SHARIFF KABUNSUAN COMPLEX, Cotabato City - Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo graced here Thursday the awarding ceremonies for the 10 top youth organizations who won in this year’s Angat Buhay Youth–Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) Summit competition.
ARMM Governor Mujiv Hataman led other regional officials in welcoming the Vice President during the program that began shortly before noon.
Robredo handed over the top award to a youth arts organization from Lanao del Sur for crafting the best project that centered on the promotion of peace in the conflict-torn region.
The Okir University Arts Club from Lanao del Sur bested 9 other group contenders for proposing an art therapy workshop called "Teaching Artistry Learning Advocacy”, or TALA, for in-school and out-of-school children aged 7 to 13 years old, who survived the five-month siege by Islamic State-inspired militants in Marawi City last year.
The Okir arts group will participate in the Asia Pacific Youth Exchange Conference in Seoul, South Korea, in August next year. All 10 winning summit group participants will receive seed funds of PHP50,000 each--HP25,000 from the US Embassy’s small grants program and the other half from the Office of the ARMM Regional Governor.
In the same event, Hataman announced that his office will give the rest of participating youth organizations PHP25,000 seed grants each.
At least 28 youth organizations from across ARMM participated in the Oct. 21 – 25 summit initiated by the Office of the Vice President in partnership with the Office on Bangsamoro Youth Affairs, the US Embassy, and the ARMM Development Academy and United Voices for Peace Network.
During her speech, the Vice President lauded the youth participants, who mostly reside in areas affected by conflicts, for crafting innovative project proposals despite the limitations they encountered.
“You, being the youth, that is what you can use to find lasting peace in Mindanao That is the mindset we want to cultivate here - to turn limitations into opportunities - and that is what you did over the past several days,” she said.
During the summit, the participants underwent workshops that tackled topics on violent extremism, religion, community sensitivities, and the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL), which will transform the ARMM into a Bangsamoro region depending on the outcome of the plebiscite on the BOL next year. (PNA)
Photo from ARMM Bureau of Public Information Facebook Page