By EDD K. USMAN
August 22, 2010, 3:43pm
The Manila Jaycees, Inc. (MJI), in partnership with the Asia America Initiative (AAI), joined the effort to foster understanding, respect among Christian and Muslim children in an event called "Building a Culture of Peace" in Makati City.
MJI and AAI invited about 60 Christian and Muslim children aged nine to 12 to participate in the project that occurred on a Ramadan day.
Their adult facilitators also taught them about the Islam's holy month.
Muslim children came from the Islamic community surrounding the Golden Mosque in Globo de Oro Street, while their counterpart Christian boys and girls were from the Herminigildo J. Atienza (Baseco) Elementary School in Tondo, Manila.
JCI's Laurence Ching, and chairman of the group's "Building a Culture of Peace Project," said it was the first time JCI organized such an event.
“JCI created the project after we learned of AAI's 'Caravan of Peace' program. JCI thought it was a good opportunity to come in and partner with AAI in trying to build peace among the children by planting in them understanding and respect," said Ching.
“If the young Christian and Muslim kids understand each other, then they will respect each other," he said.
Bai Rohaniza M. Sumndad-Usman, AAI country director for the Philippines, cited the significance of the program with JCI, in which the Binibining Universidad Peace Emissaries, Inc. (BUPEI), also participated.
“In Asia America Initiative, we want to emphasize the importance of building a culture of peace, especially with the young. I personally believe that in order to break the cycle of violence, we have to teach and guide the different generations on how they can be catalysts for peace themselves,” she said.