BEING able to reach the youth on their level can be a difficult task. There are differences in generations that make it difficult for baby boomers to fully grasp how they communicate. I believe, however, that this is a creative challenge that we need to address if we want to tackle violent extremism. Because the youth are extremely vulnerable to this, we need to come up with platforms that raise awareness and create a different “face” of the Bangsamoro struggle.
Yesterday, November 27, the Al Qalam Institute was featured as a guest speaker at the Kapehan sa Dabaw Press Conference at SM City Davao. Here, we spoke about the upcoming MSummit: Moro National Youth Conference, which we organized in coordination with Salaam Movement. It will take place this November 30-December 1, 2018 at the Ateneo de Davao University Finster Auditorium and features empowering talks and spaces for the youth to better themselves.
Here we want to give Moro, Millennial and Mindanaoan youth a chance to show their advocacies and initiatives. It is also fitting because it is one of the Ateneo de Davao University’s planned activities during the Mindanao Week of Peace.
What is in store for the participants at the MSummit? We had a rigorous selection process for the event where almost 1,500 Moro and Moro-serving youth applied to participate. They were selected on the basis of their written applications and their unique “M” Power. These youth were allowed to define their “M” as Morality, Makers, and even Mujahidat.
The event will start with a Cultural Night on November 30, 2018 that aims to showcase the traditional dress of each tribe represented. It will be a networking event where the chosen youth delegates will mingle and get to know one another, their cultures, and their advocacies. Video messages from the City Mayor of Davao, Inday Sara Duterte, and audio-visual presentations of Al Qalam and Salaam Movement will also be featured during this event.
The following day, December 1, will be for the MSummit proper. The rationale will be that of explaining the importance of the advocacies of each one, and will also give a space to talk about the social media campaigns produced from the Generation MPower Regional Workshops. These are SCRAM: Stop Casual Racism Against Muslims, Trybalismo, ReGAP, and #ToReal of I Am Mindanao. In the afternoon, they will then participate in breakout sessions that teach Digital Advocacy, Creative Writing, and Event Management.
The evening is allotted for the MPower Awards Ceremony. The team has selected empowered youth from schools, communities, and organizations that have had an impact on the grassroots areas. It will also be an avenue to honor the partners that made the event possible, as well as acknowledge the efforts of the social media campaigns of the regional workshops.
We are striving to empower the youth and train them to become better leaders of society. This is why we are gathering all these young leaders in an event that has not yet been done before. That way, when they go back home to their respective communities, they will arrive with more knowledge in themselves and in the future of the Bangsamoro.
In a way, we are doing our part to contribute to a generation of youth that serves to #MPower others.