by Harrold Vinz E Basilio, SAFHA Publications
The Center for Community Extension Services (CCES) is one of the offices under the Social Development Office that caters to the needs of the indigenous communities in Zamboanga City focusing on sustainable livelihood, education, and governance.
Last June 12–14, 2019, CCES co-organized the Mindanao Indigenous Peoples’ Youth Peace Assembly (MIPYA) with the theme “Arise and Shine: IP Young Leaders for the Next Generation,” which was held at Chali Beach Resort, Cagayan de Oro City. The event was participated by IP youth leaders across the Philippines who are ancestral domain based, together with their respective IP leaders and elders. The three-day MIPYA had a series of lectures, workshops, and activities that equipped the IP youth to promote peace, unity, and camaraderie. Also, it aimed to enhance their leadership skills to become young peace agents of their communities.
The realization of the event was culled from the proposal to denounce violent extremism by shedding light on the plight of the indigenous peoples at the hands of the New People’s Army.
The event was in collaboration with the Mindanao IP Council of Elders and Leaders (MIPCEL) and the Ateneo de Zamboanga University, as well as our government agencies, including the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP), Office of the Presidential Adviser for Peace Process (OPAPP), National Youth Commission, and 4th Infantry Division and 403rd Brigade of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
This kind of activity serves as a bridge to develop and empower the youth as next-generation leaders. The development of their capacities will enable them to perform their responsibilities in their communities and to contribute to nation-building.