Philippines’ Children’s Month
“Let us Melt the World Frozen by COVID-19 with Peace Education”

What is the best gift for all children around the world? It is peace. In the celebration of the “2020 National Children’s Month”, a webinar was held on the subject of “Peace: Best Protection for Children’s Rights Theme” in the Philippines on 28 November 2020. In addition to the Philippines, 667 people from Nepal, Indonesia, and Rwanda attended, which was a time for the citizens from all over the world to promote the rights of children with a Facebook live broadcast.

The event began with the cheerful voices of the children, the protagonists of the event. IPYG, a group of youth taking the lead in building a world of peace, had time to encourage students through interviews during the pandemic situation. Mrs. Victoria Chingtoco-Yu, the Chairwoman of the Girl's Scout of the Philippines in Pila, Laguna, Samahan ng Babaepreneur, gave a presentation on “Peace at Home: Our Legacy to our Children.” She promoted the importance of the families where the children see and experience values and urged the people to participate in HWPL peace education, which contains the values for children to become messengers of peace, such as gratitude, consideration, sacrifice, forgiveness, etiquette, compliance, courage, etc.

During her interview, Mrs. Victoria Chingtoco-Yu, the Chairwoman of the Girl's Scout of the Philippines in Pila, Laguna, Samahan ng Babaepreneu, stated, “I am grateful to have these wonderful responsibilities and duties to (1) Co-facilitate the promotion of peace education and peace initiatives in the Philippines; (2) Encourage educational sectors to include HWPL Peace Education in their curriculum; and, (3) Encourage government, youth, and women's organizations in the Philippines to carry out activities and education to raise peace awareness to leave a sustainable peaceful society as a legacy for future generations.”

Dr. Concepcion Ferrer-Balawag, the CESO V Superintendent of DepEd Cotabato City, is promoting the production and the use of 110 lesson exemplars of HWPL peace education in Mindanao. Dr. Ronald Adamat, a Commission on Higher Education Commissioner, has been steadily cooperating to teach peace since the recent approval by the Commission on Higher Education to integrate Peace Studies/Education in the tertiary education curricula, through CMO No. 1 Series of 2019. The opinions and practices of the two people were to inform what true education and educators for children are not only to the Department of Education of Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) of the Philippines, Laguna City Ministry of Education, and the Curriculum Implementation Division, but also to all experts in basic and higher education.

Lastly, Professor Jose David Lapuz, a Commissioner for the Philippine National Commission for UNESCO, gave a speech on the theme of “Peace at Nation: Case of Achieving Peace through SDG16.” He raised the voices of peace spreading to families, schools, and communities to the national and global level and stated, “I have been speaking of the gift of peace to our children whose day we are celebrating today, the Children’s Month Day. I am proud that HWPL is the conduit so that this message can reach many devotees for many years. Peace can fill our lives despite any trials or circumstances even with COVID-19. We will triumph, we will succeed even against this dreaded virus because peace is not a matter of circumstances nor even of security in our world of violence or pestilence or calamity or epidemic or infection or disease or COVID-19. Peace is a matter of the heart and souls.” He informed the current situation of children from around the world who are suffering without protection and emphasized that life can be filled with peace no matter the trials.

Although the event was held online, the presenters’ firm belief in peace was conveyed, and the audience was able to recognize the meaning of peace that the children need most and build up their willingness to participate in building peace.

During the pledge for children that followed, all participants raised their right hand energetically and pledged to achieve peace for children together. We look forward to a bright future of children to lead a happier and more peaceful life through peace, the best protection for children, and through those who are developing HWPL peace education to foster peace messengers.