Change the world by boosting your thinking, ZABIDA workers told PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 26 April 2015 14:41

To be able to do a better job of addressing the social and economic problems of the communities they serve, over 30 staffers of Zamboanga-Basilan Integrated Development Alliance, Inc. (ZABIDA) underwent a “Thinking Well” training on April 24-25 in Zamboanga City.

People like those who work for civil society organizations like ZABIDA can do a better job of helping people and solving social problems if they learn how to think well, to think strategically, Atty. Bong Mostesa told the participants at the start of the training held at the Zamboanga Economic Zone Authority facilities on San Ramon.

This is a personality development training intended to beef up  the working capacities of ZABIDA personnel, including raising the quality of their work and life, the consortium’s regional executive director, EspieHupida, said. ZABIDA is engaged in a variety of community development projects, from good governance for barangays, peace-building and –education, disaster risk reduction and management to out of school youth alternative learning and livelihood skills training in Zamboanga and Basilan province.

Thinking well is the most important asset of a person, but our schools do not teach people how to think well or correctly, Montesa said.  The former assistant secretary of the Office of the Presidential Assistant on the Peace Process (OPAPP) now runs a school in Manila teaching children techniques on proper problem solving through critical analysis. Thinking is an important skill which our schools do not teach their students, Montesa pointed out.

The ZABIDA staffers were subjected to workshops where they were exercised on various brainstorming tools and methods, including how to better listen to people, setting goals, mapping consequences, and suppressing negative thinking.

A day before the training, Montesa urged the 33 graduates of the 5th Summer Peacebuilding Course to make better use of their minds in the task of peace-making. Those who advocate or work for peace must know how to listen to other people and their perspectives and to appeal to their conscience, he remarked at the graduation ceremony of the 4-day peace course at the Claret Lay Formation Center, this city. Peace is the most important work today, he said, as he recollected on his 15 years experience in supervising the ceasefire between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Before the course ended, the participants developed exit peace action plans wherein they laid down various projects and activities to promote peace in their respective communities and organizations. The participants from Zamboanga and Basilan represented the security, education, barangay local government, civil society, out of school youth and interreligious groups sectors.  Most of their plans centered on the need to conduct information and education drives about the Mindanao peace process and the Bangsamoro Basic Law as well as on environmental conservation to mitigate the threats of climate change.

The summer course is conducted annually by the Peace Advocates Zamboanga, one of the partner organizations of ZABIDA.

ZABIDA president Fr. Angel Calvo, CMF congratulated the participants and urged them to bring their newfound knowledge to their community and work situations.  Peace-building is a collective challenge, he said, and cannot just be kept in the heart but must shine out to the world like a light from God. — ZABIDA