PeaceTech III Media Advisory

September 22, 2006

MEDIA ADVISORY

WHAT: NEW TALK SHOW TO INCLUDE MOTHERS FROM DIFFERENT SIDES OF WAR IN MASS DIALOGUE ON GIANT SCREENS

TOPIC: WOMEN AND MOTHERS IN CONFLICT AND PEACE BUILDING

WHERE: NISMED AUDITORIUM, NISMED, QUIRINO AVE. UP DILIMAN, QUEZON CITY & NOTRE DAME GYMNASIUM, NOTRE DAME UNIVERSITY

WHEN: SEPTEMBER 25, 8 A.M. TO NOON

SUPPORTED BY: UNICEF; AUSTRALIAN AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT; CANADA FUND FOR LOCAL INITIATIVES; ASSISI DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION; PHILIPPINE LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE COMPANY; NOTRE DAME UNIVERISTY; AND THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENTAIL ADVISOR ON THE PEACE PROCESS

FOOD PROVIDED

CONTACT: MANILA — ROBIN PETTYFER, ASSISI DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION C: 634 1712;          COTOBATO CITY — DAGMAR BLICKWEDE, NOTRE DAME UNIVERSITY

Two mothers. One widowed by a NPA land mine. The other by AFP soldiers. Both struggling to raise a family. Both struggling with their loss. But now, both talking with one another over hundreds of miles on giant screens.

They will come together in PeaceTech on September 25 – the world’s newest live, mass dialogue for youth.

They are two examples of the women who will unite on screen in front of hundreds of youths: a former NPA fighter who surrendered for her six children; the wife of an MILF commander who hid with her family for one year; and two women peace builders.

“PeaceTech 3: Women in Conflict and Peace Building ” focuses on how armed conflict affects women and the family unit. It then analyzes how women can increase their role in peace making.

This episode is expected to attract even greater numbers of youth as momentum builds for this regional talk show being launched in the Philippines .

A partnership between UNICEF, the Australian Agency for International Development, the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives, the Assisi Development Foundation, the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company, Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process and the Center for Peace Education of Miriam College is running the series.

This time Peace Tech will air between Quezon City and Cotobato City . The audiences will represent many mothers, youth and children including: former NPA; MILF; and AFP soldiers; children from conflict zones; Muslims, Indigenous Peoples, Christians; out-of-school youth; and students from many schools and universities. Provinces represented include: Zamboanga del Sur; Maguindanao; Sultan Kudarat; N.Cotobato; Lanao del Norte; Lanao del Sur; Davao ; Agusan del Sur, Negros Occidental; Camarines Sur; Quezon; Cavite-Laguna; Nueva Ecija; Benguet; Mountain Province ; and Isabela

GMA 7’s Kara David will emcee PeaceTech 3 from Quezon City . Journalist Samira Gutoc will emcee from Cotobato City .

The 7-part PeaceTech series is leveraging videoconferencing technology to build solidarity and catalyze change through dialogues on a mass scale. Lessons from the talk shows are sustained through regular on-line chats and through community projects.

UNICEF wants to modal the series for a regional talk show that will connect youth from countries divided by conflict. Communications Officer, Dale Rutstein, says: “It is vital that we provide opportunities for young people to express their opinions on the issues that affect them. With PeaceTech we are feeling the power of telecommunication technology to bring together those who remain so far apart on many levels. By focusing this instrument on the young people of the Philippines we are helping to build a foundation of understanding.”

Senator Ramon Magsaysay says: “We badly need this talk show in a world where conflict is increasing. Be it in Lebanon and Israel or Iraq and the United States , the world needs an international medium where young people can unite. PeaceTech does that. It’s an honor that UNICEF, Canada and Australia want to start this in our country!”

The series has many supporters including: the Center for Peace Education of Miriam College; Notre Dame University; the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process; the AFP; the Gaston Z. Ortigas Peace Institute; the Miriam College Women and Gender Institute; the Department of Education; Youth Aid; Philippine Normal University; Peacemakers’ Circle, the Balay Rehabilitation Center; Brotherhood of Destiny; and numerous community groups, schools and universities throughout the country.

