Permit me to share...

From: Lee Collano [mailto:] Sent: Thursday, February 14, 2008 2:07 AMTo: Charles Gibbs; Barbara Hartford; Sally Mahe; libby hoffman; Bizuayehu Abiy; Elelta Asmelash; Abraham Karickam; Marites GuingonaSubject: Muslim-Christian Peacemakers SEA-K Field Report

Dear URI-MI Team,

Permit me to share with you the joys that I tried to savor for myself since the Peacemakers Circle succeeded in bringning livelihood project (at least, for this first level) to the Muslims and Christians in Brgy. 188, Tala, Caloocan City.

Yesterday, the members of the Muslim-Christian Peacemakers' Association recieved the seed capital for their individual livelihod project. They were given 5,000.00 pesos each to jump-start their own business at least, in the micro level. Once they were able to return the money to the governement (interest free) within the next 6 months the members are entitled to the next level of loan where the capital is much higher than the first one. Its about 45,000.00 pesos each for Muslim and Christian members of the association payable within 3 years free of interest.

Personally, I considered this project a breakthrough for the Peacemakers Circle since most conflict in any communities around Metro Manila is always tied up to the issue of resources and when poverty is not being attended to violence can easily erupt.

Now most of the communities around Metro Manila is asking the Peacemakers' Circle to assist them! This is a good sign for us! We're now getting more and more recognition from the ground.

Indeed, what a joy to celebrate!

Lee S. Collano


On 2/15/08, Charles Gibbs <> wrote:
Dear Lee,

Greetings of love and peace.

What a joy to receive your report and taste the good fruits of this important work, which you shared with us in India.

I was particularly interested in the comments about the difference between the "new" and "old" members. I think we have seen some of the same in URI, where people who haven't had an experience of the global URI and weren't part of the chartering process have not had the opportunity to experience and learn the same deep values. I am interested to hear how you help the new people develop the important values that the old participants developed.

I wish you, the Peacemakers Circle and the Muslim-Christian Peacemakers Association every success.




Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2008 21:59:00 +0800From: "Marites Africa" To: "Charles Gibbs" Subject: Re: Muslim-Christian Peacemakers SEA-K Field ReportCC: "Lee Collano" , "Barbara Hartford" , "Sally Mahe" , "libby hoffman" , "Bizuayehu Abiy" , "Elelta Asmelash" , "Abraham Karickam" , "Abdulhusin Kashim" , "Akmad Wahab" , "Shakuntala Vaswani" , "The Peacemakers' Circle"
Dear Charles, Barb, and all--

Peace and love to you!

I am one with you in the joy of Lee's success in his efforts! CONGRATULATIONS, LEE! At last, all the painstaking work has produced heartwarming results and the 30 members of the Muslim-Christian Peacemakers' SEA-K Association have received their much needed Php 5,000 seed money! Hurray!!!

It was a happy occasion last Wednesday afternoon for those of us who were there in the community to bear witness to the awarding of the funds to each of the members. The joy in their faces (when they came forward to receive the money) was so heartwarming that in my heart I fervently hoped and prayed that their endeavors at setting up their small livelihood businesses would succeed. How wonderful it would be to see our friends there growing in self confidence and sense of empowerment!

This is a turning point in our work in the grassroots community of Bgy 188 in Phase 12 of Tala, Caloocan City; and we are now on to the next level of our engagement there. I am seeing this year to be our last big step in the 5-year process of Muslim-Christian Relationsip-Building in that community. We started the work there in 2003, and I hope that by the end of 2008 we at the Peacemakers' Circle CC would be able to successfully step back a little more and lovingly continue to support them albeit from a farther distance.

This livelihood assistance of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) that has been made possible through the tireless assistance of Lee, has generated a growth in the membership of the Muslim-Christian Peacemakers' Association CC. From 38 members, the number has now swelled to around 60. They have been divided into two groups to facilitate the application process of the Self-Employment Assistance-Kaunalaran (Progress) or SEA-K livelihood program.

