Kalaro. Kaibigan. Kasama.
Adversary. Competitor. Friend.
The Mindanao Peace Games (MPG), founded in 2014, reflects a common love for Mindanao and a belief in the powerfully unifying effects of sport. Seeking to develop friendship, leadership and camaraderie within a conflict zone, MPG captures the very essence of sport - that sport, itself, is so much more than a game. Sport consists not only of skills learned on the pitch, but leadership, collaboration, character, strength and hope that endure after the final whistle has blown. Under the guiding vision of convener Emmanuel 'Noli' Ayo, countless young women continue to develop their abilities as athletes, leaders and policy makers of Mindanao. This book offers an incredible insight into the creation of the Games, their positive impact, and the way in which other aspiring peace and sport programmes can learn from the MPG model to develop peaceful sporting initiatives of their own.
A Short Background to Mindanao
The populous Mindanao island group of the Philippines, home to 24 million people, has endured a long period of conflict, most recently in the form of the Moro conflict that began in 1968.
Armed conflict and violence remain relatively common in the poorest provinces of Mindanao (Lanao Del Sur, Maguindanao, and Sulu), between the military and armed groups such as the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters and the Islamic State-linked Abu Sayyaf Group.
As many studies tell us, women are the most frequently marginalised and oppressed demographic in conflict scenarios. The Mindanao Peace Games tackles this problem head on, seeking to develop leadership in its young sportswomen, inspiring confidence, uniting communities, and providing these young women with a voice.
Mindanao Peace Games - The Book - chronicles the development of this incredible event. It will not only inspire and entertain, but provide a light in the dark for all organisations seeking to develop a similar programme, passing the baton of sports development across conflict zones, amongst at-risk groups and throughout the world of sport. Mindanao Peace Gaes - The Book will be released in Summer 2022. While you're waiting, why not check out this recent CNN interview (right)?