Cable technology is donated by the Philippine Long Distance Company.

UP Diliman and Notre Dame University are hosting the event.

For questions please check: www.peacetechh.net


Peace Tech II Media Advisory

August 27, 2006

MEDIA ADVISORY

WHAT: PART II OF NEW GLOBAL TALK SHOW UNITING HUNDREDS OF YOUTH THROUGHOUT THE PHILIPPINES IN LIVE DIALOGUE ON GIANT SCREENS

TOPIC: OVERCOMING PREJUDICE TOWARDS YOUNG MUSLIMS, INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND CHRISTIANS

WHERE: NISMED AUDITORIUM, NISMED, QUIRINO AVE. UP DILIMAN, QUEZON CITY & ULS  CONVENTION HALL, USM, KABACAN, N. COTOBATO

WHEN: AUGUST 28, 8 A.M. TO NOON

SUPPORTED BY: UNICEF; AUSTRALIAN AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT; CANADA FUND FOR LOCAL INITIATIVES, ASSISI DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION & THE CENTER FOR PEACE EDUCATION OF MIRIAM COLLEGE
 
FOOD PROVIDED

CONTACT: MANILA — ROBIN PETTYFER C: 0915 775 2880; O: 634 1712; MINDANAO – JERRY JOSE C: 0919 622 5225

Young Muslims, indigenous peoples and Christians from all over the Philippines will pour into PeaceTech 2. for a live videoconference on giant screens to unite against discrimination. 

PeaceTech 2 is expected to attract even greater numbers of youth as momentum builds for the global talk show being launched in the Philippines.

A partnership between UNICEF, AusAid, the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives and the Assisi Development Foundation is running the series.

PeaceTech 2 will focus on overcoming prejudice towards Muslims, indigenous peoples and even Christian minorities.

The live dialogue between Kabacan, N.Cotobato and Quezon City will include a unique array of guests: A young Christian in Mindanao, forced to convert to Islam or face possible death; A young Muslim in Manila, fired from work for revealing his faith; and a
group of indigenous youth claiming severe discrimination at an international conference for indigenous peoples in their own country.

GMA 7’s Kara David will emcee PeaceTech 2 from Quezon City.  Ms. Baicon Macaraya of Marawi City will emcee from N.Cotobato. 

The audiences will represent many groups including: former MILF; AFP soldiers; PNP; children from conflict zones; Muslims, Indigenous Peoples, Christians; out-of-school youth; and students from many schools and universities.  Provinces represented include: Zamboanga del Sur; Maguindanao; N.Cotobato; Lanao del Norte; Davao; Negros Occidental; Camarines Sur; Quezon; Cavite-Laguna; Nueva Ecija; Benguet; Mountain Province; and Isabela. 

The 7-part PeaceTech series is leveraging videoconferencing technology to build solidarity and catalyze change through dialogues on a mass scale.  Lessons from the talk shows are sustained through regular on-line chats and through community projects.

UNICEF wants to modal the series for a global talk show that will connect youth from countries divided by conflict.  Communications Officer, Dale Rutstein, says: “It is vital that we provide opportunities for young people to express their opinions on the issues that affect them. With PeaceTech 1 we could feel the power of telecommunication technology to bring together those who remain so far apart on many levels. By focusing this instrument on the young people of the Philippines we are helping to build a foundation of understanding.”

Senator Ramon Magsaysay says: “We badly need this talk show in a world where conflict is increasing.  Be it in Lebanon and Israel or Iraq and the United States, the world needs an international medium where young people can unite.  PeaceTech does that.  It’s an honor that UNICEF, Canada and Australia want to start this in our country!”

The series has many supporters including: the Center for Peace Education of Miriam College; the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process; the AFP; the Department of Education; Youth Aid; Peacemakers’ Circle, the Balay Rehabilitation Center; Brotherhood of Destiny; and numerous community groups, schools and universities throughout the country.  UP Diliman and USM are hosting the event.


