A number of Maranao youths from the five barangays of Marawi underwent series of training, youth camp, and reflective sessions to address the conditions that spice up violent extremism, learn peaceful conflict resolution, and bridge youths in crafting their community peace agenda.
These activities were targeted to increase youth’s knowledge; redefine their significant roles in the community; enhance their leadership skill; and, transform them into responsible citizens of the community.
A 2-day youth peace camp was organized by Maradeca for 24 in-school and out-of- school youths to reflect on their experiences and identify their roles under the current context of Marawi city.
They also had creative activities and workshops pertaining to violent extremism and youth leadership.
“I learned a lot. I felt that my confidence was regained and I also met new friends from other barangays. I am inspired by motivational resource persons to develop our leadership skills and continue to learn despite the challenges that come our ways,” said a youth leader.
Raising youths’ hope after the siege proved relevant as unraveled in a session.
One participant can’t help but cry while sharing experiences about the siege.
“I cannot forget the day when we ran away from Marawi City. It was my first time to travel without my family because we were in separate places when the incident happened. I prayed that all of us would be safe wherever we were and we be reunited soonest. Thank Almighty because we were all reunited after a month of separation. Allah answered my prayers,” narrated another youth who requested anonymity.
“On “kambalingan” we were together and had to embark a new stage of our life after what happened on May 23, 2017,” she added.
Another youth forum against violent of extremism was conducted for young constituents in barangays Diolangan, Salipungan, Langi Talub, and Moriatau a Datu of Marawi with the theme “So Manga Kangodaan I Panginam Ago Radiawan O Ingud”.
In this forum, the recruitment, persuasive appeals, and tactics in organizing violent extremist group were discussed.
Youths were encouraged to help prevent violence and discouraged them to join with enablers of extremist tendencies.
International groups had been investing on capacity-building and discourses on violent extremism, inclusive of women and families, to look after responsibly on their youths and advise them to partake on non-violent options and conciliation whenever in conflicting circumstances.
In the forum, youths underwent workshops to collect their ideas and formulate recommendations to make them effective partner in peace and development agenda.
Participants crafted their respective community-based peace action plan which include skills training, Islamic seminar, sports fest, psychosocial services, participation in medical mission, and clean up drives in their respective
Other youths involved in this initiatives are residents of barangays Guimba, Tampilong, Matampay, East Basak, and Basak Malutlut of Marawi.
This initiative was organized by Maradeca Inc. and supported by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) through “Applying 3Bs for Peace in Mindanao [A3B4Peace] Project.” The youth camp and fora were conducted on November 2018. (Sophia R. Dimalog and Farhana Arimao).