Invest in Muslim youth volunteering for peace

by Kapamagogopa Incorporated [DUPLICATE DO NOT USE]
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Invest in Muslim youth volunteering for peace
Invest in Muslim youth volunteering for peace
Invest in Muslim youth volunteering for peace
Invest in Muslim youth volunteering for peace
Invest in Muslim youth volunteering for peace
Invest in Muslim youth volunteering for peace
Invest in Muslim youth volunteering for peace
Invest in Muslim youth volunteering for peace
Invest in Muslim youth volunteering for peace
Invest in Muslim youth volunteering for peace
Invest in Muslim youth volunteering for peace
Invest in Muslim youth volunteering for peace
Invest in Muslim youth volunteering for peace
Invest in Muslim youth volunteering for peace
Invest in Muslim youth volunteering for peace
Invest in Muslim youth volunteering for peace
Invest in Muslim youth volunteering for peace
Invest in Muslim youth volunteering for peace
Invest in Muslim youth volunteering for peace
Invest in Muslim youth volunteering for peace
Invest in Muslim youth volunteering for peace
Invest in Muslim youth volunteering for peace
Invest in Muslim youth volunteering for peace
Invest in Muslim youth volunteering for peace
Invest in Muslim youth volunteering for peace
Invest in Muslim youth volunteering for peace
Invest in Muslim youth volunteering for peace
Invest in Muslim youth volunteering for peace
Invest in Muslim youth volunteering for peace

 Dear friends,

I am sad to inform you that due to the on-going challenges that we will not be able to continue our volunteering program as we had hoped. Therefore, we have no choice but to suspend our fundraising on this platform.

The project has been on GlobalGiving for 11 years and through your generous donations our volunteers have contributed more than 200,000 hours and helped more than 120,000 people to improve their lives.

However, your donations still has an impact today. For our final report I will share with you the story of Nohman, a KI volunteer in 2012, who is still helping to bring peace to communities in Sudan,

Nohman: A young peacebuilder’s journey from Mindanao to Sudan

“I would like to go back to people asking me questions. They missed asking me if I am happy because I think that is what matters most. I am happy with what I am doing. I am waking up every day not only to make my dream a reality but to also contribute to making South Sudanese children's dream of peace a reality”

these are the words of Nohman who in 2012 was one of KI’s 7th Batch of Peacebuilding Volunteers. After his training, he was the first KI volunteer to be placed with an International NGO working in Mindanao; Forum ZFD (Civil Peace Service), a German NGO that works on the development of methods and tools for dealing with violent conflicts. Nohman reflected on his experience in his significant change story:

When I applied as a volunteer, there's only one thing in my mind, to serve the people without expecting any in return but fulfilment, because that's how I understand the word “volunteerism”, doing something without expecting anything in return. But with KI, it feels different, being a KI volunteer is a lot more different. It's not just about serving the people, it’s not just about working voluntarily, but it's being a model, it's showing who you are, what you are and your culture in general. It's promoting your own culture and changing the expectations of other towards your culture, and even your religion. I was placed in an International Non-Government Organization based in Davao City with I and myself alone as the only Maranao and Muslim in the office. It was also my first time to stay in a big city and a Christian dominated area. When KI brought me to Davao in my placement, I felt a bit of pressure carrying not only KI’s name but my culture and belief in general. On the other hand, KI equipped me properly before sending me to my placement organisation which gave me courage not to give up. My volunteering experience allowed me to grow personally and professionally. I was able to use my profession as a teacher to its fullest, especially that my project was about “integrating peace education in teacher’s education in Davao region” and I'm so proud to have contributed to the Peace Education Teacher Manual that was published in 2013 and is now being utilised in all Teacher Education Institutions in Davao region.

In 2014, Nohman became the Peace Community Coordinator at the Institute of Peace and Development in Mindanao (IPDM) at Mindanao State University in Iligan City. He had the role as the Local Peace Adviser working alongside an International Peace Adviser from GIZ Civil Peace Service. He worked mainly on the activities related to the Peace Process, ensuring that different stakeholders including Government entities in Lanao del sur, Lanao del Norte, and Iligan City understood the process.One of the most important activities which Nohman was instrumental in delivering was in reaching different communities, especially in Lanao del Norte, to conduct listening sessions which became vital contributions to the recommendations for The Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC). These communities had borne the brunt of attacks from rebel forces. Nohman recalls his experience;

 I think in the beginning, especially in Iligan and some areas in Lanao del Norte, it was huge challenge being a Maranao myself. I remember one time when we conducted listening session on TJRC in Kauswagan, due to the emotion and anger, I was glad my name didn’t sound Maranao and I didn’t introduce myself as Muslim.

