Lakan Sumulong represented PeaceBuilders Community at the Global Mennonite Peacebuilding Conference and Festival held last 09-12 June 2016 at the Conrad Grebel College, University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. During the Plenary Session on Friday morning, he shared stories and lessons learned from our Peace and Reconciliation field work in the Philippines.
On Saturday morning, Lakan participated in a panel discussion entitled Mennonite Peacebuilding Approaches On the Ground: The Philippines and Grassroots Peacebuilding Efforts. Myla Leguro (Program Manager, Peace and Reconciliation Program, Catholic Relief Services-Philippines) shared her experiences in applying Conflict Transformation (CT) concepts in the context of Mindanao and how she and her team modified CT in addressing structural issues in building peace. Lakan shared his experiences in harnessing religion and spirituality as sources of peace. This panel was chaired by Wendy Kroeker (Director, Canadian School of Peacebuilding, Canadian Mennonite University).
This conference and festival brought together academics, practitioners, artists, and church workers from around the world, to dialogue and reflect on Mennonite peacebuilding accomplishments, failures, challenges, and opportunities in varied international settings, past and present.
There were a total of 203 people who participated from 20 countries: Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Iraq, Philippines, Laos, South Korea, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Tanzania, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, Honduras, Colombia, United States, Canada.
The organizers reported that there were 30 concurrent sessions, 3 plenary speakers, 2 banquet speakers, 7 storytellers, 6 listeners, 7 installations of art, photography, and sound, 1 concert, 1 play, 3 worship sessions. There were also 23 sponsors and financial supporters. The participants were well-fed: 5 meals served to 150-180 people, plus breakfasts, break snacks, and extra smaller meals at either end.