Reconciliation is focused on building relationships between antagonists.

The primary goal is to seek innovative ways to create a time and a place to address, to integrate, and to embrace
:: the painful past and
:: the necessary shared future as a means of dealing with
:: the present.

Reconciliation is a place, a locus, a space created for encounter by the parties; a place where the diverse but connected energies and concerns driving the conflict can meet, including the paradoxes of truth, mercy, justice and peace.

Reconciliation is a concept—a great idea! It is also a praxis—a practical course of action. It endeavors to reframe the conflict so that the parties are no longer preoccupied with focusing on the issues in a direct, cognitive manner.


Peace and Reconciliation Courses

PAR One: Basic Course


:: Pursuing Peace. This is an in-depth discussion of the differences and similarities in various conceptions of peace. Peace will be discussed from theological, psycho-social, political, and economic-ecological perspectives.

:: Understanding Strategic Peacebuilding. Strategic peacebuilding is protracted peacemaking. It is the opposite of protracted warfare. Learn the concepts, processes, and strategies of building peace from a conflicted situation to reconciliation. Get familiarized with various components of peacebuilding and why reconciliation is its main component.

:: The Nature of Conflict. Conflict is like a tree. It has leaves and fruits, trunk, and roots. Learn how this analogy crystallizes the various conflicts we’re experiencing—at home, in our communities, in our neighborhoods, in our towns and cities, in our province, in our country and in our world.

:: Understanding Peace in the Context of Globalization. What is Globalization? How do global realities affect our local life? This is a discussion of global realities from the perspective of local people. This is also the context of our peacebuilding task among the various social-political groups, state forces, and non-state armed groups in our country.

:: Conflict Transformation. How do we transform the crises of conflict into relationship-building opportunities? The violent expression of conflict is like a social cancer. Before you know it, it may have affected the larger system—marriage, family, church, government, business, etc. Learn some practical ways to detect the negative effects of conflict during its early stages.

:: The Process of Reconciliation. Is it possible to rebuild positive relationships between antagonists? Does reconciliation really work in the healing of emotional and psychological aspects of the conflict? Hear stories of people who chose to journey from violent conflict to harmonious reconciliation.


PAR Two: Skills for Everyone


:: Fundamentals of Trauma Healing. Understand the basic concepts of trauma and trauma healing. After a lecture presentation, you will be exposed to true-to-life case studies to apply the principles you’ve learned.

:: Communicating Cross-Culturally. The Philippines is a multi-cultural country. How do we communicate the Culture of Peace across these cultures? How does cross-cultural communication contribute to peacebuilding?

:: Learning the Art of Conflict Resolution. Get exposed to the various approaches and stages of Conflict Resolution—i.e., informal discussion, negotiation, conciliation, facilitation, mediation, arbitration, litigation, legislation. Find out what works best in certain situations. Experience simulated scenarios where you will be prompted to learn the following:
:: Fact-Finding Skills
:: Listening Skills
:: Conflict Mapping Skills
:: Conflict Energy Management Skills
:: Resolution Approach Skills

:: Asserting Your Rights through Peaceful Negotiation. Learn the art of being assertive without being abrasive or offensive. Sharpen your skills in distinguishing the other parties’ real interests from their officially stated position. Find out the characteristics and qualities of a good negotiator.

:: Bridging Conflicting Parties through Mediation. Mediation is the art of facilitated negotiation. It is a process by which a mediator assists disputing parties to collaboratively discuss their concerns through problem-solving. Find out how to assist in documenting mutually acceptable points of agreement the parties may reach. This is a fascinating experience where a mediator, who does not have authoritative decision-making or enforcing power, becomes an effective peacebuilder because of the voluntary, private, and face-to-face participation of the parties-in-conflict.


PAR Three: For the Healing of Our Land


:: Qualifying People for PAR. Learn the process of prospecting, qualifying, training, and developing volunteers for Peace and Reconciliation (PAR). Test yourself how you’ll fit as a member of a PAR Community.

:: Organizing Peace and Reconciliation Communities. How do we share the vision of Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) with others? Is your community or organization ready to launch a PAR Community? What are the mission objectives of a PAR Community? How do we inspire and challenge others with this vision and mission?

:: Armed-Conflict Area Survival Training. This is an outdoor experience. Participants will be exposed to a simulated armed-conflict situation and will be taught how to react, using the principles ofactive non-violence, with clarity of mind and discipline.

:: Human Rights and International Humanitarian Laws. In a conflicted situation, it is important to be aware of our legal rights as human beings. The signing of Republic Act 9851 or the Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law into law last December 11, 2009 was considered by many human rights groups and activists a landmark legislation. RA 9851 mandates both state and non-state armed groups to observe international humanitarian law standards, giving victims of war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity legal recourse.

:: Dealing with Torture and Human Rights Violations. In an act to safeguard the rights of people engaged in armed conflict, the Republic Act No. 9745, otherwise known as the Anti-Torture Act of 2009 was passed on September 2, 2009. To ensure that all the rights of the detainees, suspects or prisoners are respected, RA 9745 penalizes torture or any degrading treatment of captives that would cause physical or psychological harm. Family members or any persons related to the captive are also given protection by imposing penalties to any maltreatment done upon them. Captives are expected to be treated humanely and are to be provided with essential needs. Any deviation from this normalcy would become grounds for the penalty of prison to be imposed both to the torturers and to the head of their department.

:: Volunteer Evaluation. This is a tested tool to assess the ability of a volunteer-candidate to effectively do the task of peace and reconciliation in the context of Philippine realities. This will also provide leaders with additional tools to be active in multiplying peacebuilding workers.