DECOLONIZING AND LIBERATING THE CHRISTIAN MISSIONARY ENTERPRISE: A PERSONAL REFLECTION

09-13 July 2024, Thailand — A group of us, missionaries sent by the Mennonite Church Canada Witness to various parts of Asia, gathered in Southern Thailand for a time of recreation, relationship building, and deep reflection. This gathering was not just a break from our usual routines but a purposeful retreat designed to foster personal and collective growth through the lens of vulnerability. My personal response focused on decolonizing and liberating the Christian missionary enterprise. For me, it’s essential for fostering a more just and respectful approach to effective Christian witness. By critically examining past practices, prioritizing local cultures, and aligning missionary efforts with the principles of justice-based peace and reconciliation theology, the Christian mission can become a force for genuine spiritual and social transformation.

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2024/07/decolonizing-and-liberating-the-christian-missionary-enterprise-a-personal-reflection/

WE PARTICIPATED IN CONVENING A PEACE CONSTITUENCY SUPPORTING THE BANGSAMORO PEACE PROCESS

Last Tuesday, 18 June 2024, we participated in the Principles for Peace Constituency Convening held in Davao City, marking a significant step forward in the ongoing Bangsamoro Peace Process. This crucial event, organized by a dedicated body committed to peace—Initiatives for International Dialogue, InciteGov, GZO, Principles for Peace—brought together key stakeholders whose insights and commitment are essential for formulating future strategies and initiatives. As PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI), we joined a diverse array of attendees, members of civil society organizations, and leaders from various sectors involved in the peace process. The event underscored our dedication, along with that of other organizations, to fostering collaboration and dialogue among all stakeholders. We believe that the collective wisdom and dedication of our partners are indispensable in advancing the Bangsamoro Peace Process. This convening provided an opportunity for us to align our strategies and reinforce our commitment to lasting peace in the region.

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2024/06/we-participated-in-convening-a-peace-constituency-supporting-the-bangsamoro-peace-process/

LEARNING THE THEORY & PRAXIS OF SOCIAL ENTERPRISE AS PART OF MY INTERNSHIP IN THE PHILIPPINES

As an intern, one of my responsibilities is to regularly read and reflect on various books and informative pieces. Recently, I read “How To Manage a Business that Does Good.” This activity is crucial because it broadens my understanding of key concepts related to social enterprises, peacebuilding, and the sociopolitical context in the Philippines. Reflecting on these readings helps me contemplate new ideas, challenge existing beliefs, and critically assess what I’m learning. This ongoing process of reading and reflection will work in tandem with my fieldwork. As I apply what I’ve learned in real-world settings, my perspective will be further enriched. The combination of theoretical knowledge and practical experience will enhance my ability to contribute effectively to the projects I am involved in. Over the course of the year, this integrated approach will help me expand my worldview, making me a more informed and empathetic participant in the field of social enterprises and peacebuilding.

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2024/06/learning-the-theory-praxis-of-social-enterprise-as-part-of-my-internship-in-the-philippines/

WE’RE GLAD TO BE INVOLVED IN A COLLABORATIVE COFFEE INDUSTRY DEVELOPMENT IN “BASULTA”

Last 17-22 May 2024, I, Joji Pantoja, Board Chair and President of Coffee for Peace, had the privilege of traveling to the island provinces of Sulu and Basilan in the southern Philippines. Accompanying me on this journey was Joseph “Ka Boyet” Ongkiko, Executive Vice President of PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. Our mission was clear and purposeful: to explore the potential for developing a sustainable coffee industry in these regions, fostering both economic growth and peace. We were invited by Maradeca Inc., a dedicated local non-governmental organization, and People in Need (PIN), a reputable international NGO. Both organizations recognized the transformative potential of coffee farming in these provinces and sought our expertise in designing a comprehensive training program for the local coffee farmers. This is part of the LEAP Project (Leveraging and Expanding Agri-Aqua Production), a groundbreaking initiative by PIN designed to boost economic development in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2024/05/were-glad-to-be-involved-in-a-collaborative-coffee-industry-development-in-basulta/

