We are assisted by national and international interns who are motivated by love and joy to help transform our land and peoples towards justice and peace.
GELLI AIZA ‘WANAY’ SANNADAN BALUYAN
Aiza is Wanay — a proud indigenous woman from the tribe of Banao in the Province of Kalinga. She is a Registered Nurse with specific expertise on health advocacy. Along her professional journey, she gained skills on systems administration, event coordination as well as community-based learning facilitation. She is also a dedicated environmental activist. Her dream is to continue her passion to help her people in the area of community-based health care and inclusive development initiatives — such as coffee farming, processing, and marketing. While learning peace and reconciliation with PBCI and CFP, she is also dreaming to rejuvenate the coffee plantations in their tribal lands in Kalinga, starting with the properties her family owns.
Wanay serves as PAR Support Systems Administrator and Inclusive Development Worker
Asked how her indigenous cultural values would help enrich PBCI: “I was raised in my tribal community practicing our values and customs which are Caniyao, Ngilin and Fain. It is Caniyao when you harm any of God’s creation. Ngilin is to abstain from doing any act that is prohibited in our community that will harm the environment and the body. Fain is when you do not offer what you have to your neighbors and to other people. We value communal decision; respect to other people; and we have our own way of negotiating peace in a non-violent way with our neighboring tribes and to other people which we call Bodong.”
Here are our past international volunteers:
Jon is from Virginia, USA. When Jon was ten years old, his family moved to Batangas and then to Cainta, Rizal, where his parents taught at Faith Academy for 9 years. He left the Philippines when he was 18 to attend college in the States. “I left a large portion of my soul with the land and the people…” he said. His first summer job was in a Jollibee at the Antipolo-Simbahan Junction, where he was the only “’kano” (short for Amerikano) on the team. He visited Davao twice as a young boy then as a teenager and was glad to back in Mindanao.
Jon serves as Staff Writer in our Information and Communications Team.
Asked what he would contribute to PBCI as an intern: I have a Bachelor of Arts in English Degree from James Madison University (2010). I have some experience with editing and pro bono journalism… I imagine that I might be most useful to PeaceBuilders Community as a chronicler and correspondent, documenting their operations.
Salome was our intern from Eglise Evangélique Mennonite de Strasbourg, France. She was a scout chief for 5 years before coming to Mindanao. The scout leadership helped her gain solid common sense and resourcefulness. As an occupational therapist by profession, she has a very good knowledge of human health. She is currently in the stage of her journey when she’s developing “a strong interest for the meaning of a radical discipleship,” and she’s realizing that “there is nothing more revolutionary than building true peace.”
Salome served as our Peace Network Coordinator.
Asked what made her decide to leave Europe and live with us in Mindanao for 18 months: Too often, nonviolence is understood as passivity, and I admired how PeaceBuilders followed the steps of Jesus. I have read, heard and imagined it, but I want to experience a different kind of life. I have much to learn, and I believe PBCI would offer great training.
ARTHUR J. BLOCK
Arthur J. Block was a senior student of Intercultural Studies at the Columbia Bible College in Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada when he joined us in Mindanao. We liked AJ’s writing style and his knowledge of some crosscultural principles and theories. So we invited him to be a part of our team who collects, analyzes, and communicates the data and information we learn from our Peace and Reconciliation mission fields.
He served as Staff Writer in our Information and Communications Team.
Asked how he came to know PBCI: With the prospect of the internship looming in the distance, Daniel and Joji came and spoke to my class. I immediately resonated with what they had to say and knew that I wanted to do my internship with their organization. Since then I have further developed a specific passion for peace and social justice.
Angie Lederach was overjoyed to be back in the Philippines and to have the opportunity to learn and work with the Filipino peacebuilders who have and continue to inspire her. She is passionate about peacebuilding and is dedicated to building a more just and peaceful world. With a dual degree in Anthropology and Peace Studies from the University of Notre Dame, she contributed both academic and practical experience in international peacebuilding at PBCI.
Angie served as our Conflict Transformation Consultant.
Asked what excites her at PBCI: I’m so excited to be part of Peacebuilders Community, Inc. and to have the opportunity to help realize the dream of 80 PAR communities in the Philippines. My dream as an international intern is for the stories and work of PAR communities to reach beyond the Philippines to inspire people in North America to also embrace shalom-salaam.
Jeff Yoder is a gentle spirit with a very big heart who loves experiencing new cultures, new foods and meeting new friends, which is why he said he was so excited to be part of PeaceBuilders Community. He brought with him an openness to learn, as well as experience as a Certified Nurses Aide and dedication to community health. In the first week in the Philippines he fell in-loved with all the Filipino foods (especially halo-halo & balot)!
Jeff served as our Community Health Care Specialist.
Asked what he expects from his Filipino co-workers: I’m most excited to learn from my very talented and inspiring Filipino co-workers.
