ASIA/PHILIPPINES - The Silsilah movement: the culture of dialogue and peace begins with children

Wednesday, 7 September 2022 dialogue   islam  

Zamboanga (Agenzia Fides) - "The Movement for Islamic-Christian dialogue Silsilah has trained thousands of Muslims and Christians over the years through summer courses and training seminars on the culture of dialogue as a path to peace. Over the years, we have tried to understand how this understanding of the culture of dialogue could reach everyone, including children. That is why we began to present the culture of dialogue, the path to Peace in a primary school and in six nursery schools in poor areas of the city where Muslims and Christians coexist. Guided by this idea, we developed the approach 'Tulay Bata for Dialogue and Peace' ("Children bridges for Dialogue and Peace"). In addition, we organize training programs in Harmony Village for nursery school teachers in Zamboanga districts. The experience has been a great challenge for us, considering that the teachers have appreciated the importance of this educational approach for nursery school": this is how the missionary of the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions (PIME) Father Sebastiano D'Ambra explains to Fides the good results of the Silsilah Movement's commitment to children.
"For teachers, Silsilah has organized four seminars on peace, dialogue and education for peace in recent days. Teachers have been able to share their reflections on the stories of peace educators that have been valuable in their approach to conflict resolution in their school communities. Teachers have also expressed their dreams of a peaceful and dialoguing school community and have learned ways and techniques to teach action, integrating the contents of education for peace and dialogue", explains Janille Mariz A. Garduque, to Agenzia Fides. laywoman of the Silsilah Movement.
Tulay Bata is an educational approach for preschool and primary school children based on the vision of student-centered education that empowers children to be active agents of peace and dialogue in society. It introduces children to the four pillars of dialogue: dialogue with oneself, with others, with creation and with God, and empowers parents to be active agents in the spiritual formation of children. The program is proposed at the "Silsilah Elementary School", with the aim of reinforcing the practices of peace and dialogue in the teaching of primary classrooms.
A teacher from the Putik district
said: "The Tulay Bata for dialogue and peace is an excellent approach that we can integrate into our teaching-learning activities at school. I am grateful to the Silsilah Movement for this seminar, in which we rediscovered the true essence of being a nursery school teacher. As teachers, we can not only be a bridge, but we can also build bridges for children. Through dialogue, sincere communication and with a caring heart, bring peace and harmony to our children". (PA) (Agenzia Fides, 7/9/2022)