Peace seems to be an elusive dream for the Philippines, especially in Mindanao where battles between Muslim extremists and the military continue, affecting the lives of many civilians. As different sides of the peace talks search for common ground, Filipinos cling to their dream of an end to war and conflict, and the attainment of reconciliation and unity throughout the nation.
Against this backdrop, the Communication Foundation for Asia organizes its 4th peace camp, Youth Camp for Peace and Engaged Citizenship with the slogan: Our Dream: One Nation in Peace. To be held on May 28 to June 2, 2012, the camp aims to engage 40 high school students in peace presentations and media workshops, equipping them all to be peace ambassadors, ready to influence their peers to spread the message of peace.
As a way of expanding the peace camp each time, new elements have been introduced. In the previous camp, participants came from two schools in Manila and one school in Cotabato. This year, participants will come from two schools instead of one in Cotabato, with Cotabato City National High School (Main Campus) as the additional participant. Also this year, aside from Christians and Muslims, Lumads from CCNHS Cotabato will join the camp. It is expected that with these new elements, richer experiences and deeper understanding will develop in the six-day camp.
The lectures in the first days of the camp include the history of the conflict, impressions of Christians and Muslims by Fr. Albert Alejo, SJ; Youth Leadership by Atty. Alex Lacson, Nationalism and Engaged Citizenship by Rene San Andres and Conflict Resolution by the Peacemakers’ Circle. These presentations aim to prepare the campers for the media workshops including Creative Dramatics by PETA, Painting by Museo Pambata, Music by Sanghabi, and Photography and Blogging by Fr. Stephen Cuyos, MSC. The outputs of these workshops will be showcased in the Community Program on the last day, with parents, teachers, camp alumni and CFA partners as audience. The paintings, pictures and other output will also be the main elements in the nationwide traveling exhibit the year after.