The MPI Effect

Tahim and Rahim behind a Kaliwat dancer
Tahim and Rahim behind a dancer from the Kaliwat Performing Artists Collective during the "parade of nations" entrance.

For two young peacebuilders from Afghanistan, attending the 15th Annual Peacebuilding Training was a life-changing and amazing experience that has created beautiful ripples in both their lives. From May 11 to 30, 2014, Rahim and Tamim participated in a peacebuilding training organized annually by the Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute, through the sponsorship of the International Assistance Mission (IAM). The training was held in Davao City, Philippines.

Though still both in their early 20s, they have already exhibited an awareness and commitment to contribute and bring positive change to their respective provinces and country. Rahim Hamgom is the English and Computer Facilitator of IAM in the province of Badakhshan, working closely with the education sector in the area; while Tamim Ebrahimi is the Assistant Program Manager of the Peacebuilding Project of the same organization based in Kabul.

They shared that they not only learned varied peacebuilding teaching tools and methods—which are certainly valuable and helpful to their respective work—but also the meaningful connection with friends and fellow peacebuilders from around the world and the opportunity to live in a community of people coming from different faiths and background. Several months after the completion of the training, they have now started applying much of what they acquired from MPI.

Rahim has conducted several peacebuilding trainings in his native province, including a five-day training with the students of the Badakhshan University. He has received a lot of support and encouragement from the president as well as from its professors to continue holding peacebuilding trainings with their students and professors alike. He was very much inspired from what the people from the university were saying, that "peacebuilding is the exact course to reduce violence and conflict in all parts of Afghanistan, and that can bring profoundly positive changes in the security of the country." He was also able to impart his learning to his fellow colleagues in their office by organizing a two-day training for them. Rahim is planning to conduct even more peacebuilding trainings in the province and continue enlightening young minds on the importance of peace and peacebuilding in their country.

Tamim was provided with a solid foundation to develop training curriculum for peacebuilding trainings for their project from the MPI training. Merwyn De Mello, Project Manager for IAM's Peacebuilding Project, wrote, "Tamim has returned inspired and with several tools added to his kit that are useful in our work." In August of 2014, he, together with his other colleagues, successfully conducted a peacebuilding and teambuilding training in Balkh Province. Like Rahim, he will be facilitating more peacebuilding trainings in the months to come.

Both Rahim and Tamim hope to be able to continue to share what they know, influence positive change in many individuals and hopefully bring peace, if not to the whole country, at least to the lives of those they touch.

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