MILF community leaders attend 3-day seminar-workshop

By Phix Samsaraji

ZAMBOANGA City (December 25, 2014) – Hundreds of political leaders and members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in Zamboanga City participated in the 3-day seminar workshop  on Bangsamoro Governance, Basic Organizing, and advocacy on Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) conducted by the Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute (BLMI) in partnership with the United Youth for Peace and Development, Inc. (UNYPAD) held at the East-West Coast of the City of Zamboanga on November 21-23.

Fishermen, food vendors, youth, women, Islamic scholars, former government employees, and peace-advocate organizations were the participants of the said activity.

BLMI staff said the objectives of the activity are to enhance the skills and knowledge of participants on the issue of BBL and to capacitate them with basic ideas on organizing and advocacy practices.

Mr. Tirso S. Tahir of the BLMI gave the lecture about the BBL, Bangsamoro history, advocacy, and update on the GPH-MILF peace process.

“Everyone of you must exert effort to acquire knowledge because you are all leaders, and being a leader, you are responsible and accountable here in earth especially in hereafter,” he said.

The officers of UNYPAD Zamboanga City Chapter shared an input on community organizing and emphasized the important role of  youth in the community.

According to the UNYPAD officer invited as lecturer in this affair, youth empowerment is a must in preparation for the Bangsamoro government.

“If the right knowledge is taught to the youth or if they are properly capacitated, there is hope that the future Bangsamoro government will prosper,” he added.

“Acquiring the western knowledge is very important but learning the Arabic or Islamic education is the foundation of all knowledge,” he stressed.

At the last day of the activity, youth and women sectors expressed willingness to become members of the UNYPAD.

“We are willing to become members of the UNYPAD and ready to undergo seminars/training workshops.”

A certain Yasser, a youth representative, welcomes the idea for the UNYPAD to organize them. He said, “Capacitating youth will become an instrument in advocating peace and development in the community.”

One of the woman participant said, “This seminar is very helpful for me because I learned a lot and when I get home I can also teach what I had learned during the activity.”

“I will tell my mother the importance of this capacity building program because through this activity I feel that women in our community shall be given chance to participate in peace- building,” she said.

The women sector also requested another seminar to be conducted for them. Some of them do not have time to attend seminar due to their other responsibility.

Participants of the said activity received a certificate of appreciation from the organizer.