In its desire to push for peace advocacy despite the hurdles posed by the pandemic, Equal Access International (EAI) Philippines’ OURmindaNOW (OMN) Digital Tech Camp successfully conducted its closing ceremony last December 5, 2020. Twenty-eight young leaders from the provinces of Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur completed the four-week online training that was made through EAI Philippines’ collaboration with Plan International’s USAID-funded Marawi Response Project.
From the digital training done through synchronous and asynchronous sessions, the Tech Campers were split into five groups. Each group, composed of 5-7 members, were assigned with a peer facilitator. They were Team U-Tech (Group 1), Team Rinaw (Group 2), Team Panginam (Group 3) Team Goaldiggers (Group 4), and Team Goalalan (Group 5). Each group came up with their campaigns: Team U-Tech came up with the I-Search Project which aims to integrate social media tools in student lessons and teach how to use social media as a learning environment. Team Rinaw came up with Rinawareness, a campaign to raise awareness on Rido and the role of youth in peace building. Team Panginam made E-leksyon to discuss the right to suffrage and encourage the youth to get involved and participate in elections using social media. Team Goaldiggers had the iraNOWn campaign which aims to empower young people in Ranaw to understand and become aware of their role in good governance. Team Goalalan came up with an advocacy campaign using photos to bring awareness on Madrasahs and their role in peacebuilding.
Abdul Matin Maruhom, a participant from Marawi City, shared some of his learnings after completing the Tech Camp. “As a peace advocate, it is our job to drive change, not avoid it. We have the capability to do things that can affect our community especially when we say things about peace that gives a lasting impact to other people. To be an inspiration when the going gets tough, is one of the major lessons that I will never forget during the OMN Digital Tech Camp. We are facing a lot of problems in life may it be personal or something else, even the community itself has its own problems. Because of this, I was able to understand the meaning of inspiration and how to inspire other people using my own words and actions, with the help of my co-participants and the facilitators.”
Khalid Damo, another OMN Digital Tech Camp participant, shared that he had already started to share his learnings with the members of his organization. He plans to solidify his group and work with their campaigns.
The specific sessions that most participants enjoyed were the online quiz sessions, Storybox and the breakout sessions of which everyone shared about their brilliant ideas and opinions on specific learning topics.