Aiming to educate different student leaders about countering violent extremism, the I am Mindanao campaign conducted a seminar about violent extremism in Mindanao on Saturday, November 19.
The event had 19 participants from various universities in Cagayan de Oro City—Liceo de Cagayan University, Pilgrim Christian College, and Lourdes College. It centered on strengthening the students’ awareness and understanding regarding the topic.
It began with a “Getting To Know You” game wherein the participants were grouped with other students they were still not friends with before the event. Immediately after, the I am Mindanao Social Media Manager, Jericho, gave his opening remarks where he mentioned his hopes that the different student leaders will take his/her individual role in countering violent extremism in their respective schools.
The main speaker of the seminar was the I am Mindanao team leader, Brian. He gave a talk on violent extremism and why students should care about the issue. His talk emphasized the importance of being involved in the underrated discussion of violent extremism happening in the Philippines, and starting a new dialogue on how to counter such issue as college students from Cagayan de Oro City.
“We may not be able to stop violent extremist activities in Mindanao but we can stop them from recruiting more college students to be part of their ideologies” expressed Brian.
A group discussion commenced after the talk where the participants were divided into smaller groups of 5 for a more intimate brainstorming on how they can counter violent extremism. Aside from countering violent extremism, the students also talked about their questions, ideas, and concerns on the issue. Brian took the stage to answer their questions and clarify their concerns.
The participants then wrote their “Letters of Love” to Mindanao about how they can counter violent extremism. Each student’s letter was turned into a paper crane, contributing to the goal of reaching 1,000 paper cranes throughout the campaign period. The event ended with the giving of certificates and acknowledgment of the students’ active participation.