TAYO 8

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Brotherhood for Peace (BFP) Baguio City

Chain of Change (Peace): Violence begets violence. Yet, Brotherhood for Peace is countering this problem by creating a chain of unity among street gangs.

Linked Up!:
Police and the Mayor’s Office

The TAYO Connection: Local officials have been pushing BFP to join TAYO for a long time. President Jason Balag-ey eventually took notice when he learned that “A” meant accomplished and he certainly wanted the brotherhood to earn that title.

An eye for an eye… so the saying goes. Jason aims to prove this wrong. As a victim of gang violence, Jason does not ultimately feel hatred but sympathy for these people’s ignorance on the result of their actions.

He initiated the project Youth for Peace after experiencing gang-related violence first-hand. Once, he saw a 13 year-old boy die by the hand of a fellow teen. Another time, he was stabbed while trying to mediate during a fight. This is the reality that moved him to establish the Brotherhood for Peace.

Jason estimates that there are at least 200 members in each of Baguio City’s 28 gangs, each engaging in some form of illegal behavior, like rape and drug selling, aside from the escalating gang violence.

BFP works to disband gangs through awareness campaigns and vigilant protection of defecting gang members. To intensify the program, the organization partnered with the local authorities and agencies such as the Department of Social Welfare Department (DSWD), Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), Baguio Character Council, and Balikatan sa Kaunlaran.

Seminars and corresponding activities on livelihood, nation-building, and social volunteerism are held to engage participants. Through these activities, they are transformed into productive members of the community who work to help tourism, environmental protection, as well as campaign against child abuse and illegal drugs.

Through the efforts of BFP, known gang members are now raising awareness on the perils of being in a gang by addressing audiences in different schools— proof that peace can reign amidst adversity and even past enemies can have a semblance of brotherhood.  These sharing sessions present opportunities for former gang members to relate experiences first-hand to their audience, making their stories relatable and realistic to ordinary youth.  They have also resorted to more popular medium such as rap and dance to spread the ideals of BFP to Baguio City’s youth.

Converting the TAYO prize: The BFP aims to create a short film depicting the realities of joining a gang. To make the film more believable, former gang members will portray their roles. They plan to reach more OSYs in Baguio through film showings.

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adminBrotherhood for Peace (BFP) Baguio City
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Alay ni Ignacio (ANI) Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City

Chain of Change (Education): Education is not all about the books because students don’t meet mathematical equations on the street but people and life’s challenges. As such, emotional intelligence is a step up too in life, especially when entering the big world of college and soon the work force. ANI is paving the path between high school to college that is not abrupt but more of a natural progression in their lives.

Linked Up: Pathways to Higher Education

The TAYO Connection: ANI won during TAYO 4.  Eumir Angeles, the current ANI Principal, was one of the beneficiaries of their project entry for that year. They decided to join the TAYO Search again because of the enhancements they made on their program for public high school students.

Learning begins from having the self confidence to learn, grasp and understand. Eumir relates that many public school students like him have some trouble getting their foot in the door as they reach college. Their insecurities in coming from a public school and lack of exposure on EQ (emotional quotient) enriching extracurricular subjects impedes them from even speaking up at university entrance interviews. And once they wade into the deep ocean of university, some may not be able to cope with the currents of college and could be swallowed up by the tide.

To fulfill this need, Alay ni Ignacio (ANI), the student arm of Pathways to Higher Education, implements a summer school program which caters to third and fourth year public high school students. The program aims to help these kids be on equal footing with their private school counterparts in terms of readiness for college.

The Non-Academic Formation Program of ANI provides support to public high school juniors and seniors through activities that cater to their hunger for self-expression and opportunities for personal development. At the same time, answering the challenges of their time. This is why guidance classes are given at this crucial age. They are taught responsibility for discipline, mentoring and overall well-being, with events like Career Day and Love and Courtship Talk.

The Clubs portion of the project exposes students to different fields such as Art, Asian Films, Creative Writing, Entrepreneurship, Music and Sports. Through “Enrichment” and “Christian Living”, teamwork, public presentation skills, and moral values are given importance. Activities such as Graduation Song Making and Recollections are carried out while Confirmation is conducted for students who have yet to undergo the rite.  

ANI works to bridge that missing link between being an average student and a well-rounded member of society— something that public high school students are more often than not deprived of. ANI promotes holistic development, expanding the horizons of underprivileged students, giving them a renewed sense of self.

Converting the TAYO prize: They will use their prize to further develop their modules for their program.

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adminAlay ni Ignacio (ANI) Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City