IFP Batch 2012

7th IFP Conference – May 2012 : Focus on Mindanao

by Magan Savant on Tuesday, 29 May 2012 at 21:55

We had an extra spring in our feet this year. There were several things happened that made us feel confident, comfortable and all the more full of energy.

As usual, I cannot say much about the capabilities of leaders and facilitators. They are just extraordinary.  I often have to contain them from sometimes overdoing out of their urge to do.

We started early in August, filled up spaces for first year facilitators, trained them. Our application form went out quite early this year and with help from past participants, the response was very good. It was better than expected and that made selection all the more challenging.

The big worry was money (as usual) but Arnett (our Principal) & Theresa (our board member) stepped in to save us in time.

The conference started on 26th  May. For the first time we had an opening ceremony for a good reason. The Philippine Consul Deputy General Ms. Rosanna Villamor-Voogel gave the opening address. It was good to know her too. The association seems to be quite promising.

Highlight of second day (night) was the hostage simulation when the participants had to play roles of Government officials and the Abu Sayyaf group. The news flash keeps pushing them into coming to a good resolution as both sides are pressed by public opinion for a non-violent outcome. Participants enjoyed it as much as the facilitators. The day was focussed on several activities on theme of ‘Values, Perception and Culture & Media’.

The third day had quite a few new activities. ‘Territorial Disputes’, ‘ 6 thinking hats’, ‘Peace building’ were particularly captivating for the participants. The high light was a talk by a holocaust survivor Mr. Mr Sylvain Gilbert. His life is quite a story in terms of the things he had to go through as a child and that could be a story of many Jew children. He is now a businessman in Hong Kong but he keeps making awareness about biases in the society and world through his talks.

On 4th Day, the participants built the times line of Mindanao conflict in 3 separate groups from different perspectives. It was interesting to see the similarities, differences and the perspectives from where they came. It was an interesting discussion that followed with references to how biases creep in and the role of media. The participants later also made presentations in several groups on ‘Aspects of Conflicts’. As they all were looking forward for the outing to see Hong Kong, the day was wound early.

5th & last day.Was mostly focussed on the participant deciding their own initiatives. We have a large group from Mindanao so we’re hoping for a good collaboration among them and with us. We’ll share our experiences with them. Last year’s group did quite a lot of activities so our expectations are high.

The day ended with some good cultural presentations.

IFP has new leaders and it is time to say goodbye to all second years facilitators and wonderful leaders Clara,Colin & Jane.

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                                              Initiative for Peace Batch 2012

Another conference ends but with a very high note and expectations. Quite satisfying!~

Looking forward for May 2013……..started preparing with the new leaders today 🙂

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