Invest in Muslim youth volunteering for peace

by Kapamagogopa Incorporated
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Saidomar (R) with PWD leaders of San Remigio, Cebu
Saidomar (R) with PWD leaders of San Remigio, Cebu

Dear Friends and Supporters,

As we enter the new calendar year, it is a time for many to start afresh. We at KI are also starting the recruitment process for our 11th Batch of Muslim Youth Peacebuilding Volunteers. Your much needed support will contibute to their upcoming development training. We look forward to infoming you of their progress in the coming months.

In this report, we thought we would share with you the story of one our previous volunteers, Saidomar, who finished his placement on September 1st 2016.  All of our volunteers are asked to write their Significant Change Story at the end of their placement. Saidomar was placed in Cebu CIty in the Visayas region of the Philippines. The Visayas is more than 99% Christian, there are only a few Muslims living there.

My Unforgettable Experience by Saidomar

"Ever since I was in college during our National Service Training Program I really like to help my co-Filipino who is in need of help. That was the reason why I apply and entered to Kapamagogopa Inc. because I want to help people and share my skills and knowledge. During my volunteering I was assigned at Philippine Accessible Deaf Services. A NGO based in Cebu province that is working for persons with disability inclusive society. At first it was hard because Cebu is a Christian dominated area and I was placed in an organization where in more than 50% of the staff were Deaf. It’s really hard to communicate with them. But as days goes by, I learned basic sign language and I was able to communicate with them properly. I am thankful that even though I am a Muslim, the Christian people that I’ve worked with during my volunteering in Cebu respected and trusted me. They treat me like how they treat their Christian friends. Some said that before they thought that Muslim were not good but after knowing me and other KI volunteer that they’ve worked with, they say that not all Muslim were bad. We had this good friendship relationship.

When I was there, I was able to know more about Person’s with Disability (PWD) community. I became more aware regarding the challenges that they face in their everyday life. The opportunity to work and help the PWD sector is very fulfilling for me. I became more aware on how to deal with them and worked with them almost every day. We help each other to achieve our goal which is to have a PWD inclusive society particularly in Cebu Province. They inspired me to do more good things in life and to help more people who are in need.

The most rewarding in my volunteering is when I saw the PWD community in Cebu Province that they were now participating in different aspects of the society either in socio-economic, politics and etc. I can see the happiness to their faces when we are doing activities like when we had a PWD Summit. I can see that what we can do as a person’s without Disability they can also do it. I am very thankful that I was given a chance to become a volunteer and helped other people in my own little way and developed my attitude and skills. My experience in Cebu were sometimes good and sometimes bad but still the whole thing was amazing. I will never forget this one of a kind and priceless experience. I will definitely share this unforgettable experience to my friends, relatives and up to my grandchildren."

Your invaluable support allows us to train and place more young people like Saidomar, which in turn helps in a small way to make the Philippines more peaceful and prosperous.

Thank you

Mariam

Nadjera facilitating youth workshop
Nadjera facilitating youth workshop

Nadjera Alauya is 21 years old from Tugaya, Lanao del Sur.  She joined KI straight from college with little experience of development work but with a desire to learn. She is placed at Pailig Development Foundation (A Christian led local NGO working with impoverished Indigenous and Islamized tribal communities living in the hinterland). Nadjera was assigned to work with the Natural Resource management team. At first, most of the work was new to her, "at first I was scared because the road to the community was dangerous and they have a different culture". She reflected "It is an amazing feeling to help the community especially the young ones who I give guidance to". Due to the 40 year old conflict, prejudice in some Christian communities still exists but Nadjera is bridging the gap and helping to bring people together.  "She contributes a lot to the team" commented her supervisor Greg, "she is energetic, participative and open-minded. She is able to work well with her Christian colleagues".

 

In July 2016, Nadera was made team leader for 3 day workshop for tri-people youth (Muslim, Christian and Indigenous People). The workshop was on the Environment, Leadership and Governance. She was in charge of organizing the event as well as the content. Although the participants were youth, some of them were surprised that they were older than her.

