MYPEACE Project serves 108 madaris kids in Chefs for Peace PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 16 March 2015 12:26

In a simple tribute to women and children in communities, the Voice of Mindanao in partnership with the United States Embassy in Manila conducted the Chefs for Peace cooking competition among Muslim youth under the Madrasah Youth Promoting English Advancement for Community Empowerment (MYPEACE) recently in our city.

“Chefs for Peace is a community outreach activity of the MYPEACE students and teachers, where madrasah youth are serving madaris youth in Cabatangan.  Since it is Women’s Month, the activity is to allow our MYPEACE students to prepare 5 to 6-course meals per group for 35-40  madaris students who are not part of the MYPEACE Project, and some mothers and young girls in the madaris.  In applying what they learned in the MYPEACE techvoc skills classes, they also share their time, skills, and service to their fellow madaris students who are not part of the MYPEACE Project,” said Richmond Pequit, MYPEACE Project Coordinator.

Held in Camp A. F. Fernandez in Cabatangan, Zamboanga City, the event brought together 52 MYPEACE students, 12 MYPEACE teachers, 4 techvoc trainers, and 2 other officials.

“The 545th Army Engineer Battalion is honored to host the Chef for Peace event of the MYPEACE Program.  As early as this week, we prepared six kitchens for their use, and opened our doors to welcome the madaris youth to serve the madaris youth who are also enrolled in the Madrasah classes held here in Camp,” said LtC Arnel Fernandez, battalion commander.

A total of 108 children tasted the meals of 5 to 6 courses produced for lunch by the MYPEACE students. Ms Diana Celorico, one of the trainers, shared:  “The kids did great. Each one of them made an effort in preparing the foods for the madrasah children. I know it was not easy for them given that they had only limited time of 1-2 hours to prepare.”

The competing chefs, aged 12-15 years old, explained in English to the judges what they cooked, the nutritional value, preparation time, and the challenges they had, among others.  The competition was adjudged by Dean Aileen Concepcion-Ordiales, LtC Arnel Fernandez, Ms. Diana Celorico, Ms Ashima Sali, and Commander Joselito de Guzman.

MYPEACE Program is a youth empowerment program of the Voice of Mindanao (a Mindanao-based youth non-government organization) that started in mid-October 2014.  Classes are held at Sarang Bangun Learning Center in Baliwasan Newslane, this city. Teachers are among the alumni of the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange Scholars of the US Embassy. Students are from the different madaris schools in Zamboanga City.