 After 3 successful years at IPDM, Nohman moved on to Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP) working as a national civilian peacekeeper in Lanao areas. He mainly focused on Early Warning and Early Response (EWER) program of NP. He supported and strengthened community-based structures by providing them different capacity building trainings. However, after a few months in May 2017, the relatively peaceful situation in Lanao was shaken badly with the siege of Marawi by an ISIS influenced local terrorist group. This event affected his family, friends and his whole community.

My role didn’t necessarily change during the Marawi siege, but I was directly involved in IDP protection related activities, for example, ensuring that vulnerable sectors received necessary services.It was very difficult. My mental health was greatly affected during those times especially during the first month of the siege where the roads were blocked and I was stuck in Iligan. There was no way to see my family. I was doing protection related work and I had to ensure that my mental health was protected too.

Nohman continued in that role until 2019 when he got the chance with NP to apply his skills and experience in another conflict setting, South Sudan.

Before coming to South Sudan, I read about how the people of South Sudan suffered from ethnic violence; the civil war in 2013 and another breakout of violence in 2016; famine in 2017, which they described as a man-made catastrophe caused by civil war and economic collapse; and much more negative news. People may think I am crazy for still pursuing my decision after all those horror stories. But honestly, that is the reason why I am here now. I came here for a reason and with purpose.I came prepared; equipped with my peace work experience in Mindanao; fuelled with inspiration and eagerness to learn more approaches that are beyond what I have tried and tested in the Mindanao context.In my current position as Team Leader in one of NP's field offices in South Sudan, my work is mainly related to general protection, child protection and GBV prevention. In the context I am in, I also get involved in local peace processes, especially in providing capacity building on conflict resolution to community leaders, women, and youth. Now, nearly two years since I came to South Sudan, what is keeping me here? What is motivating me to stay even longer? Hope. It is the hope from the naked eyes of children telling me, “please stay.” It is the joy from the voices of every woman singing on the street telling me, “there’s hope.” It is the sincerity from the elders saying “we are tired of war.” It is the pain of every internally displaced person I met crying “we want peace.” I have hope that peace will be achieved.

We at KI will continue to follow Nohman’s journey, as we do with all our alumni, and continue to be enthralled by his achievements.

Thank you one and all for your help over the years.

Mariam

 

 

 

 

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Women fetching water at Boganga Transitory Site
Women fetching water at Boganga Transitory Site

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your support in these difficult times.

The continuing Covid restrictions in the Philippines, which were again increased in our area by the Government on April 12th, means that at present we are unable to begin the process for the volunteering program. Rest assured that all donations are waiting to be utilized as soon as we can start our recruitment process for a new batch of volunteers.

However in the meantime, we are implementing a small project beginning later in April utilizing some of our experienced volunteers that completed their year of service last July.  The volunteers will be working at two transitory sites in Boganga, Marawi City, where there are still hundreds of displaced families, and there is such a great need for protection and socio-economic integration. These volunteers will go about protection work giving training and support towards women considered vulnerable. We will give updates on their work in the next report.

Wherever you are in the world, I hope you stay safe.

Mariam

 



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Hamza facilitating a youth listening session
Hamza facilitating a youth listening session

Dear Friends,
I am writing this as the end of 2020 approaches. It has been an extremely challenging year for KI as it has for many around the world., I would like to give my warm wishes and a big thank you to all of you who helped our program. The 13th batch of KI volunteers helped to improve the lives of 13,406 people and they contributed more than 20,000 hours of work on Peace and Development issues. Through your donations, you are helping to improve the lives of young people from Mindanao and to reduce some of the factors that are drivers for conflict here in the Southern Philippines.Currently our volunteering program is in furlough but we intend to start recruitment and training of new volunteers as soon as possible.

