I Grow, Therefore I Am: Young Pinoy peace advocates organize online forum for mental health [event]

PHILIPPINES – With many young Filipinos facing distance learning challenges and stressors amid a pandemic, young peace advocates from the local chapter of the global Extremely Together (ET) movement launched by former United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Kofi Annan are organizing an online forum on Feb. 27, 2021 to tackle mental wellbeing and academic excellence as pathways to peace.

Mental health has historically been a difficult subject to talk about in Philippine society. On top of that, the series of community quarantines, social and physical distancing, the recession, and challenges in distance learning—all of these changes have caused negative effects to the mental health of a great number of Filipinos – especially young people

– Organizing Team

Entitled “I Grow Therefore I Am: An Online Forum on Peace, Mental Health, and Academic Excellence”, the forum aims to promote the understanding of mental health amid the challenges posed by the new normal and the significance of mental health in promoting peace. The forum will be streamed via Zoom from 2:00 – 5:30 PM and will also be broadcasted through Facebook Live.

The youth, with massive numbers of participation from students, and being one of the most progressive sectors in our society today, have a wider capacity to enlighten other individuals on issues about mental health that affects our potential to be at peace

– Organizing Team

They added, “But in order to widen our reach, we must first recognize that we in ourselves have challenges to cope with and the will to end the stigma must come from within, thus creating a butterfly effect for the community.”

“I Grow Therefore I Am” will feature discussions on Managing Academic Stress in New Learning Modalities, Maintaining Peace with Family Members, and Building Compassion in Social Relationships.

The forum is organized by Extremely Together Philippines – Panaghiusa Network, the local chapter of a global alliance of young leaders convened by the Kofi Annan Foundation (KAF) and funded by the European Union (EU). ET Philippines aims to empower young Filipinos in promoting peace and preventing violent extremism and to create a strong-knit community of leaders from diverse backgrounds.

This year, ET Philippines will bring together young leaders from Manila and surrounding areas, Davao City, Zamboanga City, Marawi City, and Jolo, Sulu. Members of the network undergo training on peace-building and project management and are given the opportunity to win seed grants for their own peace initiatives.

Launched in 2016, the global ET initiative has presence in Asia, Africa, and Europe, and has produced a toolkit in preventing violent extremism and organized conferences and sessions for young people worldwide.

ET chapters in South and Southeast Asia are supported by the European Union and are made possible through the participation of KRIS in the Philippines, the College of Youth Activism and Development (CYAAD) in Pakistan, and the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF) in Bangladesh.

Established in 2008, KRIS started by building libraries, providing scholarships, and donating educational materials to schools in areas affected by conflict and poverty in the Philippines. Today, KRIS is focused on building the capacities of young people on peacebuilding, providing online and offline platforms to promote positive values of unity and empathy, and empowering young Filipinos through leadership and education.

Those interested to attend the forum may register online at: Bit.ly/IGrowWithPanaghiusa

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