On April 2, 2011 (Saturday) The Peacemakers' Circle celebrated the culmination of the Muslim-Christian Grassroots Leadership Programs and honored 75 youths and 16 leaders from the four grassroots communities of Tala, Caloocan City; Culiat, Quezon City; Maharlika & Upper Bicutan, Taguig City; and Quiapo, Manila.
In partnership with the Miriam College Center for Peace Education, and supported by the United Religions Initiative-Southeast Asia-Pacific, and the Australian Embassy in Manila, the event was held at the ESI Conference Hall of Miriam College in Quezon City.
The 75 Muslim and Christian youths were participants of a 10-session training program entitled Strengthening Interfaith Youth Leadership under the URI Bowes Award project that was awarded to The Peacemakers' Circle. The young participants came from two communities: 44 youths were from Tala, Caloocan City; and 31 from Culiat, Tandang Sora, Quezon City. The program started in October 2010 where each community separately under went twice-a-month sessions of the same content. Towards the end of the program that two communities were merged.
During the culminating event each community showcased their talents in order to present a synthesis of what they learned about throughout the training. The audience were awe-inspired and touched by the creative presentations these talented youths painstakingly prepared for just a few weeks. They presented dances, drama, and songs which were intertwined to convey their messages of peace, unity and understanding. One of the most moving presentation was the doxology or dance interpretation of a prayer song that was performed by Muslim and Christian girls.
The event also highlighted the recognition of the 16 Muslim-Christian grassroots leaders who have finished the training under the Strengthening Grassroots Interfaith Dialogue and Understanding Program of the Australian Embassy. This 9-month program consisted of twice-a-month action-reflection sessions with four Muslim-Christian leaders each from the four communities mentioned.
In gratitude for their support in the work of The Peacemakers' Circle a plaque of appreciation was also awarded to the Australian Embassy in Manila.
Towards the end of the program the youths and elders took pledge to continue striving to become peacemakers in their respective interfaith communities and being the change they wish to see in the world.
To see more photos check out: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/fbx/?set=a.142539922481738.29390.134984369903960&l=f66ef9b47f