Story and photo by Alladin S. Diega
BANKING on the youth’s largely untapped energy and creativity, International Alert Philippines launched a mobile application that can serve as a platform for individuals to share stories celebrating diversity, acceptance, tolerance, and nonviolence.
To celebrate International Day of Peace on September 21, the group launched the app at the Concert for Peace held last Saturday at Centris Walk, Eton Centris, Quezon City.
During the show, Filipino rock icon Dong Abay released his new song “Kalinaw”(Peace), which calls on everyone to make peace a reality everyday. Jensen and the Flips, Johnoy Danao, Ebe Dancel, Bullet Dumas, Gloc-9, Autotelic, Alex in Wonderland and Mark Mabasa performed in this star-studded celebration.
Called #EverydayPeace, the International Alert’s free mobile application carries its principle “Peace is within our power” in the platform.
“We witness or hear about injustice, conflict and suffering across communities and societies. Many of us think these are beyond our control, but this simply is not true,” said Nikki de la Rosa, deputy country manager of International Alert Philippines. “During Peace Week, we wanted to let people know that everyday peace is possible, and it starts with everyone, not just those with instututional power.”
The app has three main components. The first, Everyday Peace, is a platform for users to upload pictures and videos of their small-scale everyday acts of peace, which can be categorized under what the group calls pathways to peace, namely, community relationships, sustainable environment, understanding violence, gender, dealing with authorities and economic growth and development.
Every upload corresponds to a number of peace points that will fill up a user’s peace meter. The goal of the user is to accumulate as many peace points that are convertible to discounts and other transactions in partner establishments, much like “advantage cards” being offered by department stores.
The app also features the Everyday Learning component. It is where users can get information on factors that contribute to or impede peace and development. These pieces of information can equip users with deeper insights and fresh perspectives on how the path to peace can be achieved. Users can also explore accounts of other peacebuilders around the world through this tab.
The final component is called Everyday Change, where users can start or join peacebuilding and community-development initiatives. Existing initiatives of individuals and organizations will be featured in this tab, as well as their contact details, so users can interact with them, join them and build a community of peace.
An international non-governmental organization with headquarters based in London, International Alert Philippines has been working in Mindanao, with Muslim Filipinos, to make more people their situation and struggles and help them reach out to other Filipinos of different faiths and cultural background.
“As part of our vision of creating conflict-resilient communities, Alert recognizes the significance of working with the youth sector to achieve lasting change,” said de la Rosa, noting the youth makes up for 25.4 million, or 27.6 percent, of the total Philippine population.
“In the same way there are interlinked factors that cause conflict, solutions must be multifaceted and lived as an everyday practice,” de la Rosa said. “We envision this app to be an effective tool in promoting equality and diversity among young people who use digital social media in their daily lives.”
Image credits: Alladin S. Diega