“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” -Benjamin FranklinThis quote has been the inspiration for Joe, a young Play for Peace Mentor, and his vibrant Play for Peace Club in the mountain district of Argao, Philippines. Argao is a municipality in the province of Cebu, Philippines that faces challenges due to the conflict between children from different economic backgrounds. However, the apathy in the community’s youth is gradually being replaced by youth involvement guided by the belief that peace is possible. The youth are now hungry for new learning. Play for Peace Trainer Anbern Guarrine introduced Play for Peace to Joe who feels it is a powerful tool to reach-out to youth and spread peace throughout the community because play is an interactive medium that facilitates learning. In a recent “Grand Play Session,” over 100 young student leaders participated. The momentum and positive impact of this Play for Peace Club has also influenced a nearby mountain village to start forming a new Play for Peace Club! A few years ago, Joe Sardido Aperdo helped found the Circle of Young and Empowered, which is now affiliated with Play for Peace. The CYELL (the Circle of Young and Empowered Linut-od Leaders) is a youth organization that focuses on community development through a variety of youth and children programs. Play for Peace-CYELL runs monthly Play for Peace sessions that bring children and youth from different classes and backgrounds together to build positive, lifelong friendships.
“Personally, Play for Peace teaches me how to think positively, creatively, and it really boosts my leadership skills challenging the status quo of our community. It also helps me gain confidence through the connections I build because of Play for Peace. Professionally, what it teaches me as student, soon to become an Industrial Engineer who will manage people and time, is how to balance my choices .” ~Joe Sardido AperdoJoe is now 20 years old and has been a student leader since he was in high school. He is also the President of the Industrial Engineering Department. These leadership positions enabled him to go to different seminars, including conventions held all over the Philippines. He has just been awarded the prestigious Ayala Young Leader award, which he feels is in part thanks to his involvement and training with Play for Peace. Joe is especially happy to see the impact of new youth leaders who can now lead and run groups by themselves. One young 15 year old leader is already facilitating collaborative games with ease. The leaders, old and new, are amazed with the vision and mission of Play for Peace, and are very happy to collaborate with an international organization.
"Play for Peace creates wonders here in Argao. Though we are coming from different youth organizations, more young people are now valuing 'real' communication. Young people started to find common ground instead of fighting over differences. Young people here in Argao are more inspired to complement each other rather than competing. Young people are now more determined to see each other as allies, not as enemies. In concrete terms, Play for Peace was instrumental to organize our faith-based Youth Jam participated by different religious organizations and our 1st-ever Argao Youth Convention participated by 28 distinct and empowered youth organizations."
~Chad, Argao Play for Peace Youth Leader