CFA Supports Interfaith Youth Summit on Nation-building

FEB 14TH 2013

"Isang Bayan, Isang Bayanihan” was the theme of the Interfaith-led Nation-Building Summit, which drew hundreds of young students from various high schools and colleges to the La Consolacion College Manila gym on February 2, 2013. The event, organized by the Office for Special Concerns of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), featured the peace initiatives of CFA’s Peace Camp and various interfaith groups.

CFA’s Training Department Head Bob Lopez cooperated with the PCOO and faith groups such as Buddha’s Light International Association and Face to Faith, to plan and organize the event, with the aim of rallying the young people to help build our nation and end poverty despite religious differences.

Since 2006 the Communication Foundation for Asia’s program of promoting peace through the empowerment of young people has reached an ever growing audience after a series of four interfaith camps and nationwide tours and forums. At the summit, Bob presented the continuing efforts of CFA to broaden its peace advocacy through more media camps, follow-up workshops, video production, art and photo exhibits, and forum discussions.

To witness to the effects of the camp, Kaiser Roeger, a “graduate” of CFA’s 2006 Peace Camp, shared how the peace camp project changed her perspectives of the Muslims and how she accepted them as brothers and sisters sharing a common dream of peace. Kaiser was a co-scriptwriter of the “Dear Peace” video which won the joint SIGNIS and WACC Best Video award for promoting human rights. The life-changing Camp experience drew her to activities that involve serving children in the community through teaching and feeding. Bob and Kaiser ended their presentation by individually pledging to continue influencing young people to work for peace and to work with other people despite differences.

Buddha’s Light International Association and Face to Faith presented their own interfaith programs and both urged the youth delegates to join activities that reach out to people of other religions. To close the event, Philippine Information Agency Director Jose Mari Oquiñena spoke to inspire the youth to help build a nation by selflessly lending a hand to less privileged Filipinos. He invited them to join the Bayani Challenge on March 23-27, 2013 in around 34 sites nationwide to build homes, repair schools, conduct health missions, climate change mitigation and many more activities. He said that we can end poverty and build our nation by not being afraid to care but to always have love for the other.

The summit concluded with the participants’ pledge to work together for nation-building. CFA’s involvement in the event is part of its program on peace and citizenship education, aimed at empowering the Filipino youth to contribute to the improvement of people’s lives and the country’s development.