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This Year in Play for Peace Philippines!

In the past year, several exciting Practice Peace sessions have taken place in Cebu, an Island province of the Philippines. As always, the motivation was to encourage youth to embrace leadership, community service, and cooperative play. In June 2014, in the municipality of Argao, several organizations bonded to facilitate a Grand Play Day. The Mighty Psychs Club, Play for Peace – Cebu, Play for Peace – Argao, and the Alliance of Argawanon Youth Leaders (AAYL) joined forces at the Argao Nature Park. There, student officers from 8 schools brought together 79 youths. The purpose? To inspire participants to serve their community, embracing the values of both Play for Peace and the AAYL. The focus here was on courage, communication, and volunteerism. Indeed, the event served as a stepping-stone for a broader range of community-based activities.

Later in the year, Play for Peace – Cebu held a Rotonda Play at Calvary Hills, Banilad Cebu. In the warmth of late October, 35 kids engaged in cooperative play to introduce Play for Peace in rural areas. Sponsored by The Gospel Foundation, these children focused on activities dealing with core values of respect, honesty, and unity. But the success continues! Only one month later, Play for Peace-Cebu worked with a group of children from the district of San Rogue in Cebu City. In coordination with the Industrial Engineering students of the Cebu Technological University, facilitators organized the Feeding Playmath Program. This program combined three agendas into one gathering: a cooperative play session, a math tutorial, and a feeding program. The event brought 100 children together at the San Rogue Gym on November 28th.

More consistently, Play for Peace – Cebu was able to hold Practice Peace sessions for the Badjau Community in the district of Alaska Mambaling, Cebu City. This began in the last quarter of 2013 and continued in every month of 2014. These Practice Peace sessions were supported by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. and focused on the educational success of children in the community. Over time, and with proper mentorship, the goal is to see children graduate elementary school, high school, and even college while maintaining the identity of their tribe.

As one teacher put it: “This is the only place where these students are fully accepted: a place to experience happiness, freedom, safety, and comfort. We must work with them at their own pace.” Despite the challenges that these students are personally experiencing, the team helps to release their social tensions through play, creating an environment for sustainable character development. The Play for Peace team hopes to revisit these sessions with the Badjau community in 2015. -written by Deanna based on a report sent by Chad

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