The Peace of Mind Project 2.0, in partnership with the Child Protection Committee of the Department of Education- ARMM, was sucessfully launched last January with the Training of Trainers. The training was attended by the core team, volunteers, and the six high school teachers from the partner schools in Maguindanao. The aim of the training was to introduce the teachers to the project and module to be used during the session with the students.

Maguindanao is one of the provinces in Mindanao with a reported highest record of armed conflict. Up to this day, various terrorist activities are prevalent such as bombing, exchange of fires, and others. What’s more alarming is the continued emergence of the terrorist group in Maguindanao and the recruitment of young students to be extremist and participate in terrorist activities. The youths in Maguindanao are vulnerable to adapt hostile and radical attitudes due to the interplay of factors such as the mental health impact of conflict and irrational threat perception. This claim is supported by a wealth of works of literature showing that young people are prone to adapt exclusionist and extreme attitudes if they are exposed to prolonged conflict. Local studies and narratives have also validated this claim as more and more young people are recruited to rebel.

The Peace of Mind Project aims to counter violent extremism among young people in Maguindanao thru a preventive and proactive approach that includes a series of sessions on CVE and related topics. The project will involve core 6 teachers and 60 students from three select high schools located in the conflict zones in Maguindanao: Hadji Kalaing Salik National High School, Integrated Laboratory Science High School, and Gani L. Abpi College Inc. The project will include a series of sessions on peace, conflict management, mental health, and topics based on a recent research on peace in the context of Mindanao. The 10 sessions will be facilitated by the core team, volunteers, and the partner teachers. A special session will also be implemented with the parents of the students. At the end of the project in April, all the students and teachers will be gathered together for 2-day youth summit to culminate the project. The project is headed by a group of young leaders from the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study (YES) Program Alumni Philippines.

To know more about the project visit the page of MaguindaNow.