MY INITIAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE SHARED STRUGGLES OF THE BANGSAMORO AND PALESTINIAN PEOPLES

In my work with PBCI, I have been learning about the Bangsamoro and their fight for self-determination and control over their ancestral domain. I’ve had the privilege of gaining insight into various aspects of this struggle. I have seen the impact of armed resistance, which has played a crucial role in establishing a degree of self-determination within their ancestral domain through the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). The Bangsamoro’s journey to this point has fostered a deep sympathy for others with similar causes, most notably the Palestinians, whom many Bangsamoro ardently support. This support and connection to parallel struggles have deepened my understanding of the Bangsamoro’s plight and the broader fight for self-determination and control over ancestral lands.

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2024/05/my-initial-understanding-of-the-shared-struggles-of-the-bangsamoro-and-palestinian-peoples/

COMMANDER BRAVO’S VISION OF TRANSFORMING MILF CAMP BILAL INTO A SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURIAL COMMUNITY

Last Monday morning, 22 April 2024, our team was invited to listen to the dreams and aspirations of former combatants at Camp Bilal, the headquarters of the North Western Mindanao Front of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces. BIAF is the armed wing of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The discussions happened at the office of MP Abdullah “Cmdr. Bravo” G. Macapaar. The ideas we were hearing resemble that of inclusive development through social enterprise. Brother Musa Mohamad Sanguila gave me time to briefly present the story of Coffee For Peace (CFP) and PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI) as advocates and practitioners of Social Enterprise. It seems Commander Bravo and those around him, especially Ma’am Naglah Lailah Amenah Sanguila, liked the idea. Commander Bravo promised to officially invite us to conduct a training on Coffee Social Entrepreneurial Initiative. In Shaa Allah, we will return to start a partnership with this community.

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2024/04/commander-bravos-vision-of-transforming-milf-camp-bilal-into-a-social-entrepreneurial-community/

A REFLECTION ON IRAN’S ATTACK ON ISRAEL: PERSPECTIVES FROM A PEACEBUILDING WORKER IN MINDANAO, PHILIPPINES

Last Saturday, 13 April 2024, at around 20:00 GMT, Iran launched a massive aerial assault on Israeli territory, marking the first-ever direct attack from Iranian soil. The attack, dubbed Operation True Promise by Iran, comes just two weeks after an Israeli strike on its consulate in Syria. The Iranian assault lasted approximately five hours. Explosions reverberated across Israeli cities, prompting air raid sirens in over 720 locations as Israeli forces scrambled to intercept the projectiles. This drew applause from many Palestinians in Gaza on Sunday as rare payback for the Israeli offensive on their enclave. While many of my fellow Christian leaders are beating the war-drums calling the US and the Western powers to strike back at Iran, many of my Bangsamoro friends and colleagues celebrate Iran’s attack. Although I understand and sympathize with my Moro brothers and sisters as they perceive the Iranian military action as justice for the Palestinians, my inner conviction calls me to be faithful as active, nonviolent justice advocate and peacebuilding worker.

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2024/04/a-reflection-on-irans-attack-on-israel-perspectives-from-a-peacebuilding-worker-in-mindanao-philippines/

NOTES AND REFLECTIONS ON HON. MOHAGHER IQBAL’S 2024 STATUS REPORT ON THE COMPREHENSIVE AGREEMENT ON THE BANGSAMORO

Last 27 March 2024, our team participated in the Commemoration of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) at Camp Darapanan, Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao del Norte. CAB is a peace agreement between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), aimed at ending decades of conflict in the Bangsamoro region. The commemoration prompted us to think differ about CAB. How was it implemented in the past 10 years? What were its accomplishments, gaps, and challenges? In the intricate landscape of peace negotiations and conflict resolution, the journey towards stability is often marked by milestones and challenges alike. Honorable Mohagher Iqbal’s 2024 Status Report on the CAB encapsulates this nuanced narrative, delineating the accomplishments, gaps, and challenges in the implementation process. Here are our notes and reflections on what we’ve heard.

