We build relationships to encourage individuals and organizations who are peace champions. Friends Peace Teams provides vital support to expanding AVP in the Philippines, now active in Bohol, Cebu, Manila (National Capital Region), Cavite and Nueva Ecija Provinces. We offer one- to three-day workshops in empowerment and resiliency for:
- teachers, staff, students and administrators in schools and universities.
- educators, civil servants and community leaders.
- facilitators of peace workshops and education.
- student leaders and animators (advisers) for the Student Catholic Action of the Philippines (SCAP).
Human Rights Watch 2018 reported that the Philippines dived into its worst human rights crisis since the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos in the 1970s and 1980s. The “war on drugs,” launched after President Duterte took office in June 2016, has claimed an estimated 12,000 lives. Last June 14, 2018, he gave a verbal directive to clamp down against bystanders loitering in the streets, especially at night. Barely five days after this verbal order an estimated 3,000 arrests were made in Metro Manila alone.
People are becoming more divided. A large number of Duterte’s followers supported his rogue methods of addressing criminality and putting order in the country. This rift runs deep, even among family members, co-workers and even development workers. We need to call for, grow and nurture a new culture of peace, dialog and information sharing.
SCAP is the oldest Catholic Action student movement in the country. They adopted AVP as an official formation program for the movement, and send their leadership to the Friends Peace Teams’ International Peace Training.
We lend strength and peaceful perspectives to environmental groups and communities as they advocate on local or national environmental issues. The latest of which was the successful passage of the no-to-coal policy by the legislators of Bohol. Together we are learning to practice peace in our personal and public lives, calling for the end of state-sanctioned violence or war.