The Global Peace Foundation Philippines hosted a Global Peace Volunteers Summer Camp on May 13-15, 2015, bringing together aspiring young leaders from Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines to experience cultural exchange, volunteerism and character development. Participants—mainly university students, community leaders, and young professionals were led through a series of character and team-building activities that helped equip them with the skills and vision necessary to inspire positive change.
Beginning with a welcoming dinner, high-level attendees Hon. Jay Manalo Ilagan, Municipal Mayor of Mataas na Kahoy, Batangas, and Hon. Leovino Hidalgo, Municipal Mayor of Balete Batangas, shared insightful and inspirational messages with the participants as they embarked on their camp experience. Afterwards, participants split up into teams and created their own presentations.
During the camp, Aldrin Nituma, Executive Director of Global Peace Foundation Philippines (GPF), inspired participants to believe in their own ability to catalyze positive change in their communities and to be guided by the Foundation’s mission of fostering a world as One Family under God.
Participants and local volunteers had the chance to serve the community of Calawit—which sits at the foot of Taal, an active volcano—helping to feed and organize activities for 150 children. Through the genuine connections the participants made and being able to serve others from a different culture they could better understand that all people share universal principles such as love, kindness, respect and empathy.
Indonesian university student Monalisa Siburian stated, “The experience made me realize that everybody is the same. Whoever you are, wher ever you come from, you still have a heart to help people.”
Global Peace Volunteers emphasize that challenging limitations helps individuals grow and develop necessary skills to become a leader. The participants also went zip-lining, repelling, and rock climbing testing their physical abilities as well as teamwork and problem-solving skills. At the end of the activities the young leaders reflected on their experiences and the inner skills they developed such as communication and trust.
At the end of the summer camp the participants were left with leadership skills and a newfound passion to return home and create positive change in their own communities.
I would like to be part of Global Peace Foundation and Global Peace Youth projects and coordinate with them to initiate Global Peace Volunteer Camps in my community. I commit to be a Peace-builder. –Neon Ramos, University of the Philippes Los Banos student
Every quarter the Global Peace Foundation Philippines hosts Global Peace Volunteer camps. Their upcoming camp will be held in September. To find out more information go to www.globalpeacephilippines.org.
Dinah Farrell is a sophomore at Georgetown University, majoring in American Studies. She is currently an intern with the Global Peace Foundation.