Thursday, January 24, 2019

Students' social media campaign picked for FB digital challenge

THE Cagayan de Oro-based social media campaign "I am Mindanao" has been picked to be among the participants of the 2017 "Peer to Peer: Facebook Global Digital Challenge" initiated by United States-based EdVenture Partners to be held on July 19 in Washington District of Columbia.

"The Peer to Peer: Facebook Global Digital Challenge" is a movement set to create a campaign on countering violent extremism using Facebook as the media.

"I am Mindanao," a social media campaign by the Development Communication (DevCom) students of Xavier University-Ateneo de Cagayan was created on 2016 and has taken the attention of the challenge's committee panels because of their continuous campaign to educate the Mindanaoan youth about violent extremism.

"I am Mindanao" was invited last June 16 to participated in the event. Its campaign supervisor Evans Yonson together with some of its student organizers are set to present their campaign before a panel of senior leaders, policymakers, and guests along with the campaign teams from three other universities (American University of Nigeria, CEU Universidad San Pablo in Spain, and the University of Dhaka in Bangladesh).

The social media-based campaign was aimed at educating the public, particularly, the youth of Cagayan de Oro City and its neighboring areas on violent extremism, strengthening the sense of pride of being Mindanaoans, and empowering the millennials to take part in peace and nation-building initiatives.

Since 2016, the team had been making activities such as a young communicator's camp, some university seminars, informative social media contents, exhibits, and engaging projects, as their answer to the various acts of violent extremism here in Mindanao. Aside from that, they are putting the youth's efforts and awareness as the main pioneers of change in this campaign.

"I believe that our campaign is very significant because Mindanao is in imminent danger against violent extremist groups," Yonson said.

Their campaign has stepped into focus because of the siege of Marawi city and the ongoing clash between the armed forces of the country and the Maute Group today.

"Our social media content and materials are research-based and developed locally. We utilize traditional and modern media, radio, TV, newspaper, blog, photography, video, and all possible social media platforms. We were quick to respond to the call for action, especially during the Marawi siege. We were already online and giving information two hours after the attack of Marawi started," he added.
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