Youth for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence in Mindanao (YOUCAP)
Title: Youth for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence in Mindanao (YOUCAP)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Lead executing agency: Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPPAP)
Overall term: 2019 to 2022
At the core of Mindanao is the search for lasting peace that will put an end to decades of conflict in the Southern Philippines. As a prerequisite to sustainable development, the lack of peace in the region has been an impediment to its social and economic progress – major consequences of which befall the youth. The persisting presence of violent extremism in Mindanao poses further threats of radicalisation and recruitment to illegal armed groups among young people. The merge of conflicts and development challenges in Mindanao exacerbatesthe impact on the Filipino youth, indigenous communities, and internally-displaced people. The Philippine government has addressed these issues through the adoption of the Philippine Youth Development Plan 2017-2022, and through the reform of the youth councils called Sangguniang Kabataan. However, these national initiatives are not yet sufficiently implemented at the regional and local levels. Youth initiatives in peacebuilding are also conducted by civil society, but are often uncoordinated individual efforts that fail to target the marginalised and vulnerable young people. Education-based approaches to discussing peace in formal and non-formal institutions are increasing, yet are paying inadequate attention to the cultural and gender sensitivity of preventing violent extermism in Mindanao.
The capacities of selected state and non-state actors to contribute to gender-sensitive and youth-oriented peacebuilding and non-violent conflict transformation in selected areas of Mindanao are strengthened.
In cooperation with the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and relevant government agencies, the approach of YOUCAP in empowering the youth towards peacebuilding and non-violent conflict transformation in Mindanao focuses on state actors, educational institutions, and civil society. The project penetrates local development plans, academic curricula, and knowledge exchange platforms in three key outputs. Formal and non-formal educational systems are to be supported in integrating approaches to preventing violent extremism into its programs and training activities for teachers. Furthermore, the project seeks to implement capacity development and awareness-raising measures in the form of training for trainers and exchange forums for youth and civil society initiatives. Local authorities and state actors are also to be supported by the project through enhancing their capacities to harmonise local development plans with regional and national Philippine plans that focus on youth development and peace in Mindanao. These key measures are ultimately aimed at contributing to the achievement of the Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 and its national action plans on the youth, which outline the country-specific strategy of the Philippines towards the Sustainable Development Goals.