“Peace rests upon the values that different people share. It is important to know that doing greater good results to peace, and that with peace comes an ideal world.”
– Christopher Pasoquen, Global Peace Volunteer
On May 28-30, young people from various universities and youth-serving organizations and institutions joined the 2019 Global Peace Volunteers Camp in Phillip’s Sanctuary in Antipolo City, Philippines. The 3-day camp is a platform designed to inculcate a culture of selflessness and volunteerism among young people focusing on three themes: self-discovery, building relationships, and creating an impact. Coming from different backgrounds, the participants were engaged in a learning environment where they can develop and practice their skills to explore, discuss, and engage for personal growth and leadership particularly as partners in achieving peace and sustainable development.
Discovering their strengths, weaknesses, and uniqueness, and learning how to build relationship with other people, Ramon Christopher Pateño, a participant from HOUSE Foundation shared how the camp activities made him realize that “achieving a common goal despite people’s differences is possible.” He added that people need to unite and work together in sharing ideas and taking initiatives to make the world ideal for the present and future generations. Asked about the impact of what he realized from the camp to his future plans, he shared: “now I’m thinking of becoming a volunteer for other organizations and create more proposals and ideas that can help them grow to support more people in need.”
Engaging youth as partners in creating safe spaces
Representatives from Consuelo Foundation and Smart Communications also joined the camp to share how young people can become partners in creating safe spaces and reducing violence against children and youth in their schools and communities.
Ms. Emma Ignacio, communications and advocacy manager of Consuelo Foundation, emphasized that young people can help advance safe spaces by becoming active bystanders against harassment and violence. In addition, Mr. Elijah Mendoza, communications and publicity manager of Smart Communications, also shared how the volunteers who belong to the youngest generations with greater online access, can prevent cyberbullying and participate in online safety.
On the second day, the participants shared ideas on how young people can be engaged in creating safe spaces through youth-led projects and initiatives in their schools and communities. With ideas ranging from educational campaigns to raise awareness on reducing children and youth violence to establishing “safe hubs” in every local communities, the participants are encouraged to submit their proposals to the Seed Grant Competition of 2019 Global Youth Summit for an opportunity to have their ideas implemented.
During their camp “graduation,” the participants expressed their appreciation in being able to experience GPVC where they realized their potentials as moral and innovative leaders.
“I will cherish this experience, all these! They all made an impact to me and I also hope that I can be able to pass it to the youth group I am part of,” shared Angeli Neri, one of the participants from Dynamic Teen Company. “Thank you for the opportunity to be part of this camp, and for your passion to encourage the youth to take action in achieving global peace and the ideal world we all yearn for,” she concluded.
Global Peace Volunteers Camp is a signature project of Global Peace Foundation’s youth development program. This year’s camp in the Philippines was made possible with the support of Consuelo Foundation, and in cooperation with Smart Communications.