MPI congratulates CHRIST (Deemed to be University) in Bangalore, India, for inaugurating the Centre for Peace Praxis on 16 August 2023. The event was attended by 265 participants, including faculty, students, and special guests. The establishment of the center was made possible by the efforts and initiative of MPI alumnus and facilitator Dr. MM “PK” Padmakumar with the support of Vice Chancellor Dr. Fr. Jose CC and some faculty members of the university.
Photo above: Members of the Interfaith Forum for Peace and Harmony, Manipur presenting their memorandum to the Governor of Manipur, Anusuiya Uikey
MPI alumnus Deben Bachaspatimayum shared with us the press release from the Interfaith Forum for Peace and Harmony, Manipur, below regarding an appeal to the President of India in relation to the violence in Manipur, India. According to the BBC:
Violence in Manipur began in May following protests by indigenous communities - primarily the Kukis - against the demand seeking tribal status for the Meiteis.
Since then people from both communities have attacked each other's homes, vehicles, churches, and temples, officials say.
The clashes have resulted in the complete segregation of the Kuki and Meitei communities in the state.
Dated: 14th July 2023
A collective of interfaith forum leaderships submitted a memorandum to the president of India through the Governor of Manipur, Anusuiya Uikey, today, at Raj Bhawan. The 5-point memorandum appealed the President of India to 1) end the ongoing ethnic violence and hate campaigns on both sides, 2) ensure unhindered flow of goods and passengers on all national highways to reach relief materials to all equally, 3) ensure sense of security on all the national highways linking the state with rest of India and neighboring country, 4) ensure equal and quality food and health care to all inmates in reliefs camps across the state and 5) take initiatives for inclusive and sustained dialogue processes at civil society levels.
It was a return to form for the Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute as 2022 heralded in the Institute’s 21st Annual Peacebuilding Training held October 10 to 21, 2022, at Mergrande Ocean Resort in Davao City, Philippines. The modified two-week training brought together old and new faces and even saw international participants despite the COVID-19 restrictions.
I enrolled in one of the newest MPI courses in 2022, the Theory and Practice of Peace Advocacy (PA) facilitated by Vanessa “Ned” Bible and Gabrielle “Gabs” Sagaral. Aside from enjoying the learning experience, I also met engaging and passionate peacebuilders from various cultural settings, who were very open to exchanging ideas and experiences, supplementing the practice dimension of the course.
I brought with me my limited peacebuilding experience and a lot of questions, but I came out with so many valuable insights. With this piece, I share my experience in the course through what I would refer to as three spheres of reflection and four power bits taken from my self-made “Advocacy Toolkit,” something each participant made as we progressed through the course.
Attending the MPI 2022 Annual Peacebuilding Training in person was an act of faith and courage. When I received the invitation, I wondered if this was the right use of resources. COVID-19 was still spreading. The disturbing war in Ukraine and local issues demanded time. I spent a long time discerning whether to participate. Will it be worth the time and energy? Is this the correct use of resources? What can I contribute to the life and spirit of this event? Other peace advocates helped clarify my intentions, while former participants encouraged me to attend.
I decided to attend MPI’s Annual Peacebuilding Training with three goals: connect with other participants, learn from each other, and explore the terrain of peace work in the region. Peace work entails working with others, building friendships, and offering solidarity. I was very touched that some peace advocates offered to sponsor my travel and training costs.