Peacetech Philippines to host world’s first videoconference on peace-building for youth

August 12, 2006

Review by Wowcebu City
http://wowcebucity.com/?p=365 

The Philippines will be the first country to host “Peace Tech,” the world’s first videoconferencing talk show on peace building for youth that will be simultaneously launched today at 7:30 am -12:00 noon at the Nismed Auditorium, Nismed, Quirino Ave., UP-Dilliman, Quezon City and at the ULS Convention Hall, University of Southern Mindanao, Kabacan, North Cotabato.

Robin Pettyfer, Canadian manager for Peace Tech says, “Peace Tech is just as it sounds. It’s the peace in technology! We have the technology to unite people in a global talk show. So it’s time we start!”

Over the next several months, a series of “Peace Tech” will unite hundreds of youth from Mindanao, Luzon and the Visayas in live dialogs on giant screens that will serve as a modal for an international talk show that will connect youth from different countries on a regular basis.

UNICEF and the Australian Government, sponsors of the project said, they are using the talk show as an experiment with the goal of bringing different youth groups together, often divided by conflict. They added, “The series is badly needed in a world where conflict is on the rise. Whether it be between Israel and Lebanon, Iraq and the United States, the world needs an international medium that makes it easy for young people to come together to discuss their differences and misperceptions. “Peace Tech” does just that. It is an honor that the United Nations (UN) chose to start this here in the Philippines.”

According to the organizers, “Peace Tech” is particularly relevant to the Philippines where geography restricts inter-group dialogs. It gives young people in remote areas an opportunity to instantly reach out to fellow Filipinos and it provides security, by allowing participants to meet with other youth in insecure areas.

Participants to the “Peace Tech” series are inclusive of children and youth from all sectors: former MILF; AFP soldiers; Muslim, Indigenous Peoples, Christians; out-of-school youth; university students; and children from conflict zones and they come from all over the Philippines including: Zamboanga del Sur in the Zamboanga Peninsula; Maguindanao in the ARMM; North Cotabato in Socsargen; Lanao del Norte; Davao; Negros Occidental in the Western Visayas; Camarines sur in Bicol; Quezon and Cavite-Laguna in the Calabarzon; Nueva Ecija in central Luzon; Benguet and Mountain province in the Cordillera Administrative Region; and Isabela in the Cagayan Valley.

The 7-part videoconferencing series is led by the Assissi Development Foundation with a number of partners that include: Youth Aid, OPAPP, the AFP, the Young Moro Professionals and numerous groups, schools and colleges. UNICEF and the Australian Government are the primary funders of the project with the PLDT providing the satellite link technology for the videoconferencing.

For any questions please check the website: http://www.peacetech.net and or contact Robin Pettyfer Cell # 0915-775-2889; Office: 634-1712; in Mindanao, contact Jerry Jose Cell # 0919-622-5225. (PIA-Cebu)


Peace Tech Video-Conference Series for our Filipino Youth

August 12, 2006

The Philippines is divided by more than 7,000 islands. Its geography restricts inter-youth dialogue. Armed conflict in certain areas of Mindanao and Luzon pit Muslim and Indigenous groups against a Christian based government. Minority groups in Metro Manila, Mindanao and Indigenous areas throughout the Philippines experience prejudice. Mistrust exists between different cultural groups because of armed conflict and prejudice.

The Philippines is no exception. Throughout the world, tensions between cultural groups are increasing. This is partly due to advances in communication and transportation, which are bringing different groups together for the first time. Tensions are exacerbated by limited resources, irresponsible leadership, and fear.

Ignorance and apathy also contribute to conflict. The level of interest in improving social conditions remains low, particularly in the Philippines. According to a national study of Filipino youth conducted by Social Weather Station (SWS), only 10% of youth join youth organizations, 3% join charitable organizations, and 1% join political parties. A majority suffers from ignorance, helplessness and apathy when asked how they can contribute to improving social problems. Limited education and dialogue, and corruption of leadership contribute to these failures. Thus the need for inter-youth dialogue and awareness building is imperative.

