Highlighting the peace-building efforts in Mindanao, delegates from different Jesuit schools in the Asia Pacific gathered for the annual Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities in Asia Pacific Special Learning Program (AJCU-AP SLP) “to raise awareness by messages of peace and unity.”
With its theme, “Reconciliation within Humanity: Peacebuilding Journey of the Peoples of Mindanao, Philippines,” this year’s AJCU-AP SLP celebrated its 11th year in the Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU).
With this, the university prepared activities that engaged the delegates in the social and cultural formation in Mindanao.
AJCU-AP SLP Program Manager Agnes Sagaral emphasized that the event was inspired by the GC36, or the 36th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus which “seeks to have a renewed fervor for reconciliation with God, humanity, and creation.”
“Peace is not elusive,” the university’s Arrupe Social Formation (ASF) Director Lilibeth Arcena said.
She stressed that peace-building efforts begin with the transformation of the youth through the Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm practiced by Jesuit schools anchored on the teachings of St. Ignatius.
Invited delegates from the Philippines, South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Timor-Leste experienced an 18-day journey around Mindanao.
Moreover, they were given a chance to engage and learn from local communities to relay the messages of peace from the issues of conflict to their respective countries.
“I can’t think of any place na maka offer ug ani na glimpse and exposure to actual narratives of peace-building process, historical injustices, and reconciliation other than Mindanao,” Helery Icao, one of the representatives of AdDU, said.
She also said that the event successfully exposed the students to the realities of Mindanao.
“I hope na magamit nila or ma-inspire sila sa mga programs and na-encounter namo who actively involved themselves to peace-building especially sa ilahang own country provided na lahi mi og contexts,” she added.
Aside from the ASF, other event partners include the Talaandig Tribe, Kagan Tribe, Kaliwat Performing Artists Collective, Coffee for Peace, and Madaris Volunteer Program.