This is the experience of Hamza who completed his placement last August but continues to work for his partner organization,

HAMZA: STORY OF A DREAMER

Being a Volunteer is not easy as what others think. Being a volunteer in an organization is not a profession, it is a passion to serve the community that you engage all the time. That is the reason why I applied in Kapamagogopa Inc. (KI). Often the volunteers are the only Muslims working for these organisations. Their placement not only helps overcome stereotypes of Muslims in communities that the host organisation serves, but also allows the host organization to help communities which non-Muslims have trouble reaching.This NGO taught me a lot of things like: Values Formation for Peace and Development, Community Organizing and Community Development, Communication Enhancement and Public Speaking Skills, Project Development Monitoring and Evaluation, Networking and Peace Advocacy, and Community Immersion. It is a great avenue for us as Young Professionals to develop our skills doing the volunteering works. After our 1 month training, I was placed in Pakigdait Inc., an interfaith grassroots peacebuilding organization that engages in conflict transformation, peace advocacy, interfaith dialogue and peace-anchored community development in Northern Mindanao.

After a month, I was assigned as Project Coordinator. I don’t expect this kind of task as a volunteer. But with the help of our training in Kapamagogopa Inc. we are flexible enough to accept the challenge to do the duties and responsibilities of being a project coordinator.This project aspires to sustain peaceful communities and prevent violent extremism by creating space and dialogues through a series of listening sessions for 300 Bangsamoro women (wives and mothers of combatants) and 300 Bangsamoro youth in 6 vulnerable towns of Lanao del Norte, Philippines that have been excluded from the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) This project intends to manage expectations, dissipate fears of being excluded from progress, mitigate any radicalization and/or violent reactions particularly from youth, articulate their expectations and agenda, and uplift hope in their communities.We listened to the sentiments for a total of 747 Bangsamoro people (Youth and Women) within the 6 municipalities of Lanao del norte and documented their sentiments.

During the conduction of this project, I witness how the participants convey their sentiments with different emotions. The participants were able to share their thoughts about the result of the plebiscite and what they think about the BARMM government. Some of the youth participants extend their gratitude even though their municipalities were not included to the BARMM government yet they are included to the development plan of the BARMM.Apart from that, I am thankful that I personally met the mayors of the 6 municipalities which I never expected and the Political Officer of Canada Embassy. Moreover, in this project I also met the different Peacebuilders of Lanao del Norte who are committed to participate in our project.

Despite of the goodness of this experience, I still faced a lot of challenges, however those challenges never stop me to extend my efforts and service as a volunteer. Instead it becomes my motivation to continue my passion and inspire my fellow youth to engage their selves to this kind of Job and to be advocate of change. I also consider myself as instrument to promote Peace and share the knowledge and skills to them. I believe that doing this job is a big contribution in my fellow Bangsamoro and non-Bangsamoro people.Thank you for nurturing me Kapamagogopa Inc. and Pakigdait Inc.

 Once again thank you for supporting KI

Stay Safe

Mariam

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Volunteers at Year End Evaluation
Volunteers at Year End Evaluation

Dear Friends,

At the end of this July our 13th Batch of 10 young Peace Builders completed their year of volunteering. Congratulations go to the 7 Women and 3 Men who managed to achieve so much even though their lives were disrupted just like the rest of us.

Despite the severe curtailment of programs and activities in the development sector since March, our young Peace Builders still managed to help a total of 13,406 (7665F: 5741M) people in need during their placements. Due to severe lockdown conditions imposed by the Philippine Government most work recently has been conducted remotely. However some recent example of the work conducted by them include;

  • Facilitated Youth and Women Listening Sessions with marginalized communities
  • Distributed Relief Goods to those affected by Covid
  • Psychosocial support to displaced children
  • Facilitated at empowerment summit 100 young women
  • Assisted in providing Humanitarian assistance to Earthquake survivors

These young people are now equipped and empowered to continue to uplift their local communities and will continue to do so for many years to come.

If you would like to empower to more young people to make a better world around them then please consider supporting our program

Thank you to everyone who continues to support us at this most challenging time.

Mariam

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Sahira in the field
Sahira in the field

Dear Friends and Supporters,

I hope that you are all able to keep safe wherever you are in the World.

Covid 19: Due to the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) currently implemented by the Government, we have had to suspend all of our operations. I am not permitted to leave my home and no staff are able to go to the office due to the restrictions. Three volunteers have elected to stay in the office but are only permitted outside for essential items.