Institutionalized dialogues are needed on a regular basis between different groups to improve understanding and lower tensions. Ideally, groups need a television program where they can come together to discuss their differences. This is expensive. A series of videoconferences is a more economical short-term goal.

In January, 2006, the Assisi Development Foundation held a two-day videoconference that linked hundreds of Muslim and Indigenous youth in Cotobato City with youth at De La Salle University in Manila. The dialogue focused on the armed conflict in Mindanao. It was a pilot project for the series that the Assisi Foundation, Youth Aid and UNICEF are starting in July.


Peace Tech Media Advisory

August 6, 2006

WHAT:
IN NEW PEACE SERIES, HUNDREDS OF YOUTH THROUGHOUT THE PHILILIPPINES UNITE IN LIVE DIALOGUE ON GIANT SCREENS

WHERE:
NISMED AUDITORIUM, UP DILIMAN, and ULS CONVENTION HALL, USM, KABACAN, N. COTOBATO

MEDIA CONTACT:
IN MANILA — ROBIN PETTYFER. CELL: 0915 775 2880;
OFFICE: 634 1712; IN MINDANAO – JERRY JOSE. CELL: 0919 622 5225

SUPPORTED BY:
UNICEF, AUSTRALIAN AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT (AUSAID) & ASSISI DEVELOPMENT FOUNDATION INC.


Peace Tech group promotes Christian-Muslim peace

August 2, 2006

The Philippine Star
Peace Tech group promotes Christian-Muslim peace

When Muslim teenager Haya goes back to school tomorrow after participating in a talk show and video-conferencing workshop, she will be taking home more than just memories or new friendships.

She will take with her an expanded perspective on Christian-Muslim relations and a deeper understanding that any conflict is best resolved through dialogue and an open mind.

Sixteen-year-old Haya was one of the participants in mondays launching of a talk show entitled “Peace Tech” a seven-part documentary about building understanding and promoting dialoque among Filipino youths, including Muslims living in different parts of the Philippines.

Some 300 students from different schools in Metro Manila and 500 coeds from Mindanao ware linked through large video screens, with one panel moderating the show from the University of Southern mindanao in Cotabato and another panel speaking fromt the University of the Philippines in Diliman, Quezon vity.

“Peace Tech” was organized by Canadian Robin Pettyfer and the Assisi Development Foundation and supported by the United Nations Children’s Fund ( Unicef ) and Australian Agency for International Development ( Aus Aid ). Pettyfer said their focus is on young people because they represnt the next generetion and some of them will be tommorows leaders.

“We focused on the youth because they are open-minded, receptive and flexible,” he said. If they are tought about understanding each other’s cultures and religion and encouraged to respect each other and work together, there is reason to be optimistic that a long-term durable peace and genuine reconcillation can be achieved in the future, Pettyfer added.

For four hours, students from Metro Manila and Mindanao engaged in a lively discussions about their views on the conflict in Mindanao, Christian-Muslim relations, their future and the country’s future.

Participants also formed small groups and shared what they felt about a range of issues, including poverty in the Philippines and discrimination against Muslims students in a getting-to-know-you fun atmosphere. During the panel discussions, soldiers assigned in Mindanao also offered their views on the conflict.

Haya, who has one of the panelist, shared her painful experience of discrimination in the hands of a Christian teacher. In between sobs, Haya, a senior high school student in a public school in Metro Manila, recounted how her teacher pulled down her head shawl inside the classroom.

“My teacher came from behind and pulled down my veil. I felt so humiliated when she shouted at me and said I am being rude beacause I wear a head scarf inside the classroom. She said i am not attending a Muslim school so it’s not proper to come to class wearing a veil. “Sabi nya kabastusan daw yun at kapag nagpatuloy daw ako ay babaan niya ang grades ko,” (She also said it was rude and she’ll give me lower grades),” Haya Said.

