Summit to discuss volunteers’ role in M’nao peace-building

CAGAYAN DE ORO City, April 8, 2011― Volunteers from all over the Philippines and abroad will converge in this capital city of Northern Mindanao starting today for the 4th National Volunteer Summit (NVS) which centers on the role of volunteers in addressing peace-related issues.

Organized by the Volunteer Organizations Information Coordination and Exchange (VOICE) Network in coordination with the Xavier University-Community Outreach & Resource Development Volunteer Program-Year of Service (CORDVP-YOS), the 4th NVS will also serve as a forum to ”acknowledge the hard-work, the painful struggles and tested efforts in addressing root causes of unpeace and violence the more humane way and not through arms. These are small victories won over war which could be our own contribution to respond to the Millennium Development Goals,” said CORDVP-YOS’ Myrna Aboniawan-Siose, VOICE Network’s managing trustee and vice president for Mindanao.
Running from April 8 to 11 at the South East Asia Social Leadership Institute (SEARSOLIN) at the Manresa Compound of Xavier University, the gathering will feature discussions and present case studies on the challenges for volunteer engagement in peace and development, specifically the peace collaterals like poverty alleviation, food security, good governance, human resource development, sustainable environment, and socio-cultural heritage conservation, among others.
“Mindanao has been called the ‘land of promise’ – and for good reason. Unfortunately, a long history of armed conflict has divided it into a land of plenty and a land of scarcity. While cities like Davao, General Santos and the Cagayan de Oro-Iligan Corridor have become hubs of economic bustle, areas in the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao continue to endure a lack of access to jobs and basic services due mainly to intermittent outbreaks of armed conflict that have plagued the region for over 30 years now. Preventing or ending armed conflict, and building peace in its aftermath, pose enormous challenges. These tasks require the combined effort, skills, resources and commitment of a wide range of individuals and organizations, both from within and outside of societies affected by conflict. Among those who play a vital role, either directly or indirectly, in peace-building efforts in Mindanao (as well as elsewhere in the Philippines) are volunteers. It is within this context that the 4th National Volunteer Summit (NVS) wishes to look into the efforts of volunteers in addressing peace-related issues. It also aims at celebrating the gains of volunteerism and enjoins others to learn more ways of volunteering to advance community growth and structural reforms for development,” Siose said.
Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, SJ, DD, a convenor of the Philippine Ecumenical Peace Platform (PEPP), will give the keynote speech during the event’s opening program.
Ledesma’s talk will center on the theme “The Role of Volunteers in Building Authentic Peace and Human Development.”
Plenary speakers include Misamis Oriental Governor OscarMoreno, who will talk on “Bridging Peace Approach of Communities in Conflict.”
Fr. Albert Alejo, SJ, assistant to the president for social development of the Ateneo de Zamboanga University, national coordinator of Konsult Mindanaw and member of the peace panel talking peace with the MILF, will talk on “The Role of the Academe in the Peace Process.”
Other plenary speakers are Krizanti Cruzado, director for field operations of the Coffee for Peace, Inc. (“Social Enterprise Approach to Peace-building); Balay Mindanaw Foundation, Inc. Executive Director Paul Richard A. Paraguya (“Affirmations and Challenges in Engaging Volunteers as a Host/Partner Institution”); and Department of Agrarian Reform-X (DAR-10) Assistant Regional Director Nicky Peralta, who will give an overview of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPER).
During the Summit, the VOICE Network and partner organizations will also launch the Gawad Volunteer, which aims to give due recognition to volunteers who have rendered exemplary service.
Participants will also have a chance to see various volunteer service project sites in Lanao del Sur, Misamis Oriental and Bukidnon to better understand how volunteers in Mindanao contribute, directly or otherwise, to social capital that results in the creation of peace dividends. (Bong D. Fabe)


cagayan de oro jobs said...

Yes, that's true. Mindanao has cities that we could say economically boomed however regions such as ARMM had been deprived of job opportunities and investments because of the chaos there which we always hear in the news. This has led to division of principles of the regions in Mindanao. Hopefully, this kind of problem will be solved and will have unity and peace.

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