For this report, we will give you the story of Sahirah, who after four months in her placement, wrote about her experience of becoming a KI Volunteer.

VOLUNTEERISM: SELF-NOURISHMENT

Young. Fierce. Brave. I am Sahirah  from  Marawi City. 23 years old and finished my studies with a course of Bachelor of Science in Community Development Without my friends’ knowledge, I was suffering from severe depression in my last three years in College. The reason was my family’s expectation which caused me so much pressure. I was forced to love doing field work though it contradicted my dreams. “Field work was never my strength” I told to myself.

After my graduation day, the depression I felt increased. My family was expecting me to gain better work which caused me for not having good nights. Wet pillows weren’t unusual. I was at the point of going outside my room for ablution purposes only. I even forgot what sour, bitter and sweet taste like. I lose about 3 kilo for a month only. With the reason of showing them my worth and for me to get from my room out, my sister encouraged me to do volunteerism. Coincidentally, Kapamagogopa Incorporated was open for volunteers. There was a lot of questions bothering me those times. “Like seriously? Me? Volunteer? I’m sick of doing field work”. I passed my papers at KI office personally in the month of February and received text message from the project office saying I was qualified to be interviewed and attend written exam in the month of May. In all fairness, I passed the interview. On the following month, I received message from the project officer again for being qualified for the next step of KI hiring process.  I qualified to be part of KI 1-year Volunteering Program. After a month of training, I and one of my co-volunteers were assigned in EcoWEB, Inc. It is a National NGO which is also engaged in Peacebuilding and Humanitarian work same as KI does. There was huge adjustment done by me for being assigned in a new organization. I was assigned in Cotabato during the disaster happened. Earthquake almost destroyed the province of Cotabato. As I stepped out from the car, my tears fell down. I just didn’t know what come to my mind why I unconsciously cried after seeing community people living in tents made of tarpaulins and sticks. No foods and water. No shelter. No rug. The only thing they had is their selves.

Houses were devastated. Three-storey houses became ash. Luckily, there was response done by my host organization and I was part of the team. My contribution was not that much huge however I could feel that what I was doing was a big help for them. Their smile is what pushes me extend more help and do field work with heart as it was taught to me by Kapamagogopa Incorporated. Their thank yous rubbed out my negative stress. I am now falling in love with doing field work. I am now voluntarily engaging myself in responding at any disaster. as a volunteer humanitarian worker under KI, one of my objects now is to see smiles in people’s faces. I am not hoping and dreaming for appreciation and honour for I believe god loves those who do good. What I want now is to spread happiness. I may not be able to make everyone happy but at least, I can make anyone happy.

There are few friends asking me the reason why I am just a volunteer when in fact according to them, there are a lot of opportunities out there where I can apply and possibly receive more money. Well, the only response I tell them is “I don’t need money. I don’t help because of money. I help because apart from it’s our obligation as a human, I just love doing things without expecting any in returns and I love seeing people happy”. We have to remember the idea that when somebody has something negative to say about us, it’s often they have nothing positive to say about their selves.

With these things, I don’t regret that I chose to enrol BS-Community Development and I am so thankful of not backing out from KI’s offer as it opened more opportunities more than I expect. With it, I meet new friends; gain knowledge and skills; I am able to sightsee my veiled flairs and I was assigned in Ecoweb which really taught me philosophies. I just volunteered for four months as of this month of December however I feel like I have done many things. In addition to that, because of volunteering, my emotion was diverted. The depression I felt was lessen. As to my family’s expectation from me, they enlightened me that they are not pressuring me. They just wanted goodthings for me. Moreover, what really makes me happy now is the idea that my family now is the one encouraging meto promote volunteerism through telling me “You can earned blessing by doing good deeds and helping the people”.

Fieldwork wasn’t my strength, but that was just my thought. I did it; and I will do it for god’s sake.

Thank you!!!

 Once again thank you for supporting KI

Stay Safe

Mariam

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Organization Information

Kapamagogopa Incorporated [DUPLICATE DO NOT USE]

Location: Iligan City, Mindanao - Philippines
Website:
Kapamagogopa Incorporated [DUPLICATE DO NOT USE]
Mariam Barandia
Project Leader:
Mariam Barandia
Iligan City, Lanao del Norte Philippines

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