BYC, youth orgs attend advocacy campaign workshop vs. small arms, light weapons

COTABATO CITY (March 20, 2023) — Some officials and staff of the Bangsamoro Youth Commission (BYC) and representatives of youth organizations attended a workshop on developing advocacy campaign strategies against illegal possession and use of small arms and light weapons (SALW).

The four-day workshop, which was held on March 14-18 in Zamboanga City, aimed to gather the perspectives of the youth and women in curbing SALW and develop advocacy campaign strategies against the proliferation of its illegal possession and use.

The activity was conducted by the Nonviolent Peaceforce (NP), with support from the European Union, in support of the normalization process, and peace and security efforts of the Bangsamoro Government.

According to NP Head of Programs Rexall Kaalim, the accumulation, illicit transfer, and misuse of SALWs have many negative consequences, including fear among women and children.

He added that the youth can contribute to curbing SALWs by helping inform the people of their negative impact on the peace, security, socio-economic, and sustainable development of the communities.

Meanwhile, BYC Planning Officer Datu Raid Salik presented the Commission’s programs and activities on youth peace and security in the region. He stressed that the BYC is currently finalizing its Bangsamoro Regional Action Plan on Youth Peace and Security – a five-year action plan that lays down young people’s contribution to conflict prevention and resolution, and building sustainable peace.

As part of the workshop, the participants were also given lectures on effective advocacy strategies, brand-building and key message development, among others.

The activity was attended by BYC Commissioner Mohammad Faizal Alih, Commissioner Hamdie Tanjil and Commissioner Pratima Sabal Samsaraji with some BYC staff, representatives from youth and women organizations and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) officials from across the Bangsamoro region. (BYC PR Unit/KAA)