Mindanao once again finds itself at a critical juncture. With the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro finally sealed, and as the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law looms, it becomes more imperative to promote and shape Mindanao’s peace.
It is part of the mission of the Al Qalam Institute of Islamic Identity and Interreligious Dialogue in Southeast Asia, based in the Ateneo de Davao University, to create ripples of change and waves of peace through conducting intra- and interfaith dialogues, not only within the Ateneo community, but in Mindanao as a whole. It is the conviction of Al Qalam that intra- and interfaith dialogue and peace initiatives are an effective strategy to resolve conflicts, to remove prejudices, and to promote cultural sensitivities.
In line with this, the Al Qalam, in partnership with the Australian Embassy’s Strengthening Grassroots Interfaith Dialogue and Understanding (SGIDU) Program, organized the ARMM Minorities Trainer’s Training on Intrafaith and Interfaith Dialogue from February 3-5, 2014 at Beachside Inn, Bongao, Tawi-Tawi.
It is the purpose of this training to empower minorities and equip participants to emerge as effective peace advocates in Mindanao. These peace advocates are expected to reecho their learnings and realizations and link with different HEIs and organizations in their areas and conduct regular dialogue with and trainings for students, minorities, and state and non-state actors.
At this crucial stage of forging a lasting and sustainable peace in Mindanao, it is vital for an institute such as Al Qalam to initiate this training. Results from this trainer’s training will be used to improve on future trainings.