Philippines - Peace Direct

Philippines

Photo: Veejay Villafranca / IRIN / 201003151243290790

  • The Philippines has experienced internal conflict for over four decades. This includes violence related to two main causes: a communist-inspired insurgency and a separatist struggle in the southern Bangsamoro region.
  • After decades of insurgency, and following violence that surged in the city of Marawi in 2017, efforts to build peace in the Philippines still face challenges. 2019 saw the creation of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority, a step towards giving autonomy to the Muslim minority in the south. Still, violence continued between the government and several armed groups.

 

Breaking down mistrust

In 2019, we continued working with Kapamagogopa Incorporated (KI), whose efforts focus on bringing divided communities back together through an inter-faith volunteer programme.

Using trained Muslim volunteers, KI breaks down mistrust and barriers between Muslim and Christian communities in Mindanao that have been divided by conflict for decades.

somaya-assisting-illiterate-woman-in-philippines

KI places Muslim volunteers into Christian communities, breaking a cycle of mistrust and suspicision. By empowering Muslim volunteers to apply their talents in other communities, Kapamagogopa bridge the deep-rooted religious divides between them.

Amal is a former KI volunteer. She is 23 and from Ramain, in the province of Lanao del Sur. One day, she aspires to become a teacher.

In their words: Amal's Story

Amal is a former KI volunteer. She is 23 and from Ramain, in the province of Lanao del Sur. One day, she aspires to become a teacher.

Amal organised a community of women in one of the poorest areas of the country that has been affected by conflict for many years. She has helped the women form their own organisation. At one  meeting, the women were moved to tears as they were so grateful to help given to them by Amal and the other KI volunteers.

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, especially how she was affected by a clan feud and how she became involved in peacebuilding, first as a student involving herself in interfaith dialogue and then with KI.

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. At first, Amal felt very apprehensive to give a talk but after the event she also felt inspired by the women as they also had similar experience.

Amal believes that peace really starts through education especially for women and young people and plans to continue with this work after KI.

News from the field

Blogs, stories, reports and opinion

If we choose to build peace, we must engage

Our Development and Administrative Associate Christine Trillana, an Asian American woman, expresses her fears related to the rise in hate crimes against her community. She calls for us all to engage bravely with efforts to end violence, and shares resources to stop Asian hate. Read more »

Global Advisory Council launched

Peace Direct is excited to announce the formation of a new Global Advisory Council. The group is made up of activists, researchers, human rights defenders and community leaders who are committed to helping us achieve our mission of stopping war. Read more »

Asmin's Story

Asmin works for KI, (Kapamagogopa Incorporated) our local partner in the Philippines. We spoke to her to find out about her work, how violence in the area affected her and her family, and her hopes for a peaceful future. Read more »

Research and in-depth analysis

From our website Insight on Conflict