Manila-Zambo mass videocon set for Dec. 1 as Week of Peace highlight PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 10 November 2010 09:52

Preparations are well underway for the holding of the first “mass videoconference” on December 1 to promote multicultural understanding and solidarity between some 2,000 participating youths in Manila and Zamboanga City.

The high-tech online dialogue aims to heighten the participants’ appreciation of Islam and Christianity are religions of peace, their social and cultural commonalities, and deepen their knowledge of the dynamics and effects of prejudice and discrimination, said Western Mindanao State University’s Center for Peace and Development (WMSU-CPD) director Dr. Marcy Carpizo.

CPD has teamed up with the international NGO PeaceTech, Inc. to hold a series of online conferences between Manila’s and Zamboanga’s  high school students in the past three months.  The December 1 mass videoconference will cap the series.

PeaceTech, based in Manila, said through its field coordinator Nerissa Piamonte that it serves as a “platform of dialogue and all forms of communication (with which) we hope to bring a message of rediscovery – of the value of exchanging ideas and the excitement of connecting with others from different parts of the world.  Dialogue is essential, especially in a time when peace is greatly needed”.

The grand event will be held in WMSU’s Dr. Juanito Bruno gymnasium in the morning of December 1.  The participants will comprise of high school and college students, out of school youths  and young professionals.  Some will come from Basilan.

Some 20 “peace ambassadors” coming from various schools and other youth sectors are currently undergoing a five-Saturday training to act as facilitators in the videoconference.  

They were selected on the basis of their application, track record in peace-building activities and prior trainings, said Dr. Carpizo.

The conference’s theme is  “Building Understanding through Technology”, Piamonte said.

The videoconference will also feature the participation of guests and resource persons at both ends who will enrich the discussions by sharing with the youths their inputs about peace-building experiences, insights and commentaries, said Dr. Carpizo.

The youths will be organized into small groups to facilitate discussions that will level up into the mainstream dialogue.  They will also present skits at the start of the event to dramatize the event’s theme.

The conference is also one of the highlights of this year’s Week of Peace celebration, from November 25 to December 1.