KI is very excited to share with our supporters that our project was recognized by a top award. Our Muslm Youth Volunteering program won 4th place at 2012 Intercultural Innovation award in Vienna, Austria which were announced in February 2013. KI hopes to use the award to expand the program into new areas of Mindanao and to run a pilot project in other partsof the Philippines. The coveted international Award is part of an unprecedented partnership between the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the BMW Group. Designed to contribute towards social stability and economic growth in multicultural societies, the Award is given to innovative grassroots projects promoting intercultural dialogue and understanding. The award ceremony was attended by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon who announced the winners of the 2012 Intercultural Innovation Award. President Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, Incoming United Nations High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, and Mr. Bill McAndrews, Vice President Communications Strategy, Corporate and Market Communications, BMW Group, presented the Award. UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Placido Domingo was also in attendance to congratulate all the winners. “I commend the leadership shown by the BMW Group in supporting this Award and the projects that are being recognized” stated the Secretary-General. “The creative solutions being showcased tonight hold lessons for all communities and for organizations such as the United Nations.”
Awardees benefit from customized expertise and resources of both the BMW Group and the UNAOC in the areas of public relations, fundraising, staff planning and marketing.
For more information on the award please go to http://www.interculturalinnovation.org
We would like to thank all of you that donated last year. We raised an incredible $1400 with your help. These funds have been invaluable in providing support to our 10 volunteers in 2012. They have assisted over 30,000 people in Mindanao, e.g. by providing support to disaster victims, working on improving Muslim Christian relations and developing livelihood projects in some of the poorest areas of the country.
Our 7th batch of volunteers have now completed their placements but most are continuing to work in peace and development. It is a sign of the success of our program that 7 of them are continuing to work with their host organization and 2 are working for an International NGO here in North Western Mindanao. We are proud of them all as this is a fantastic achievement.
Several KI Alumni who are working in NGOs in Mindanao have been involved in the disaster response to Typhoon Pablo (International code name Bopha) which devastated parts of Eastern Mindanao in Dec 2012 with over 1000 dead. Their experience in responding with the devastation caused by the previous typhoon that hit North Western Mindanao has proved invaluable. Ki is delighted to see former volunteers working alongside or as staff of international relief agencies such as Red Cross and Save the Children
2013 and beyond
It has been a tough year for KI and again we would like to thank all of our donors whose support has proved vital in enabling us to continue to deliver our program. We will soon begin the process of recruiting our next batch of volunteers (we have already had 25 applicants without even making an announcement!) Please tell your friends about our project, we need their support.
We are now looking to 2013 with fresh excitement and we confident that there will be exciting developments in the coming months that we look forward to sharing with you.
The year is coming to an end so fast and it is hard to believe that our current volunteers are nearly at the end of their placements. We are all very excited with the historic news that a “Framework Agreement” has been signed between the Philippines Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, however there is still much work to been done to ‘win’ the peace.
Our current batch of volunteers are coming to the end of their placements and we took the opportunity to ask one of them about their work when they visited the KI office recently.
Nohman Khalil, 22, was the first KI volunteer to be placed at an International NGO. He is working with Forum ZFD (Civil Peace Service), a German NGO that works on the development of methods and tools for dealing with violent conflicts.
What has been your role as a KI volunteer?
My main role is to document all the activities and events of Forum ZFD. I am also tasked with monitoring and collating all the news reports and articles about the work of Forum ZFD, the conflict in Mindanao and the peace process. The role is very interesting as I have learned so much about what is going in development in Mindanao. Recently I have been more of a participant in workshops and I was stunned when I worked alongside International consultants who were asking for my opinion!
What has been your biggest challenge as a volunteer?
Apart from it being the first time that I have been away far from home, my biggest challenge is that I am the only Muslim in the office. There are lots of new situations for me to deal with, for example, my colleagues are all eating pork. However, they have made me feel very welcome, I do not feel like a volunteer but like a member of staff.
....And your most significant achievement so far in your placement?
I was able to assist in a project that is integrating peace education into teacher training courses. I was assigned to conduct research that was then used in formulating the manual used in the training.
What difference do you think you have made?
It was the first time for ZFD to have a KI volunteer. The staff had many questions about my culture and beliefs; I hope that I have enlightened them. They have shown that they trusted my abilities to make inputs into their work.
Dear friends and supporters,
Our 10 current volunteers are now halfway through their placements. This is the story of one of them
Ms Rohania Bazar is 22 years old and comes from remote town of Magsaysay which has, over the years, suffered from many armed conflicts. Her placement is with BirthDev Inc. a Christian led NGO that offers psycho-social support to victims of conflict and disaster. This is what Rohania had to say about her first few months as a KI volunteers
“It was a big challenge for me working with the Christian community. When I first did my community visits and facilitation, I encountered that most of the participants were not paying attention to me because they saw that I am wearing veil. Due to our cultural differences and concepts, they thought that I was there for a mission to promote Muslim Secessionism. They did not listen to me when I facilitated them. But being a volunteer, it needs deeper understanding, sense of humour and diligence towards individual works. Be more patient and be dedicated to one’s works are qualities that volunteers should have. Over time, a common understanding and respecting one another were being shown during the activities. After several visits and conducting several activities in the respective communities, it became more fruitful and had productive results. People in the communities find me good and nice; and that, one of my participants shared what were their impressions on me on my first day of visits to them. I was surprised when someone said that “being amiable and approachable” is one of my characteristics that I had. I was full of contentment and satisfaction when you see on their faces how they were happy upon being with them and when you are untiringly and willingly supporting them. And that, I can say how lucky I am to be part of their lives - to touch their lives for a positive change.’
Thank you for helping to support young people like Rohania
Dear Friends and Supporters,
Thanks to you
With your help, KI has been able to recruit 10 young Muslim volunteers who are now busy working in the community with their respective Host Partner organizations. The volunteers, consisting of 7 Women and 3 Men, were selected from over 70 applicants in January this year. They then underwent 5 weeks of intensive training during February and March. To mark the beginning of their volunteering experience, a launching ceremony was held in Iligan City on March 14. The event was attended by family members of the volunteers, KI alumni volunteers, Host Partner organizations, KI Board of Trustees, and distinguished guests. The guests of honor were Ms Ria Go-Tian, Project Officer, SGIDU program of the Australian Embassy, Manila and Ms Laura Engel, Civil Peace Service Adviser, GIZ (German Development Service)
What is happening now?
Our volunteers are now sharing their skills and helping deprived communities across Mindanao. The areas of work include: Psycho-Social help for victims of Typhoon “Sendong’ and armed conflict; managing a Sustainable Livelihood program; improving Muslim-Christian relations through reconciliation; Micro-finance and organizing communities in conflict affected areas.
You can find more about our volunteers on our website. We will profile the volunteers and their achievements in our reports over the coming months.
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Lanao del Norte