To keep the peace, Haya did not inform her mother of the incident though classmates reported the teacher to the school’s guidance counselor. She also obliged by not wearing a veil again inside the classroom.

Muslim students in Cotabato wept with Hayas story and asked if the teacher was punizhed. She said the teacher was simply repremanded. To this day, Haya and the teacher ignore each other when they meet in school.

Pettyfer said it would have been better if Haya talked to her teacher and discussed their differences in religion.

“I think dialogues are needed on a regular basis between different groups to improve understanding and lessen tension. This is where “Peace Tech” as a talk show becomes an effective tool for communication. Here the youth can come together and discuss their differences and tresh out their differences to achieve peace,” Pettyfer said.

Unicef country representative R. Nicholas Alipui, who delivered the opening speech, expressed optimism that the video conference can be a way to break down the culture of ciolence, fear, hatred and stereotypes that young people suffer in society because of cultural or religous differences.

“Conflict is always borne out of fear, it comes from the fear of the unknown, and from something we dont know. This video conference is an important venue for young Filipinos, whethr Christians or Muslims, indigineous or not, to come together to communicate and share their fears, hopes and aspirations as people who belong to the same nation,” Alipui said.

In his speech before the participants, Alipui said had there been a video conference similar to “Peace Tech” in Lebanon and Israel things would have been different.

“I believe strongly that had this sort of oppurtuniy been created, the crisis between Lebanon and Israel could have been prevented. The people there suffer the same factors of fear, hatred and prejudice.I channels of communication like video conferencing are opened up, the level of conflict could have been decreased.”Alipui said. ” Young people can be part of the solution.”

Indeed, Haya and the others who joined “Peace Tech” now have better understanding of how Christians and Muslims can peacefully co-exist and be friends.

Haya said telling her story of prejudice was liberating.”I agree with my Christian friends now that opening up and keeping the communication lines open can spell a lot of difference. It chnaged the way i see things. I’m glad,” Haya told Pettyfer after the show.

Meanwhile, six more “Peace Tech” teleconferences are slated in the coming months. The next video conference will cover topics such as “Overcoming Prejudice,” Youth, children and Armed Conflict,” Women in Conflict and Peace Building,” “Indigineous Approaches to Peace Building,” “The Decision Makers,” and “Building a Culture of peace.


Hopes up for peace tool being tested in RP

August 1, 2006

August 01, 2006
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Hopes up for peace tool being tested in RP
If this can work in the Philippines then it should work in Israel and Lebanon, too.The United Nations Children’s Educational Fund (Unicef) and the Australian Agency for International Development are in the middle of pilot-testing a series of teleconferences meant to foster peace and understanding between warring groups. “You have a country of 7,000 islands. If it can work in the Philippines that is (divided) by seas and ocean, it can work anywhere else,” said Robin Pettyfer, the lead coordinator of Peace Tech, a series of video conferences between soldiers, civil society, people’s organizations and even rebels from different parts of the country. “If this works in your country, we can do it in Israel and Lebanon, Iran and Iraq,China and South Korea and all the other areas where ther is prejudice,” he added in an interview with the INQUIRER. Peace Tech yesterday conducted its first session between two groups — both composed of sectors in the conflict — from Luzon and Mindanao. One group was at the University of the pHilippines in Diliman while the other was gathered in Cotabato. Yesterday’s session featured two young officers saying it hurts them to see civilians getting hurt in the armed conflict and a Moro Islamic Liberation Front ceasefire monitor stressing the need to solve the root cause of the conflict. There was also a Muslim peace advocate expressing outrage at teh sight of a newborn baby who was among those displaced when government troops bombed their village. “Peace Tech is relevant to the Philippines where geography restricts inter-group dialog. It gives young people in the remote areas an opportunity to instantly reach out, Pettyfer said. Aside from Unicef and Aus Aid, other groups involved are Assissi Development Foundation, formerly Tabang Mindanaw and Youth Aid.