The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has fielded a new army in its quest for peace: the youth.
Instead of guns, tanks and bullets, these youth from all over the country will be armed with their appreciation of different cultures, love for nature, and their rich heritage in the war against war itself.
The AFP, together with the local government unit of Cavite, organized the First Cavite Provincial Youth Leadership Summit last May 23 – 25, 2017 held at Anuling Elementary School, Anuling Mendez Cavite. It was attended by more than 70 youth participants from the different municipalities of the 7th District of Cavite.
The Youth Leadership Summit began as an initiative to reach out to young and potential leaders and to provide an opportunity to the youth from different municipalities to get to know each other under an atmosphere of self-discovery, cooperation and team work. The Youth for Peace is a peace advocacy movement geared towards creating an environment of safety and sanity.
Since then, the Municipality of Indang, being one of the municipalities under the 7th district of Cavite to have the first batch of graduates of the Youth Leadership Summit, has been actively participating and supporting its Youth Leaders.
As the various groups in the Philippines started calling for donations after clashes erupted between the military and the Maute Group in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur, Youth for Peace Cavite, in collaboration with the 2ID and 202nd Infantry Brigade, has also started its first major project – the #ChocolatesForMarawi donation caravan on July 10, 2017 and had been succesfully accomplished last July 14, 2017. This donation caravan was initiated by the 10ID Youth for Peace Advocacy Movement – TABLOS of Region 11 and 12. It aimed to gather chocolates with inspirational messages for our soldiers deployed in Marawi City. The Youth for Peace believed that giving them messages as sweet as the chocolates will help to boost their morale and to serve as an inspiration for them. This caravan is also open for other kinds of donation such as clothes, blankets, relief goods, hygiene kits, etc. for our brothers and sisters who were severly affected by the armed conflict.
In response to the calls of the Youth for Peace Cavite, the Indang Youth Leaders, with help and assistance from the Municipal Mayor, Mayor Perfecto V. Fidel together with other municipal staff and personnel, have collected chocolates and other donations from various elementary schools in Indang. The principals, teachers and students of these schools wholeheartedly patronized the donation caravan project. Some individuals also participated and gave their contributions in the donation caravan project. They were grateful as they knew that the donations collected were intended for the affected families of the on-going firefights between government forces and Maute Group in Marawi City.