While some Filipinos are busy posting their sentiments on social media, these Teach Peace Build Peace Movement (TPBPM) volunteers are busy making a difference on ground through little acts of kindness.
“We are overwhelmed with the support that our youth peace heroes are showing our brothers and sisters in Mindanao,” said TPBPM Founder and Executive Director Rohaniza Sumndad-Usman. “Some of these volunteers have nothing but creativity to share. Truly, at a time like this, anyone who wants to help can’t be stopped and an act is neither too big nor too small when we all come together.”
Here are some creative ways TPBPM volunteers are doing it and who knows, you just might have something to offer too:
Peace Heroes coloring books by Jude Villaruz, Glenford Lumbao, and Samantha Lumang
Created and illustrated by volunteers Jude, Glenford, and Samantha, these coloring books are meant to convey the message of peace through art, one of the key pillars of TPBPM. As part of the kits that TPBPM is distributing to children in Marawi, the coloring books will serve as an outlet for affected children to express their feelings in a peaceful way. The book contains images that symbolize their culture such as okir, sarimanok, and other Islamic art-inspired patterns.
Peace cookies by Nicole Perez
For Nicole, baking is not only something she does for fun. It’s also something she does to reach out to those who are in need. Realizing this, she decided to bake cookies to bring joy to the kids in Marawi. Her cookies are also decorated with a reminder to always choose peace. “I once read that if you bake for someone, it’s like you’re giving something of yourself to that person… I may not be physically there with them but these cookies will convey that I am with them in spirit, praying for their safety. Hopefully, the cookies will bring smiles to their faces, aside from giving them happy tummies,” Nicole shared.
Peace notes by Regina Yamada
Nothing is more powerful than words. Regina, knows how families and individuals in Mindanao are in need of encouraging words at this time. “Every peace note we’re writing is a message for every peace hero in Mindanao who is bravely facing an unfortunate situation… Through these peace notes, we’re showing our love and support, even if we’re far from them,” she said.
Peace bracelets by Kat Rabuya
“I love making bracelets for other people. Making bracelets takes a bit of time and effort so I am offering my time and effort to the people in Mindanao through these bracelets,” Kat shared. Kat’s bracelets symbolize life and hope and she hopes that through this little act, she’s able to give strength to whoever receives it. Bracelet-making is also part of TPBPM’s psychosocial peacebuilding activity for the youth in Marawi.
Plushies for Peace by TPBPM
For some kids, there’s nothing a teddy bear hug can’t fix, at least for a while. Plushies for Peace is an initiative by TPBPM meant to gather stuffed toys and distribute them to children affected by stress and trauma.
Aiming to make every Filipino child and youth a peace builder, the TPBPM continues to reach out to kids in conflict areas and educate them about the importance of peace. “We have seen how our fellow Filipinos are more than willing to help the children in Mindanao. These creative efforts just show that there are different faces of compassion for Marawi and all we need to do is uncover them,” said Rohaniza.
To help TPBPM reach more kids, you can volunteer, donate, or share your creative ideas with them. For more information, contact Bernadette Fernandez at +639158480230 or visit www.facebook.com/teachbuildpeace/ and www.teachpeacebuildpeace.com/.