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2024/03/notes-and-reflections-on-hon-mohagher-iqbals-2024-status-report-on-the-comprehensive-agreement-on-the-bangsamoro/

MILF RECOGNIZES PBCI FOR OUR “UNWAVERING SUPPORT TO THE BANGSAMORO PEACE PROCESS”

This afternoon, 27 March 2024, our team at PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI) participated in the 10th Year Commemoration of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) at Camp Darapanan, the Administrative Offices of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The MILF presented a Plaque of Appreciation to PBCI in recognition of our “unwavering support to the Bangsamoro Peace Process” and for our “tireless efforts to promote peace and development in Mindanao.” Our President & CEO, L. Daniel ‘Lakan’ Pantoja, received the plaque on behalf of our community. The Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) is a peace agreement between the Philippine government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), aimed at ending decades of conflict in the Bangsamoro region.

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2024/03/milf-recognizes-pbci-for-our-unwavering-support-to-the-bangsamoro-peace-process/

JOJI SPEAKS AT THE SENATE OF THE PHILIPPINES TO PROMOTE SENATE BILL 782, ALSO KNOWN AS “THE PRESENT BILL”

In a landmark move towards combating poverty and fostering inclusive growth, the submission of Senate Bill 782 or the Poverty Reduction through Social Entrepreneurship (PRESENT) program marks a significant milestone. “The essence of the PRESENT bill,” Joji Pantoja explains, “lies in its commitment to empower communities through social entrepreneurship.” By recognizing the impoverished not merely as recipients of aid but as active participants in the economic landscape, the program aims to create sustainable solutions to systemic issues. Ms Pantoja was invited to the Philippines Senate to share the vision of collaborative progress, where communities are equipped with the tools and resources to uplift themselves. “Through the PRESENT Program,” Joji adds, “we embark on a journey towards a more equitable and prosperous future… let us embrace the power of social entrepreneurship to transform lives and build thriving communities.”

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2024/03/joji-speaks-at-the-senate-of-the-philippines-to-promote-senate-bill-782-also-known-as-the-present-bill/

THROUGH PRAYERS AND RITUAL OF UNITY, WE CELEBRATED OUR KINSHIP WITH THE PEOPLES OF MINDANAO

Last 08 March 2024, our PBCI-CFP Team travelled to the Ancestral Territories of the Talaandig Indigenous community to participate in the 12th Affirmation of Kinship among Indigenous Peoples, Bangsamoro, and Settlers. As active participants in the tri-people kinship affirmation, we have been privileged to witness firsthand the profound impact of kinship in promoting peace and unity throughout Mindanao. Since its inception in 2012, this annual celebration has stood as a beacon of hope, reminding us of the deep-seated connections that bind together the Indigenous Peoples (IPs), Moros, and Settlers of our cherished region. For us, the highlight of this kinship affirmation is our inter-faith prayer. Through our collective prayers and supplications, we affirm our common humanity and recommit ourselves to the pursuit of love, joy, justice, and peace for all beings.

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2024/03/through-prayers-and-ritual-of-unity-we-celebrated-our-kinship-with-the-peoples-of-mindanao/

JOJI PANTOJA SEES HER VISION OF MULTIPLYING ETHICS-ORIENTED SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS THROUGH PAR FRAMEWORK

The Holy Cross of Davao College (HCDC) recently hosted a Conference on Social Ethics and Entrepreneurship, featuring Joji Pantoja, President & CEO of Coffee for Peace (CFP), as the keynote speaker at the plenary session held on 20 February 2014. Joji’s presentation centered around the peacebuilding framework of PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI) that emphasizes achieving harmony across various aspects of life and transformation: harmony with the Creator (spiritual-ethical transformation); harmony with our being (psycho-social transformation); harmony with others (socio-political transformation); and, harmony with the creation (economic-ecological transformation). Joji also delved deeper into how human dignity, environmental responsibility, and good governance contribute to her vision of multiplying ethical social entrepreneurs.

Continue reading

Permanent link to this article: https://peacebuilderscommunity.org/2024/02/joji-pantoja-sees-her-vision-of-multiplying-ethics-oriented-social-entrepreneurs-through-par-framework/

OUR GLOBAL PEACE COMMUNITY

We are sent by Mennonite Church Canada Witness in partnership with our international community.