Twelve young leaders from the different provinces in Mindanao lead the Kabataang Payapa Network (KPN) (Youth Peace Network). This, after they have completed the OURmindaNOW Tech Camp in December 2020 under the ‘Communities and Schools Leading in the Fight Against Terrorism’ (CS-LIFT) project of Equal Access International-Philippines. Equipped with essential knowledge and skills from the five-day Tech Camp, core members of the KPN are now gathering more youth in their respective communities through a ‘Pay It Forward’ approach.
The sixth batch to complete EAI’s Tech Camp program since 2019, these 12 young peace influencers bring the banner of KPN, a peer-to-peer movement for the youth that allow them to support each other in resisting violent extremist (VE) recruitment of themselves and their peers, and in mobilizing peacebuilding efforts in their communities.
Representing the KPN in Zamboanga and the island provinces are youth leaders Sau Danih (Zamboanga City); Joemar Asan and Adzrie Jalil (Basilan), and; Allen Talikan (Sulu). In mainland Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), six core members are representing the youth movement. They are Johana Kamir (Cotabato City); Hana Yusoph, Ahmida Lininding and Rofaidah Camama (Marawi City), and; Samsudin Samarudin and Rasul Mantawil (Maguindanao). In SOCCSKSARGEN, student leaders Norben Tampal and Sittie Rheham Farouq are leading the movement.
The KPN core members are currently working on creating partnerships and securing support from local government offices, non-government organizations, youth groups as well as the Tech Camp Alumni community in their respective regions as they move forward in their peace initiatives. To start with, a series of Tech Camp re-echo workshops have been prepared and rolled-out to convene fellow youth within their areas to become empowered by learning essential information and skills that the KPN core members acquired from the Tech Camp.
Several opportunities await the KPN members, aside from the avenue to nurture their leadership skills. These include volunteering, youth engagement, mentorship, and youth networking.