepted the partnership of spearheading the selection of another peace award- Golden Crescent Awards for Leadership, Academic Excellence and Founders Choice to deserving graduating students in the secondary level.

In collaboration with the Golden Crescent Consortium of Peace builders and Affiliates (GCCPBA), member network of the golden Crescent Peace Council of the IRSMP, composed of Muslim Professionals acting as a Muslim research body of the said movement jointly conducts this year’s search of student leaders venturing greater heights of peace and leadership.

The Golden Crescent Achievement Award for Leadership was established in 1970 by Prof. Ali T. Yacub, Al-Hj, and currently the Chairman of the GCCPBA for the purpose of recognizing outstanding Muslim Students in selected schools in the city of Zamboanga. It is awarded annually to students who are chosen by duly composed members of the GCCPBA and IRSMP.

The first two original participating institutions were the Zamboanga A.E. Colleges High School Department and the Zamboanga City High School (Main), of which, were Alma Mater of the founder. At present, the following schools who are the recipients of the Award includes Zamboanga City High School-Main, Don Pablo Lorenzo Memorial High School, Regional Science High School, Southern City Colleges, , the Zamboanga A.E. College now Universidad de Zamboanga- Technical High School and lately, the ZION Evangelical School, Hansel and Gretel. Meanwhile, the Zamboanga National High School (West) and Zamboanga City State Polytechnic College High School Department has been placed in a Temporary Suspension until further notice.

The Peace Award for Leadership was conceived as a way of giving due recognition to Muslim students who excel in their studies. Earlier, its aim was to encourage the Muslim youths to strive for excellence in academics and acquire leadership qualities in their co-curricular activities. However it was modified in year 2000 to include other students.

According to Prof. Ali T. Yacub, Al-Hj, “in the year 2000, the distinction for “Muslim students” has been removed to allow students from the other faiths to participate in the Award- referring to the Christians” Throughout history of the award, it was evidently that numerous Muslim student leaders emerge as recipients of the said award.

The prevailing condition of so much hatred and violence in the world today prompted the donor to revise the concept of the award and still serves as a fundamental inspiration. According to the founder “The award is envisioned to contribute to the cause of peace as well as the creation of the culture of peace”.

In this connection, thereof, the awardees must focus their energies in the promotion of peace in their school and communities, thereby, contributing to the peace of the country in particular and the world in general.

The year 2010-2011, the Golden Crescent Achievement Award has reached its Ruby (40th year) anniversary. The Founder thought it wise that he relinquishes some of the awards obligations and responsibility to the organization which he himself had organized. The GCCPBA and IRSMP have adopted the Peace Award together with the Young Peace Weaver Award as part of the Consortium’s annual project. The youth who are the beneficiaries of the recognitions are appropriately bestowed the honor during their year- end academic activities.

The Founder however still retains the right of being the donor of the medallions for which he has been bestowing since 1970. Nonetheless, this does not mean that kind-hearted individuals are prevented from becoming donors/benefactors of these awards.  In fact, Golden Crescent Alumni are encouraged to be co-sponsors of medallions which are annually bestowed to the chosen recipients

Recently, as part of the screening process, the student leaders from the mentioned schools had submitted their documents and Nomination forms already to the Secretariat of the IRSMP. A final Interview scheduled on march 15, 2011 at Peace Advocates Zamboanga (PAZ) office, 2/F SLSI Building, San Jose Road, Zamboanga City will gave way for the student leaders to defend themselves among the jurors of the said award.

It is but an opportune time for student leaders to explain to the panel of their great quest of using leadership as the best skill for peace building. Recipients of the award will receive the award and certification in their schools Graduation ceremonies. School’s will be notified who will be this years awardees.

By Aldrin Abdurahim




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