With this increase in membership, the old members expressed concern over the fact that the spirit of Muslim-Christian friendship that they have nurtured through the years needed to be renewed, strengthened and safeguarded. We at the Peacemakers' Circle CC are taking this to heart and are committed to helping them address this. This is our "MI mission" for this community in 2008. I know you expressed your interest in how we would go about this, Charles.

First of all, I needed to secure funding for this project to keep our work going in this community for another year. I am counting on the approval next month of a project grant proposal that I submitted to the Australian Embassy's SGIDU (Strengthening Grassroots Interfaith Dialogue and Understanding) Program. The funds will be used for leadership training and capacity building in the community.

We plan to conduct weekly dialogue sessions for the 60 members (both old and new); we will divide the group into two for easy facilitation. This will be similar in format to the Inner Work sessions (that we conducted for the Muslim-Christian Peacemakers' CC in the past years).

The Inner Work sessions will encourage all members to share the ideals and teachings of their respective religions on certain topics/issues and how these bear on the challenges that they face in their daily lives. We believe that regular meetings that encourage the members to dialogue with one another and strengthen bonds of friendships is a powerful way to build a stronger foundation for their community. We will also conduct monthly training seminar-workshops that will develop skills and capacities needed for successful dialogue, conflict transformation, and relationship-building and strengthening.

There is much to look forward to in the months to come, and we will do the best we can to see them come true. However these events and things aspired for will unfold, I trust that all will be well in God's hands...

Thank you for your friendship and support!


MCP SEAK Assoc. Report

The Muslim-Christian Peacemakers’ SEA-K Association, Inc.

Weekly Update
February 4, 2008


Sometime in June 2007, Asst. Secretary Ma. Theresa M. Alano of the Department of Social Welfare and Development introduced SEA-K to the Peacemakers’ Circle Foundation, Inc. Knowing how the Peacemakers’ work for the Muslims and Christians on the ground the DSWD found the Peacemakers’ Circle to be the perfect ally for some of their project. The Peacemakers’ Circle had laid the ground work for the SEA-K program to commence. Several meetings were held and finally the training was conducted. The members of the Muslim-Christian Peacemakers’ were divided into groups of 6 composed of 5 members hence the first batch.

SEA-K Program is the Self-Employment Assistance Kaunlaran (SEA-K) Program designed to build local capability building in order to enhance the socio economic skills of the local communities. This program was introduced by the Department of Social Welfare and Development and local government units in response to the alarming poverty situation of the country. SEA-K has a program component. It prepares the “would be” members of the association socially to enhance their sense of volunteerism, leadership qualities, self confidence and self reliance.

Formation of groups and associations involves organizing of 5 or 6 groups compose mainly of 5 members per group to form a SEA-K Association. The organization should have a total of 25 or 30 members. It provides capital assistance to each members of the association as the seed capital amounting to a maximum of P150,000 (5,000 per member) , which will give the members the opportunity to jump start their own business at the micro level. The capital needs no collateral and its interest free.

Likewise, members of the association are encouraged to save a little amount of money regularly for them to enable to assist selected community members.

Who can benefit SEA-K? It is available to any individuals who are economically disadvantaged in a depress communities who possess the following qualities:

16 years old and above
with a monthly income of not more than P6,958 for a family of six
without access to any formal lending institution
physically fit
resident of the community for the last 6 months and intends to stay for the next 2 years
in good relationship with his community and family
with a positive work attitude
concerned with the welfare of his/her community

On the Account of Bank Processes

January 14, 2008 Bank requirements for the Muslim-Christian Peacemakers’
SEA-K Association, Inc was submitted to the Land Bank Katipunan Branch for evaluation purposes. It was no less than the Operation’s Manager of Land Bank Ms. Delma O. Bandiola who attended the evaluation process. In the agreement between DSWD and Land Bank it is required that DSWD personnel should be represented as one of the signatories of the account for the association to safeguard and protect the investment made by the government to the members of the association - in this case, it’s no less than the person in-charge of livelihood training Mr. Ernesto J. Adriano Sr. is acting as the official signatory. Resolution from the Muslim-Christian Peacemaker’s SEA-K Association, Inc. is required to formalize the entry of DSWD representative. The association is also required to secure letter of endorsement from the DSWD prior to the opening of the account.

