More milestones are in store for the youth in Lanao after completing the OURmindaNOW Digital Tech Camp (DTC) last November 2020. Twelve of the DTC graduates from Marawi City, Lanao del Sur and Lanao del Norte proceeded to take on another opportunity after EAI-Philippines, in partnership with USAID-funded Plan International’s Marawi Response Project (MRP) opened the application for Peace Promotion Fellowship (PPF) 2021 in January. They officially became the second batch of EAI Peace Fellows on February 10, 2021, where they completed an orientation seminar and pitched their project ideas.
In terms of PPF implementation for this year, some components may be different compared to the first batch of PPF, given also with the circumstances brought by the pandemic.
“Instead of the usual individual project implementation set-up, we arranged this year’s PPF as a team initiative, and instead of the six months implementation, our fellows are given three months to run their campaigns and projects. While time may be shorter, we made sure that our fellows will have meaningful activities and learning experiences,” shared Adam Anay, EAI-Philippines’ PPF Coordinator.
Adding to that, this year’s batch of PPF focuses more on direct community issues and team mentorship with mentors who directly work in peace and development in Lanao. The fellowship program also offers a series of online learning sessions where fellows are given further knowledge on project management and advocacy strengthening, among others.
With four peace fellows composing each team, three peace initiatives are currently championing change in the communities of Marawi City and Lanao del Norte. Get to know them!
The first youth-led peace initiative in Balo-i, Lanao del Sur, Project RINAWareness gives emphasis on the social impact of conflict among families and the greater community. It aims to raise awareness on lawlessness in the community by highlighting the role of the youth, women and children in peacebuilding. The group are currently in the preparation stage to conduct their main activities, including a peacebuilding workshop, a small group discussion with parents and community leaders, and storytelling sessions with children. By amplifying the narratives of peace and by building on the potentials of the youth, Project RINAWareness hopes to contribute mitigating the culture of rido (clan war) and address the lack of awareness on violent conflict and its implications among community members.
Leading the Project RINAWareness are peace fellows Nurjehan Dimacangun, Khalid Damo, Narima Guimba and Hakim Rahman. As young peace influencers, they believe that peace is an everyday practice, and gives a deeper connection with oneself and the community. The group is under the mentorship of Atty. Amalnor Malomalo from the Ranao Confederation for Peace and Development.
To know more updates about the Project RINAWareness, visit and follow their page here: https://web.facebook.com/rinawareness
Project KaLAKElintad builds their objectives on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), specifically, SDG 5: Gender equality, SDG 10: Reducing inequalities, SDG 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions, and SDG 17: Partnership for goals. A unique feature of the project gives one a hint on where their project is being implemented—communities surrounding the Lake Lanao, particularly in Ragayan, Tacub and Pagalongan in Marantao municipality. This peace initiative offers opportunity for vulnerable Out-of-School youth aged 15-21 to unlock new learnings and realizations, by bringing together different groups to discuss the essence of peace and creating connections between the diverse groups involved. Fellows will incorporate interactive activities that include lectures, workshops, games, team-building and community peace sessions. The youth that will be engaged in the project will be called “K-agents”, who are also expected to lead peace initiatives in their own communities.
Championing Project KaLAKElintad are peace fellows Arafat H.Hamid, Asliah Abdullah, Nisreen Pangcatan and Mariam Basary. The group believes that peace and understanding can be attained through building strong friendship and camaraderie among young people. They are mentored by Professor Yasmira Moner of the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT). Professor Moner currently heads the MSU-IIT’s Institute for Peace and Development in Mindanao.
To know more updates about the Project KaLAKElintad, visit and follow their page here: https://web.facebook.com/ProjectKalakelintad
Among the heavily affected community members during the Marawi Siege in 2017 are students and orphans in the city’s Madrasahs (Islamic schools). The siege resulted to fewer sponsors and donors. More so, the pandemic has brought even bigger challenges in sustaining the needs of the madrasahs and its students. The situation poses a health risk among these morits (students) who are now prone to malnutrition and illnesses. While external support still comes in, being able to secure food on the table on their own brings another kind of hope. This is where the Peace Harvest comes in.
Peace Harvest aims to create a holistic transformation among the morits and Uztads (teachers) by promoting food security through sustainable gardening, enhancing the morits’ mental and physical well-being, empowering them through education, and spreading awareness on non-morits to lessen social stigma. They are partnering the Darul Falah Lita’limel Qurani wa Sunnah in Papandayan, Marawi City where 10-18 years old morits and 25-35 years old Ustadz will be engaged during the project implementation. While learning backyard gardening and crop cultivation, a series of capacity-building activities on understanding the self and the role of the youth in peace-building will be conducted.
The first project to implement crop cultivation training for food sustainability in madrasahs, Peace Harvest is led by Peace Fellows Sittie Asia Mai, Jamal Pandapatan, Yasrin Hadji Rauf and Khayranie Mustapha. They are under the mentorship of Mr. Rey Anacleto, the Co-founder and Project Manager of Peace Crops, a Lanao-based organization that helps curb the growing threat of violent extremism by engaging the youth and communities in agro-enterprise activities.
To know more updates about the Peace Harvest, visit and follow their page here: https://web.facebook.com/peaceharvest2020
As this year’s fellowship also highlights team work, Peace Fellows are individually and collectively realizing their project ideas one step at a time.
“PPF is your entry point. You will have your ideas and you have to do it. Remember without your commitment, you’ll never start. So, assess your commitment before you start. More importantly, without consistency you will never finish. We also need to be consistent. The real challenge is after PPF. How will you sustain your activities?”, EAI Philippines Country Director Exan Sharief shared during the PPF orientation.
Plan International – MRP Technical Advisor Mr. Larry Agpalo, also expressed his hopes for this year’s batch of peace fellows. According to him, the peace fellows’ commitment to contribute an enabling environment- youth advocacy plan, peace process and good governance, are meaningful in reaching out every person in the community. By doing these, peace fellows are not just helping the youth but also the government.