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YSP-PAZ emerges Peace Champions in TAYO 9


In the recently concluded Search for the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO) Year 9, Youth Solidarity for Peace- Peace Advocates Zamboanga (YSP-PAZ), the youth arm of PAZ and Interreligious Solidarity Movement for Peace situated in Zamboanga City victoriously had been awarded as one of the Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations of the Philippines.

Pres. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III awarded YSP-PAZ who represented Zamboanga City with the prestigious TAYO Trophy at Malaca?ang Palace, Metro Manila last October 27, 2011 together with other dignitaries to include Se. Francis Pangilinan, Hon. Bambam Aquino, sponsors, celebrities, organizers and members of the Panel of Judges.

Robert N. Basco, Official Representative of the organization received the prestigious award after the wonderful journey of depending from the panel the peace efforts that the organization had been doing in continuously promoting peace education through the culture of peace that Zamboanga City is facing.

He recalled saying “Zamboanga City had been the melting pot of many cultures and perceptions of conflict in the Southern Philippines”. Amidst the many atrocities and negative labels, the city had remained to be one of the best cities that synergize its efforts for peace and development.

YSP-PAZ submitted the entry project entitled “Peace Education through Summer Peace Camps”. It had been one of the focal point of interest especially from the representatives of the Department of Education. It had been the campaign of the organization for the past ten years especially its institutionalization of peace education in basic education and teacher education.

Evidently, the impact it brought was the involvement of the secondary schools in various peace activities and formation of peace clubs and the appointment of peace educators and peace clubs in respective schools. Moreover, peace campers, leaders of the city had been very active in the various campaigns for peace in schools, communities and other activities.

Zamboanga City is now at its limelight to sustain peace education efforts. The YSP-PAZ envisions that the city will be the leading and model city in the strengthened implementation of peace education across all levels of the basic education-elementary to tertiary as well as the alternative learning system. These cannot be done alone by the organization, through the power of involving stakeholders; everything will come to its desired vision.

It had been noted that the organization is a two-time National Finalist of the TAYO since last year which makes it as one of the powerful contenders from among the twenty organizations all over the country vying for the top ten positions. Last year, it submitted its PAZ for SMILE program for the community.

Being a recognized TAYO Awardee, joining El Consejo Atenista of Ateneo de Zamboanga University, Two-time National Finalist and 2011 TAYO Awardee, YSP-PAZ’s flourishing 2011, moving its peace frontiers will spearhead the involvement of youth organizations in the city in the incoming celebration of the Mindanao Week of Peace.

Fr. Angel C. Calvo, CMF, Lead Convener of IRSMP expressed great honour among the youth people which have carried the inspiration of peace advocacy in the city to Mindanao and now the entire country. The youth served as the strong force in the conduct of various efforts to sustain peace and development in Mindanao assisting the members of the IRSMP and PAZ in sustaining its other programs.

Cong. Maria Isabelle Climaco-Salazar, 1st District Representative of Zamboanga City expressed admiration to the group’s efforts especially putting Zamboanga City in the roasters of honouring great leaders for peace and development. The YSP-PAZ looks forward to have an audience with Hon. Mayor Celso L. Lobregat and members of the City Council and will conduct more programs for the youth.

“The organization is very honoured of the commendation and all the support that Zamboanguenos and friends from all over the country shared especially in the online voting for the Coke Barkada Award, indeed, the support gave us more reason to inspire more young people through the power of volunteerism” disclosed organizations adviser Aldrin B. Abdurahim.

The spirit of volunteerism integrating the culture of peace and bridging leadership served as the ingredients in the developed peace roadmap of the organization. Being inspired of the support, the YSP Volunteers will walk together in heightening its campaign for peace in the communities and other marginalized sectors.

The honor of being a peace champion organization sets more inspiration for the organization to bring out the best of other organizations and together will empower Zamboanga City to be at its pedestal for peace.

Thank you so much for the prayers and support. Indeed, peace is the only way. Congratulations to the organization.

By Aldrin Bucoy-Abdurahim

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