Building on 15-year experience in preventing violent extremism in Bangsamoro

Violent extremism has become popular particularly in the context of peace and security. It turned out to be one of the serious threats to development and building a peaceful society. One of the recent and clear example of this is the Marawi crisis that displaced thousands of families and destructed a community once prosperous and peaceful.

The Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA), being the development arm of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) mandated to pursue development in the conflict-affected areas in Mindanao has to be aware and prepare for this intimidation on violent extremism, as it will continue to fulfill its task on building a Bangsamoro community, long been aspired by the Moro people. It has to be equipped with appropriate knowledge and skills on dealing with this occurrence, as it will likely to affect the delivery of services to communities in implementing programs and projects.

Towards this, a Planning Workshop on Community-based Prevention of Violent Extremism in Bangsamoro was conducted on November 6-10, 2017 in Davao City. The workshop was organized by the BDA with support from the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (CHD) and The Asia Foundation (TAF).

Participants to the training were key officials and staff of the BDA while facilitators were from CHD and TAF.

In the training were sessions on (a) analysis on factors in the emergence of violent extremism (economic, political and social); (b) mapping of community actors and their influence in to counter VE; capacitating actors in the community to develop an antenna for the emergence of VE; developing a toolbox of interventions to deploy in communities and capacitate actors in community to use different intervention methods; developing a network of actors in community for mutual exchange and support regarding VE and among others.

For BDA, the workshop is very relevant as it intend to develop a program for Prevention of Violent Extremism that will mainly contribute to successful implementation of development projects and peace and stability in the Bangsamoro, by building on the knowledge and experience in community driven development programs for fifteen years already.

As per record, BDA has already reached more than 700,000 number of people in over 600 communities in the CAAMthrough implementation of various programs and projects supported by donor partners.

 

These accomplishments have helped the BDA bring the message of hope, build trust and confidence that peace is possible. A mission, which the BDA has to continue spreading especially in this threat of violent extremism on the quest for a community of Bangsamoro people living in just, secured and peaceful society.Many are losing hope, and the BDA, more than or together with any other organization is responsible and is working harder to keep the faith among thousands of people aspiring for better community.

Upholding its commitment, BDA shall remain in pursuing development along with the quest for peace in the Bangsamoro. This is especially in this emergence of violent extremism, moreover the pressing needs in the region as informed by the Bangsamoro Development Plan (BDP) of 2014.

At present, BDA is shifting its direction from conflict to post-conflict scenario. This connotes that from operation on a conflict setting, e.g. delivery of humanitarian services to the affected families of both war (including natural calamities), the BDA will alter its approach into a post-conflict set up. BDA will then enter into programs that are intended for the recovery and normalization of the conflict communities which have been in low progress due to the long-term effect of the conflict in the region.

The road for this quest on peace and development maybe tough and BDA tasked primarily for development in the Bangsamoro shall live on, guided by the principle that “change must begin with one’s self”. The goal on capacity building and strengthening will be carried on as BDA intends to continue learning and growing towards better approach for peace and development in the Bangsamoro.

AN INVITATION TO THE 35TH MBD

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