Peace Advocates Zamboanga (PAZ) Foundation, Inc.

PAZ is a Catholic organisation working to promote a culture of peace in Zamboanga.

PAZPeace Advocates Zamboanga Foundation, Inc. (PAZ) is a non-profit Catholic organisation that works for a society of peace and harmony in Zamboanga. It has a visions of a society where wholeness and integrity are developed, everyone possesses dignity as children of God, and power rests in the hands of the people. PAZ was created in 1994 to provide an appropriate sustainable response to the violent events that were gripping Zamboanga City and Western Mindanao in the early 1990s. It is steered by a board of volunteer core members and the consistent volunteer work of various other friends and parties.

With almost 21 years of peace advocacy, PAZ has been able to strengthen collaboration to promote a culture of peace in the entire region. Its present peace advocacy programme started in September 2006 with funding from Trocaire. It is designed to sustain awareness, understanding and practice of the culture of peace in Zamboanga and Western Mindanao. It includes Muslims, Christians and indigenous people, as well as inter-religious groups, community leaders, children and youth, government institutions and individuals from academia. At present, it endeavours to expand and institutionalise its peace advocacy efforts through the media.

PAZ's goals

  • Helping to build a culture of peace that gives rise to personal and social transformation, an enhanced awareness and analysis of peace issues, and a greater capability for the use of conflict transformation skills.
  • Respecting and recognising basic human rights and contributing to dignified human living, with a special sensitivity to cultural and religious differences.
  • Putting in to the people's service the gifts of time, talent and resources of a network of individual and group partners who share the dream of peace and work through the same themes to make it a reality.

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PAZ's activities

  • Organising convergence activities and forums for religious and community leaders. PAZ is the Secretariat of the Inter-religious Solidarity for Peace, involving religious leaders in Zamboanga City.
  • Initiating the Mindanao Week of Peace. This was launched in 1997, and has now become popular in every parish in Mindanao, involving a week of multi-sectoral participation in a yearly series of activities for peace advocacy.
  • Capacity building and training to strengthen the culture of peace and skills in conflict. Among PAZ's areas of priority is peace education through the integration of peace in the education curriculum. It runs summer peace camps for youth and offers a Young Peace Weaver Award to be bestowed on students working for peace at their respective Graduation Ceremonies.
  • Peace promotion and regular information dissemination through the media. It publishes a quarterly magazine entitled Peace Works, discussing issues and events related to peace and development. It has also produced Quetal Zamboanga, an hour-long radio programme, to tackle local peace and development concerns, aired every Tuesday evening. Quetal is a local language term meaning 'what's up?'.
  • PAZ's youth arm - the Youth Solidarity for Peace (YSP) has received much recognition from local and international award-giving bodies such as Ateneo Peace Award in 2001 and the TAYO Awards in 2011. It was chosen to represent the Philippines for the TAYO ASEAN Award in Thailand in 2012.

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