On Zero Discrimination Day, Save the Children Philippines, with the support of the European Union, spearheads the launch of the Supporting an Enabling Atmosphere for children and youth Network for peacebuilding Goals or SENANG (Serenity and Happiness in Malay) Project. It will be implemented within next three years in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), including urban and rural areas from Muslim dominant conflict-affected communities in the Philippines.

SENANG’s primary objective is to ensure that 80,000 children and youth in Mindanao will live in a peaceful environment. To do this, the project will contribute in preventing human-induced conflicts, respond to crises, foster children and youth’s meaningful participation on social cohesion, provide opportunities for intergenerational, intercultural, and interreligious dialogues, create safe and neutral spaces, and promotion of peace and tolerance through arts and culture.

“The EU is a reliable, trusted and neutral partner supporting peace and development in Mindanao,” said Frederic Grillet, First Secretary, Political, Press and Information section of the EU Delegation to the Philippines. “This meaningful project aligns and supports the existing peace efforts and initiatives of the government and other relevant agencies whose aims are to prevent conflict, respond to crisis and build peace, reflecting how the key roles of children and young people play in the achievement of a peaceful society,” Grillet said.

“We continue our commitment to seek durable solutions and bridge the humanitarian-peace-justice and development nexus. Peace education and inclusive spaces of children and youth participation are our key approaches that will drive our goal to provide a fair and equal world for and with children,” said Atty. Alberto Muyot, CEO of Save the Children Philippines.

“We enjoin everyone to journey with us in positively transforming the lives of children and youth in Mindanao, including their families and communities, and help build a sustainable future for the next generation,” Muyot said.

“We believe it is vital for all of us to work together to address the root causes of conflict. We could do this by actively engaging residents, especially the youth, in the affected communities in countering conflicts and facilitating peace promoting approaches,” said Susana Guadalupe Marcaida, Executive Director of Local Conflict Transformation and Peace Sustainability of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace, Reconciliation and Unity (OPAPRU).

The event was attended by representatives from OPAPRU, Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO)-INNOTECH, the Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission, and various ministries and youth groups in BARMM.

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