Not long after I arrived in Davao City, late 2017, I was put in touch with people involved in a sports-related peace project in Mindanao: the Mindanao Peace Games (MPG). Under the MPG banner, fourteen universities and colleges from all six regions of Mindanao work together to promote peace, youth leadership and women empowerment.
A few months ago I started volunteering for the MPG team as a writer and communications officer. During and after an event in late July in Butuan City — the Mindanao Leadership Summit for Athletes (MLSA) — I interviewed several of the student-athletes that took part in the MLSA. Three of these interviews were published on the website of MindaNews, the news service arm of the Mindanao Institute of Journalism.
In their respective interviews, Hananiya, Jana and Dana talked to me about being student-athletes and coaches, their local community work, and their views on how to achieve peace and unity in Mindanao:
- Winning for peace: “We need a new perspective on unity in Mindanao”
- What sport teaches us: “We are peacebuilders, not warriors”
- Be a sailor first: “My generation will create the change our Mindanao needs”