Conflict management & prevention with Warriors For Peace
Within the frame of Virlanie's support program put in place at the Social Development Center, a new partnership has been concluded with a local not-for-profit organization, Warriors For Peace Pilipinas. This organization is now involved at the SDC and is proposing weekly aikido sessions for the children at the center.
Warriors For Peace Pilipinas (W4P) is a non-governmental and not-for-profit organization, promoting the use of aikido to approach conflict and help bringing peace between the communities in a positive and constructive manner. Based in the Philippines, W4P develops and executes programs that address the education, practice and network with other groups and individuals interested in exploring alternative and innovative ways of conflict education and peace work. The main objective of W4P is to spread awareness towards a more adept community in dealing with conflict. This approach can be brought by different methods in teaching and integrating aikido and its unique properties in addressing how individuals react to, respond to, work with, and handle problems that might otherwise have negative results.
Aikido, Japanese martial art, means “the way of harmonizing with the universal energy”. Originally, Morihei Ueshiba developed a martial art which was based on a brutal Japanese art called Budo or Bushido (the way of the samurai). Aikido was then officially established in 1942.
Several principles and virtues are taught by Aikido: humility and gratitude; respect for others; empathy, harmony and cooperation; reconciliation; openness; integrity.
W4P propagates the aikido as a vehicle for understanding and transforming conflict. It works with communities to develop its capacities to constructively approach conflict. It mentors aikidokas to further the aikido approach in conflict transformation and advocates changes in systems and structures toward non-violent means.
W4P has deployed a team of volunteers at the SDC to share its knowledge and skills throughout the teaching of aikido technics to the children. The activity program aims at promoting peace between the children with the use of a non-violent conflict management approach. The aikido practice should help the children to better control their anger and frustrations, while reaching a more balanced emotional state. These weekly sessions will encourage self-expression and individual developpment of each young participant. The volunteers from W4P will not only teach the respect of others and their differences, but also attempt to changing the way of thinking of these children often coming from underpriviledged communities, where violence is frequently displaced.
To conclude, the ultimate objective of this new formed partnership is to inform and educate the children, and also the team members of the SDC, in preventing conflicts usually generated by understanding issues. This should definitely bring a safe and peaceful atmosphere for everyone at the center!