In celebration of the 2016 International Day of Peace , Global Peace Foundation Philippines and Global Peace Youth Philippines hosted a symposium with the students of National University in Manila on September 21, 2016. The symposium, organized in partnership with National University’s Community Extension and NSTP Departments, ComEx Brigade, Supreme Student Government, and Council of Presidents, explored how today’s young people can become effective peacebuilders in the campus and in their respective communities.
In her talk, Ms. Ann Montejo, Program Director for Education, shared how finding and focusing on common bonds, identity, and values shared by all people regardless of nationality, religion, gender, race, and affiliation can bridge differences and resolve conflicts. The students were challenged to make peace with someone on Peace Day, and to strive to make a positive difference, no matter how small or big, on a daily basis.
As young leaders and shapers of the future, participants were encouraged to aspire for moral and innovative leadership in advancing peace and development. In an exercise, the students were grouped according to the challenges of the global goals to discuss practical ideas and activities on youth’s contribution to the achievement of the 2030 agenda.
From Business Major students sharing their knowledge on livelihood development to small communities, Engineering Major students introducing solar power to remote villages in the country, and others donating books to schools to help reduce cost, the participants shared how young people of today can link local efforts to support the achievement of global goals and peace. “We must become agents of peace and change by becoming role models to other youth, participating to outreach programs, and getting ourselves actively involved in social issues,” shared one youth leader.