Keith is from LaGrange, Indiana, USA and studied accounting at Trinity Western University in British Columbia, Canada. We invited Keith to help enhance the business and financial systems of PBCI as it expands to be a national ministry. We also expected him to learn about Philippine national business and financial systems that are relevant and appropriate to our own economic and cultural contexts. After his internship, Keith have transferred many of his technical training and expertise to our Support Operations Team.
Keith served as our Business and Accounting Specialist.
Asked how he felt about his role at PBCI: I feel truly privileged to be a part of the PBCI team and am excited to play my small role in securing the financial foundation for an organization that will help direct the Filipino culture towards a peaceful future. (Is that ok, or were you looking for something else? I’m very excited to be here and feel truly blessed to be a part of this amazing organization.)
In January 2010, a group of friends from Vancouver, British Columbia visited Mindanao for our Peace and Reconciliation Field Exposure Program. Jenna was one of them. After a few months, she expressed her interest in spending more time in the Philippines and wondered if there would be a possibility for her and her husband, Keith, to serve as interns with PeaceBuilders Community. Jenna’s educational background is in Peace and Justice Studies and Theater.
Jenna served as our Theatre Arts Specialist.
When asked about the significance of Theatre Arts in advancing Peace and Reconciliation in Mindanao, she answered: In pursuing peace and reconciliation in Mindanao, theater arts can play an important role by breaking down the false barriers that divide us. Because theatre is an art form that can be accessed by anyone – no matter how much education they have, what religious beliefs they hold, or what language they speak – it can be a powerful way to communicate Christ’s gospel of love, acceptance, and true shalom. It is also an extremely accessible and feasible way to provide an outlet for self-expression and to call attention to issues that are important to a community. I’m excited for the potential outcome of collaborating with the people of Mindanao through the medium of theatre!
While Megan was here in Mindanao, she worked with PBCI’s Field Operations and assisted Kriz Cruzado as a Research and Development Specialist. She wrote a comprehensive report on PBCI’s best practices in their Ranao PAR Zone. She also wrote project proposals to assist the funding of PBCI field operations. We liked Megan’s positive attitude as she immersed herself in various cultural settings in Mindanao. Megan had demonstrated excellent cross-cultural flexibility: she accompanied her team mate shopping for food in a local wet market in Lanao del Norte; she also learned to cook local food for our Maranao volunteers.
She was our Research and Development Specialist.
Asked about her internship goals here at PBCI: During my three months at PeaceBuilders Community Inc (PBCI) I hope to become properly oriented to the theology and mission of PBCI and understand how that is represented in their operations. This placement will serve as an internship for my Bachelor of Arts in International Development and Peace and Conflict Transformation Studies… through my understanding of PBCI work I hope to take awareness of their work back to Canada to share with my different communities.
Matt was a good student of cross-cultural relationship building while in Mindanao. He loved Filipino food, especially pusit (squid)! He thrived in our traffic system–seeing the order in the midst of seeming chaos! He learned to work with Filipino mechanics in local repair shops. Matt was our Transporter. Repeat: Matt was our Transporter. If you’ll see the movie with the same title, just subtract the violent actions, and you’ll see Matt. He safely transported our team to places that most professional drivers in the Philippines would not even dare to go, negotiating the difficult, critical, off-road areas in rural Mindanao.
He served as our Transportation and Communications Specialist.
Asked how he saw his role as a technical support person at PBCI: It is very important to keep our vehicle fit for service so that we don’t get stranded in a critical area. Along with maintaining the vehicle, it is important for me to be a smart, safe, and efficient driver, getting my passengers safely and efficiently to our destination.
Darnell was our intern whose primary task was to complete his academic papers on Peace Theology. Most of his materials were gathered from his field experiences including fact finding missions, emergency medical and relief operations, and conflict transformation processes. He’s a relational, culturally-flexible person. He now serves as a church planting team leader at PeaceChurch Philippines.
Darnell served as our Mindanao PAR Speacialist
Asked what is his prayer for Christians in the middle of this war-torn global reality: My prayer is that the members of the Church of Jesus Christ will be full of scripture and committed to acting out the commands of Jesus. I pray that we will live lives of active, indiscriminate love for all people of all ethnicity, religion and age. All of the laws, all of the prophets and all of the New Testament hang on the command to love God and to loveall people.
CHRISTINA BARTEL BARKMAN
Christina started as an intern doing Peace Education. When our leadership team read her reports and reflections about her experiences in the field, we appointed her as our Communications Coordinator. She has learned to articulate the historical context and the socio-political dynamics of the conflict in Mindanao. Her writing is well-received by key leaders among the peace-building advocates in our network. Christina did a great job while serving with us at PeaceBuilders Community!
Christina served as our Communications Specialist.
Asked how she sees her role at PeaceBuilders Community: PBCI is not just a Mindanao peace movement, but a global one. I want to help bring international awareness to the Mindanao conflict and support the people affected by the war through advocacy on a global scale.