Invitation for the Celebration of International Day of Peace on September 21

Photo credit: dashinfoundation.org

Care for fellow Filipinos.
Dignity for All.

In the middle of the administration’s campaign against drugs and the war launched against the Maute in Marawi, hundreds of thousands of faceless and nameless people are forced to flee from their homes for their security and safety. In Marawi, many families have been uprooted from the land they toiled and culture that nurtured and molded them to become the people that they are. In the same way, many parents, siblings, wives, and children in urban areas have to leave their homes, livelihoods, relatives and friends for fear that they will be executed and suffer the same fate as their relatives allegedly involved in drugs.

As of 14 July 2017, the UNHCR released a report revealing 91,538 number of families displaced because of the Marawi bombing. And, while there is no official data on the continuous drug-related killings, civil society organization can estimate that around 10,000-13,000 families have been affected and we can surmise that they were displaced physically and economically from their homes.

Aside from Marawi incident and drug-related killings, in many areas in the country, evacuation have become a regular routine of people every time a military and armed groups from NPA or Muslim militants would clash. Others, like the IPs and farmers, have to seek other land after losing their ancestral lands and livelihoods because of the premium given by the government for business and profit. Still others, because of poverty and limited job opportunities in provinces, would choose to leave their homes for Metro Manila or other countries leaving their parents, siblings, wives, and children to fight their own battles of loneliness and a life with one parent-model lesser.

Thus, on September 21, the world will celebrate the International Day of Peace with theme: “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety, Dignity for All”. This year’s theme “honours the spirit of TOGETHER, a global initiative that promotes respect, safety and dignity for everyone forced to flee their homes in search of a better life.”

Let us join the international expression of solidarity for all refugees, displaced families and individuals for their plight. Let us specifically share with people affected by war on drugs and the war in Marawi that we, Filipinos, care for them and we will journey with them until their rights are respected, safety is ensured, and psychosocial and social services are provided to give them a life with dignity.

OBJECTIVES:

1 – Filipinos become aware of the struggles of their neighbors, their fellow Filipinos, because of displacement brought about by wars waged by government and development aggression by big companies.
2 – Partners come together to share their time and resources with their chosen community to express care and support for those internally displaced.
3 – Share and introduce to communities that there is a network of organizations that they can go to for support and services.
4 – Organize small groups which can support small struggles of internally displaced communities.

Suggested Menu of Activities:

Hold a sharing session with internally displaced
Adopt an evacuation center for a day.
Psychosocial intervention.
Put up a Soup Kitchen
Distribution of Relief Goods

We invite and encourage all partners to celebrate the International Day of Peace in their respective localities whenever possible. Please inform us of your plan so that we can include this in our Press Release highlighting a synchronized activity of PMPI members and clusters.
We also plan to enroll online our activities in the UN events for September 21 International Day of Peace celebration all over the world.

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