Nadjera in her role encourages and inspires other young people (not only Muslim) to get involved and make a difference in Mindanao.

Your support is invaluable in helping us to empower young women to become inspirational leaders in our communities.

Thank you

Mariam

Nadjera working with her Christian colleague
Nadjera working with her Christian colleague
Amal (right) with one of the women participants
Amal (right) with one of the women participants

Amal is one of our current volunteers, she hails from Ramain, in the province of Lanao del Sur. One day, she aspires to become a teacher.  Amal has been working with disadvantaged women in one of the poorest areas of the country that has been affected by conflict for many years. As well as developing our volunteers to become leaders, one of our project aims, is for them to inspire others, especially from the grassroots, to work for peace. It is vital for a successful peace process that more women are involved.

Recently, Amal was requested by Jesuit Relief Services, an international Catholic organization, to talk to 35 women from both Christian and Muslim conflict affected communities in Lanao del Norte.Amal's talk was on the 'importance of the role of women in the peace process and community peacebuilding initiatives'. She shared her experiences of growing up with conflict and how she became involved in peacebuilding.  She was able to connect with the women because she has gone through the same difficulties and could communicate with the women in their local language.

Your generosity and support not only makes a difference to the life of Amal, it also gives her the chance to help and inspire others.

Thank you

Saidomar translating for a deaf child
Saidomar translating for a deaf child

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Once again a big thank you to all of you who continue to support our work here in the Southern Philippines.

As a deaf child waits to get his new hearing aid fitted, a KI volunteer interprets the instructions given to him using Filipino Sign Language. This is just one small way that our young volunteers help to bridge the divide between Christians and Muslims in the Philippines. Nasim and Saidomar are placed at Philippine Accessible Deaf Services, an organization based in Cebu city in the Christian dominated central region.

They are learning Filipino Sign Language so that they can communicate with the people they work with, namely the Christian Deaf Community. The two young men live and work with the community, learning about a different culture but also sharing their own culture and beliefs. This helps to break down the prejudices and misinformation that often leads to misunderstandings and intolerance.

Nasim and Saidomar at first found it difficult to immerse themselves in deaf culture but now they are able to communicate better, they are forging friendships that will last a lifetime.

Thank you for reading

Mariam

Nasim fitting a hearing aid to Christian woman
Nasim fitting a hearing aid to Christian woman
Mariam being presented with SOV award
Mariam being presented with SOV award

Dear friends and supporters,

As we begin a new year, I would like to give my warm wishes to you all and a big thank you to all of you who helped our program during in 2015. Your donations contributed to the training and placement of our 10th Batch of Youth Volunteers for Peace. Since beginning their placements in September 2015, the 9 volunteers, consisting of 6 women and 3 men, have already helped to improve the lives of around 1,900 people. Also be aware, that 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.
We are delighted to announce that KI won the "Search for Outstanding Volunteer - Organizational Category", given by the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency (PNVSCA) during the Search for Outstanding Volunteers (SOV) 2015 Awarding Ceremony held last 10 December 2015 at the Crowne Plaza Manila Galleria, Ortigas Center, Manila.

The SOV is an annual activity that aims to recognize the work and good practices of Filipino volunteers across the nation in building strong communities. Volunteers in several categories were recognized chosen from among 78 contenders from all parts of the country.

Although KI has won several international awards, it is the first time KI's work and its volunteers have been recognized nationally and we are truly honoured by the award. Preceding this, KI also received the award for Regional Qualifier to the 2015 SOV Organization Category. The award is in recognition of KI's exemplary and outstanding contributions in the socio-economic development of the region and for being an instrument of hope and inspiration to the youth through volunteerism.
We are proud to see the work of our volunteers recognized by our nation and you should also feel proud that you donation helped to achieve this.

Thank you for your support

Mariam

Regional award presentation
Regional award presentation
SOV acceptance speech
SOV acceptance speech
 

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Organization Information

Kapamagogopa Incorporated

Location: Iligan City, Mindanao - Philippines
Website: http:/​/​www.ki-volunteer.org
Project Leader:
Mariam Barandia
Iligan City, Lanao del Norte Philippines

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