With tragedy happening around the world, including the unfortunate turn of events in Marawi City, most people are on the verge of losing their faith in humanity—but not these Teach Peace Build Peace Movement (TPBPM) volunteers! Together, the group is helping restore our hope for the world as they make a difference through their creativity and 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.”
From baking cookies to distributing plushies, here are the creative ways the TPBPM volunteers are making our country a better place one small step at a time. Who knows, you just might have something to offer, too!
Peace Heroes Coloring Books by Jude Villaruz, Glenford Lumbao, and Samantha Lumang
These awesome coloring books were created and illustrated by volunteers Jude, Glenford, and Samantha aims to serve as an outlet for victims to express their feelings in a peaceful way. Each page is made to deliver a message of peace through one of the main pillars of TPBPM, which is art. The book consists of images that represent their culture such as the okir, sarimanok, and other Islamic art-inspired patterns.
Peace Cookies by Nicole Perez
As much as Nicole's passion for baking makes her life more fun, what truly brings her joy is when she gets to reach out to those who are in need through her goods. Nicole aims to bring joy to the kids in Marawi with cookies, which she decorates 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 shares.
Peace Notes by Regina Yamada
Regina believes that nothing is more powerful than words, and she knows how inspiring words can bring encouragement to families and inidividuals in Minadanao during these tough times; thus, she made Peace Notes that would uplift their spirits.
“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 says.
Peace Bracelets by Kat Rabuya
Kat's bracelets symbolizes life and hope, and through it she wishes to give strength to whoever receives it. “I love making bracelets for other people. Making them takes a bit of time and effort so I am offering my time and effort to the people in Mindanao through these bracelets,” Kat shares. Bracelet-making is also a part of TPBPM’s psychosocial peacebuilding activity for the young people in Marawi.
Plushies for Peace by TPBPM
Because there’s nothing a teddy bear hug can’t fix (at least even for a while)–TPBPM came up with Plushies for Peace, an initiative meant to make little children happy through collecting stuffed toys and handing it to victims in the hopes of alleviating their stress and trauma.
TPBPM aims to make every Filipino child and youth a peace builder as it 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.
If you wish to help TPBPM reach more kids, you can volunteer, donate, or share your creative ideas with them. For more information, contact Bernadette Fernandez at (0915) 848-0230 or visit facebook.com/teachbuildpeace/ and teachpeacebuildpeace.com/.
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Photographs from The Teach Peace Build Peace Movement (TPBPM).