Equal Access International Philippines hosted two online workshops in February 2020. The Stakeholders Mapping Workshop held on February 5, 2020 gathered 18 participants while the Collaborative Design Workshop for the PTVE (Preventing and Transforming Violent Extremism) Curriculum Development held on February 25 and 26, respectively, gathered a total of 28 participants.
The two workshops conducted are part of the ‘Communities and Schools Leading in the Fight Against Terrorism’ (CS-LIFT) project that EAI-Philippines is currently implementing in Mindanao, wherein providing holistic solutions to issues on violent extremism (VE) and highlighting local content are in the forefront.
Stakeholders Mapping Workshop highlights holistic, integrative interventions among organizations
The workshop which was attended by representatives from the Messaging Hub regional nodes, partner academic institutions, Tech Camp alumni and CSOs captured information on the past and ongoing counter messaging projects and programs in Mindanao. Participants shared their programs and came up with suggestions on how to improve the implementation and scale-up good practices.
The second half of the workshop allowed participants to identify the core messages of the programs they have been implementing. Dr. Christine Yambao, Student Action Force (SAF) adviser of the Western Mindanao State University-Malangas, shared how organizations worked together, especially at the start of the pandemic. She further shared her sentiments on how activities done online are being absorbed by the audience, how is it helpful and if the information shared are relevant to address the peace and order issues in the locality.
During the plenary discussion, Mr. Glen Larot commented, “Holistic interventions are done. Even though these are targeting different sectors or different themes, as far as targeting peacebuilding process, conflict resolution, countering violent extremism are our goals, all our program interventions contribute and are not compartmentalized. For example, giving ‘malongs’ to these conflict-affected communities. This can be related or has something to do with the peacebuilding process- by improving the social well-being of these at-risk individuals.”
On sharing the ways forward to address gaps and weaknesses in program interventions, Prof. Yasmira Moner of Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology urged her co-participants in making peace and development as a political agenda.
“While partisan politics is common and not unique, the peace process is what connects us. We should use these peace process agenda as part of a national platform where we should also involve the youth in as much as we elect our leaders. Are we also considering leaders that are also peace advocates?” Prof. Moner shared.
Lo Ivan Castillon, EAI Tech Camp alumnus and the workshop’s main facilitator encapsulated the main highlights of the discussion. While collective efforts have significantly contributed to the peace and security in Mindanao, there is still this need to contextualize interventions in the political spheres or paradigm. Moreover, participants acknowledged that leveraging and engaging the youth is an important move to maximize impact in the community.
Co-created PTVE intervention starts in Collaborative Design Workshop
The Collaborative Design Workshop (CDW) for IEC Campaign and Curriculum Development captured the key messages that will be significant in developing offline-online campaign materials, and the production of the PTVE curriculum guide for teachers to be rolled-out in formal high schools and ALS facilities in Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) and Region 12 areas.
The CDW for IEC Campaign identified major themes and messages that will be translated into campaign materials, including airing radio talk shows in select areas in BARMM and Region 12 in mid-2021. The campaign will bring together a range of trusted and influential voices to provide analysis and insight into issues including youth radicalization, debunking VE messaging, and encouraging defection and social reintegration. These will be co-created with the messaging hub regional nodes, Tech Camp alumni, and the members of the Kabataang Payapa Network (KPN).
Meanwhile, representatives from Mindanao State University, BARMM’s Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE) and the Department of Education Region XII Office participated during the CDW on Curriculum Development. The key messages identified during the workshop will serve as guide in the co-creation of a 12-session detailed CVE youth engagement curriculum. Using the curriculum as a guide, teachers will be able to facilitate effective and engaging youth-focused discussions in addressing and mitigating VE among early and middle-teens, creating support networks in schools for youth.
Moving forward, results from the two workshops will be highly emphasized in these planned interventions under the CS-LIFT project.