Inspire. Connect. Empower.
Those were just some of the aims of the MSummit: Moro National Youth Conference, held at Finster Auditorium, Ateneo de Davao University, last November 30-December 1, 2018. 100 Moro and Moro-serving youth delegates from all over the Philippines gathered in the first-ever conference of its kind: a space to network with Bangsamoro youth from all walks of life, all in the cause of empowering them towards social change.
This event was conceptualized from the #MPower campaign, led by the Al Qalam Institute and the Salaam Movement of the Ateneo de Davao University. This concept was then introduced to workshops that were conducted by these organizations in the three Atenean universities in Mindanao: Ateneo de Davao, Ateneo de Zamboanga, and Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan. From that, the participants created social media campaigns that focused on issues that the Bangsamoro youth face, such as tribalism, casual racism, and religious gaps.
The culminating activity of these workshops was the creation of a national conference for the Moro youth, where it would be a safe space for them to converge and mingle with each other. The two-day event started off with a cultural night, where the participants were dressed in Moro and indigenous-inspired attire.
The next day, the participants learned about the social media campaigns that were produced by the regional workshops, and were subject to breakout sessions on digital advocacy, community organizing, and journalism.
“The MPower journey is a journey of small steps,” said Fatima Star U. Lamalan, Project Coordinator for Salaam Movement, during the cultural night. “The M was meant for us to decide. There are endless possibilities.”
During the said event, Al Qalam Executive Director and Bangsamoro Transition Commission Member Mussolini Sinsuat Lidasan spoke about the need for peace in each of the participants’ communities.
“We are working to make sure that peace in all forms, peace in all sectors will be achieved. We work for our community. We work for our people.” Lidasan said.