It’s an exciting time at Peace Direct with the opening of our annual Tomorrow’s Peacebuilders competition to find the best emerging peace organisations – and already the applications are landing on our doorstep. So it seemed like the perfect moment to bring you the latest from one of last year’s competition winners.
Kapamagogopa Incorporated (KI), in the Philippines, work to bridge cultural divides and overcome adversity in a country that has suffered from decades of separatist insurgency. They do this through a volunteering programme that places young Muslims as volunteers in organisations staffed by Christians and Muslims in other areas, in order to promote cross-cultural understanding and trust. After 40 years of Muslim-Christian violence, it is vital to bridge the divides that could fuel further conflict.
In addition to the funding that KI received for winning the competition, in the past few months they have received support from our Grow Peace fund – a fund specifically designed for developing small, innovative peacebuilding organisations like them.
With Peace Direct support, KI recently visited a local peacebuilding organisations in Thailand, which was a major success. They held constructive talks with local groups in the south of the country, which also suffers from a separatist conflict. One organisation in particular, which operates a local volunteering programme, is now looking at collaborating with KI on overcoming cultural divides through volunteering and even running an exchange programme with them.
Back in the Philippines, volunteers from KI have been helping with community consultations across the region about the recent peace agreement between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, a leading rebel group fighting for independence. Such consultations are vital to ensure that agreements reached at the political level are sustainable and supported within the communities affected by violence.
Other achievements from the last quarter include a volunteer providing emergency food supplies and psychosocial support to typhoon survivors in Northern Cebu, and a volunteer offering sign language interpretation during the training of 40 police women in deaf-culture awareness. Meanwhile KI has received over 100 applications from young people keen to volunteer with them next year, showing the popularity of their programme.
Thanks to everyone who has supported our competition and the Grow Peace Fund. You make this all possible.