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There are no separations that can't be bridged


Youth Solidarity for Peace
As a part of the Executive Council of Youth Solidarity for Peace (YSP), I always have some thoughts ofcrafting new ideas especially on how to efficiently develop my commitmentas a peace advocate. Not just for my own self but also for the organizationparticularly in this times where the group is growing so swiftly. Developing mycommitment includes venturing on other partner organizations like the PeaceTechin which they had the NationalYouth Ambassadors Program for Peace 2012 last May 8-12 atCha-Li Beach Resort and Conference Center, Cagayan De Oro City. Among almost 40 applicants from Zamboanga City, I luckily got a slot joining 9 other blessedaspiring PeaceTech ambassadors.

The NYAPP (National Youth Ambassadors Program for Peace) 2012 is a gathering of almosta hundred delegates from different areas in the Luzon, Visayas, and inMindanao. It is a Formation Workshop themed as “Kabataang Kumikilos Para saKinabukasan”. A lot of things were discussed during this5-day workshop including the understanding of the history of conflicts here inMindanao. We were also given different break-out sessions for us to discuss bygroup the different concerns of Peace and Conflict.  In this gathering,many false impressions were cleared most especially on the views of somenon-Mindanaon about the real happenings here in Mindanao.

Also, we were able to listen to some heart-breaking stories of our co-participantsregarding their direct involvement on the conflict between the MILF and GRPhere in Mindanao. I just can’t see myself carrying those similar wounds thatthey are carrying in their hearts caused by war. i know it's painful.  Butmy sympathy and prayers is with them always. We too had our Solidarity Nightshowcasing the different cultural presentations of the delegates.

After this workshop, all who attended this program is expected to render commitment as facilitators for the Classroom Video Conference intheir respective cities and partner schools. After the series of CVCs, therewill be a Massive Video Conference linking Metro Manila and Zamboanga City for this year.

Although it was only a 5-day workshop, I know that we alllearned so many things that we deserve to know. Not just from the speakers, theorganizers, the facilitators, but most especially from our co-participants whohave shared so many things. I still want to believe that the best teacher inlife is not just our own personal experiences but also the experiences of otherpeople that we meet in our lives. We may have come from different areas in thePhilippines, with diverse beliefs, cultures, religions, and practices; still we are all more alike than weare different.

Furthermore, now that we are back to our own places, I know thatour shared experiences could help us in building healthier relationship withother people having different beliefs. No more stereotyping,prejudices, anddiscrimination. Luzon-Visayas-Mindanao, Muslim-Christians-Lumads. There are no separations that can’tbe bridged.

by Matthew A. Lines

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