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Alumni News

News from and about MPI Alumni

MPI Alumni Gathering in Cotabato: MPI, a game changer

MPI Alumni Gathering in Cotabato: MPI, a game changer

Another town, another setting, another gathering of people from diverse backgrounds. Last July 23, 2019, 17 MPI alumni from and around Cotabato came together for their first MPI Cotabato Alumni Reunion. However, some who joined the meeting came from very far away. One MPI alumnus came all the way from Myanmar. Another alumnus from 2011, Mr. Shecku Kawusu Mansary from Sierra Leone, who happened to be visiting Mindanao with his wife Isata, was also welcomed and added a special flavor to the meeting.

Post-conflict peace work: experiences from Sierra Leone

Post-conflict peace work: experiences from Sierra Leone

Written by: Patrick van Wersch

DAVAO CITY (July 24, 2019) - In a Public Dialogue entitled ‘Peace Work in Post-Conflict Sierra Leone,’ hosted jointly by the Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute (MPI) and the Al Qalam Institute for Islamic Identities and Dialogue in Southeast Asia of the Ateneo de Davao University, MPI alumnus Shecku Kawusu Mansaray shared his insights working as an adult educator and peacebuilder in Sierra Leone. The participants, including representatives from Mindanao-based civil society organizations (CSOs) and Ateneo de Davao University faculty members, were challenged to reflect on Mansaray’s lessons learned and encouraged to draw and discuss comparisons between the peace and conflict dynamics in Sierra Leone and Mindanao.

On life-altering memories, the power of roleplay, and making peace work

On life-altering memories, the power of roleplay, and making peace work

An MPI alumni round table conversation

Written by: Patrick van Wersch

They had optimistically agreed the night before to attend Sunday morning mass. But one of them—ironically the pastor—overslept. So instead, after a late breakfast they gathered around a table to read and reflect on their favorite Bible passages. A few hours later, after being joined by a fourth peacebuilder, they found themselves in a similar setting as they sat down with Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute’s (MPI) Marlies Roth and Patrick van Wersch for a round table conversation. Eager to share their experiences as MPI Annual Training alumni they were challenged to answer two questions: ‘How have you put your learnings into practice?’ and ‘What can you learn from each other?’ The exchange illustrated the sense of community the foursome has grown accustomed to in their work for the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC)*.

MPI Alumnus Co-convenes Conference on Secularism, State and Interfaith Dialogue in India

MPI Alumnus Co-convenes Conference on Secularism, State and Interfaith Dialogue in India

MPI alumnus Padmakuma M M (2019) is one of the convenors of a National Conference on Secularism, State and Interfaith Dialogue in India. The conference was organized by organised by CHRIST (Deemed to be University), Bangalore in association with Centre for the Study of World Religions (DVK), Bangalore and National Foundation for Communal Harmony Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt. of India, New Delhi. The conference will be held September 24 and 25, 2019. So, while it is to late to attend the conference, we wanted to share what was being organized as an example of who MPI alumni are involved in peacebuilding and to give others ideas of what they might do.

The goal of the conference is "to deliberate over Secularism, State and Interfaith Dialogue in the context of promoting communal harmony in our Nation." The objectives of the conference are:

  • Toensureaplatformformembersfromdifferent religiousandfaithbackgroundstocometogether and reflect over the need for interfaith dialogue
  • To take stock and spread awareness about the ways in which the State, Secularism are enablers of Interfaith Dialogue
  • To encourage academicians and the State to deliberate on interfaith dialogue as a mechanism for promoting communal harmony
  • To promote a culture of peace and harmony and cherish diverse identities and communities in our country
Safe spaces, outsider perspectives, and communities of peace

Safe spaces, outsider perspectives, and communities of peace

An MPI round table conversation between promising peacebuilders

Written by: Patrick van Wersch

With the AC humming, the freshly brewed coffee at serving temperature, and the round table covered with turquoise cloth positioned at the center of the big rectangular meeting room, the stage is set for a Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute (MPI) first. Four peacebuilders, all MPI Annual Peacebuilding Training first-timers, join MPI’s Marlies Roth and Patrick van Wersch for a conversation about why they made the trip to Davao in the southern Philippines, why they do the work they do, and how they benefit from engaging with other peacebuilders from around the globe.

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