COTABATO CITY (MindaNews / 26 Nov) – Thousands of school children, teachers, government employees and security forces joined the simultaneous “Kite for Peace” Tuesday that aimed to amplify a united stand against violence and armed conflict in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
Apart from the open spaces in the Bangsamoro Complex in Cotabato City where hundreds of children showcased their home-made kites, similar activities were held simultaneously at the Mindanao State University oval in Marawi City, DepEd oval in Tawi-tawi, capitol grounds in Sulu, Lamitan National High School ground in Basilan, and in MSU-Dalican in Maguindanao.
Led by the Department of Education (DepED)-ARMM, in partnership with the Coordinating and Development Office of the Bangsamoro Youth Affairs (CDO-BYA), the activity advocates children’s rights. It was also held as part of the 25th founding anniversary of the ARMM.
Anwar Upahm, head of ARMM’s Bangsamoro Youth Affairs, said that amid the violence, bombings and hatred that inflict harm to children and the youth, it is high time for everyone to develop a culture of peace among Mindanaons.
“We are just hoping that like the kite we saw flying, peace and harmony in this region will continue to take off and be stable so that everyone can fully attain the gains of peace,” Upahm said.
Organizers have aimed to break the present Guinness World Record holder, Gaza in Palestine, with 13,000 kids in 2011.
“I felt great, my home-made kite made it to the sky with other colorful kites,” said Sadan Parasa, a Grade 3 pupil from Broce Elementary School in Cotabato City.
ARMM Regional Governor Mujiv S. Hataman said the activity was also ARMM’s contribution to the celebration of the Mindanao Week of Peace.
ARMM line agencies, local government officials, peace stakeholders, civil society organizations, youth groups, and representatives from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) expressed their support and participation in the event.
The activity is also being supported by the Young Moro Professionals Network (YMPN), Anak Mindanao (AMIN) Partylist, and the Coalition of Organization for Reform and Empowerment (CORE-ARMM).