Friends, let me begin by quoting you a line lifted from Eleanor Roosevelt. “It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it.” This ladies and gentlemen challenges Juan De la Cruz, the majority common Filipino people. And what is more moiling to this are the sweet and sour additives and influences of the society.
My friends, as we all know Philippines is somehow ignorant to peace, particularly Mindanao. The island in this country that has 63% Christian majority and 32% Muslim population resulting in many violent conflicts due to misunderstanding. According to Jose Rizal, “Youth is the hope of the fatherland.” It is indeed a privilege for every Filipino youth to show patriotism and responsibility in raising the country through bringing back peace.
Peaceful resolution of conflicts is more likely the choice of an ideal youth. But how can we encourage the youth? Simply, envelope them in a world where they can have a stronger sense of self-esteem; more solid connections to their own community; sense of empowerment to make decisions affecting their own future; adequate opportunities to get to know youth who are different than themselves and; access to programs to improve leadership, communication and basic conflict resolution skills, in short develop them inside the home and education, thus students must be seen as the pioneers and catalysts for peace.
There are lots of organizations and projects being built globally to foster peace. One of these is the “Empowering 900 Filipino Youth in Peace Building”. The project that aims to raise schoolchildren as peacemakers. Creating a library involving students as volunteers, organizing trainings for the whole community, creating a student service club that will then become the basis for a volunteer and peace movement are the ways they are doing to realize their goal of connecting people to peace through service.