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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Zambo IDPs trained to be community-based journalists

By Dominic I. Sanchez

ZAMBOANGA CITY – About 15 internally-displaced persons (IDPs) from the transitory sites in Buggoc, Tulungatung and Mampang were trained to be citizen peace journalists on Jan. 15-16 at the Marcian Business Hotel, through a project of the Integrated Resource Development for Tri-People (IRDT).

Carlo Benitez, project coordinator said that the activity’s objective is to enable IDPs to “appreciate the important role of community peace media, operationalize said media to help the city effectively rehabilitate and rebuild their communities, and develop a working relationship with the City Information Office (CIO) and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA).”

The participants were oriented on the basics of news gathering, news writing and also on the proper use of social media such as Facebook. Through workshops, they were able to understand how it is to properly report events and activities.

Hadz, one of the participants expressed her gratitude for being included in the training, saying that “it is very important for us to learn of such to be able to report what the situation is in the transitory sites.”

Another participant shared that the IDPs in transitory sites face many issues that sometimes do not reach the government. “We need to share our problems [through social media] so that the agencies will be aware of them and to properly address them.”

The participants were made aware of the existence of an inter-agency Communications Working Group (CWG), which primary aim is to ensure that information regarding recovery and rehabilitation reaches the IDPs, as well as to create a feedback mechanism in which prevailing IDP issues are aired.

Towards the end of the workshop, the community peace media group was formed. Their representative will be joining the CWG in its meetings to share communication-related issues among IDPs.

The seminar, dubbed “Restoring Trust and Confidence and Strengthening Inter-Ethnic and Interfaith Peace Forum and Dialogue” is implemented by IRDT for three months. It is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through The Asia Foundation – People to People (P2P) Program.