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“Still Keeping That Piece of Orange Paper”: Teaching Peace with the Madaris Volunteer Program, One Student at a Time

By Michael Aaron Gomez

Upon receiving the highCEAP (32)est grade in English together with two classmates, a fifteen-year-old Grade 10 student from the Gani L. Abpi Colleges, Inc. in Datu Piang, Maguindanao said that their Madaris Volunteer teacher “gave [them] a piece of paper with a short but inspirational message with matching Mentos candy.”

One can only guess what that anonymous message could have been, but here is what the student says next to finish the story: “Until now, I’m still keeping that piece of orange paper.”

 

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MVP’s Midyear Capability Enhancement Training Builds Communities, Strengthens Compassion

By Michael Aaron Gomez

MCET 1October 24-28, 2017 saw the Madaris Volunteer Program (MVP) hold its third annual Midyear Capability Enhancement Training (MCET) at the Ateneo de Davao University. Madaris Volunteers, madrasah administrators, and organic teachers from the MVP’s twelve (12) partner-madaris participated in the training. The MCET itself—composed of lectures, discussions, and structured learning exercises—is designed to sustain and reflect the MVP’s efforts in enabling its partner-madaris to collaborate fully in the mission of building peace through education.

Two different training programs compose the 2017 MCET: Compassion in the Classroom: A Training Workshop for Madaris Teachers, held at the Multipurpose Room in the Miguel Pro Learning Center; and Building School Communities Together: A Capacity Enhancement Training for School Administrators, held at the Conference Room C-1 in the Ricci Hall.

At Compassion in the Classroom, Dr. Gina Lamzon of the Ateneo de Davao University School of Arts and Sciences (AdDU-SAS) delivered a lecture intended to help instill the values of dignity and self-worth, as well as to enable the development of positive relationships among the madaris teachers, amid the effects of personal alienation. Meanwhile, at Building School Communities Together, Fr. Joel E. Tabora, SJ, President of the Ateneo de Davao University, delivered a lecture that used his personal experience—his journey—as an educational leader to help guide the madrasah administrator participants in their own tenures as leaders of their own schools. Ateneo de Davao University Vice President for Finance Mr. Jimmy Delgado also gave out tips on financial management and fundraising to the administrators in his own lecture.

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Sharing the Gift of Compassionate Leadership at the 2017 Madaris Leadership Program

By Michael Aaron Gomez

IMG_7664The Madaris Volunteer Program (MVP) held the first iteration of its annual Madaris Leadership Program for Bangsamoro student leaders and teachers last September 17-21, 2017 at the Eden Nature Park in Davao City. This year’s program comprises two separate seminar-workshops, respectively called Compassionate Leadership: A Training-Workshop for Bangsamoro Leaders, and Teachers’ Training: Cultivating a Culture of Peace in the Classroom and Beyond. Student leaders and teachers from the MVP’s twelve (12) partner-madaris in the Bangsamoro participated in the event. These workshops are aimed at sharing with the students the gift of compassionate leadership—“to see as others see and to feel as others feel”—as well as helping the teachers build lasting peace in the classroom that would spread among the larger community.

Intended to renew these student leaders and teachers’ focus on the Bangsamoro struggle, the program primarily comprised group workshop sessions and lectures by several resource persons. These lectures were focused on concepts central to “compassionate leadership” and its relevance to the Bangsamoro community: “Self-Awareness & Concept of Person,” delivered by Ms. Lilibeth L. Leh-Arcena of the Arrupe Office of Social Formation (AOSF); “Self-identity,” by Dr. Rosalinda Tomas (AOSF); “Concepts in Islamic Leadership,” by Datu Mussolini Lidasan of the Al-Qalam Institute (AQI); and “Exemplars of Muslim Leaders,” delivered by Ustadz Janor Balo of the Salaam Movement (SM).

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