DSWD is apprehensive about making the deposit in the name of the Muslim-Christian Peacemakers’ Association, Inc as these funds might be used by the members of the Muslim-Christian Peacemakers’ Association, Inc. and not by the SEA-K members themselves. The Muslim-Christian Peacemakers Association, Inc. agreed to change the name of the bank account as soon as the Muslim-Christian Peacemakers’ SEA-K Association, Inc. gets their registration from the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Peacemakers’ Circle Foundation, Inc. is in the forefront of monitoring the members’ activities every step of the way.

Finally, the Letter of Endorsement from DSWD was signed and made available for pick-up last January 31, 2008. Coupled with this, was the resolution to designate bank accounts and signature authorizing Macklis R. Bala, Loreta P. Borlongan and Ernesto J. Adriano as the SEA-K representatives. After further evaluation of the documents the association is scheduled to open their account on February 5, 2008 at Land Bank Katipunan Branch, Loyola Heights, Quezon City.

Friday February 1, 2008 the members of the Muslim-Christian Peacemakers’ SEA-K Association, Inc. agreed to hold a separate meeting prior to the release of funds. The meeting was called for to discuss issues such as length of payment, contributions to the association, meeting attendance, reimbursement of expenses to the Peacemakers’ Circle, etc. The members also suggested that a separate meeting should be held separately for the Peacemakers’ meeting purposes only.

Issues and Challenges

The fact that most members of SEA-K don’t have enough valid documents to present for bank processing is already a challenge in itself. Having to meet all those rigid requirements deprived these people to access the services of the government institution such as bank processing, registration to the securities and exchange commission and tax income number application. Not to mention of course the financial aspect of the whole process the technical know-how of the members also complicates the process.

Equally more noticeable also is the behavioral reactionary attitude of some members of the association. Since some of those who were in the first batch were not the actual members of the Muslim-Christian Peacemakers’ Association the value of patience, perseverance, self-sacrifice and volunteerism is often less appreciated. Asking for some financial contributions for instance for the processing to proceed often invites negative reaction. Hence, the possibility of conflict between the “new” and the “old” members of the association is most likely possible and real. By personally taking the processes to proceed the threat of indirect confrontation among members of the same association becomes less apparent.

Giving them the chance to improve their economic conditions through government loans will not always make them a better person. Most often than not, others have decided to join the association for economic reasons and others for personal protection. But the idea of making them into an association is for them help and support each other individually and the community socially. Social values need to be developed alongside with personal values.

Plans and Recommendations

1. On-going Community Organizing

Membership of the Muslim-Christian Peacemakers’ Association is expected to grow in numbers precisely because of the positive result happening in the ground. The livelihood aspect of the association is attracting more and more people which can be a potential source of members for the association.

2. Continues Monitoring

Members of the SEA-K have to be monitored constantly. Weekly dues should be strictly in forced and approved business proposal should be followed faithfully. Any intention to change business line other than what was approved by DSWD should be reported to the agencies concern immediately for approval.

3. Periodical Review of SEA-K Policies

Most often than not, policies are taken for granted by members of any association when nobody will constantly remind them. Periodical review of SEA-K policies by qualified DSWD personnel will make sure the policies are strictly observed and carefully followed.

4. Application for SEC Registration, TIN and other Personal Documents

Time is of essence! Application for SEC registration and TIN should be done in the earliest and shortest time possible. Releasing of seed capital depends not just on how fast the association can get its registration but what personal documents are presented for the purposes of bank evaluation. Members to do this are those that have experienced in the processing of SEA-K documents during the first batch. The Peacemakers’ Circle should only come in as guide and adviser.

5. Open Communication with Partners

Maintaining an open line of communication with partners will help reduce the risk of loosing the capital investment of the association. Barangay officials can help remind the members of the association to pay their weekly obligation to the DSWD. Delinquent members of the association can be summoned by the barangay officials in order to meet their obligation. Having done this, the image of the SEA-K Association and the Peacemakers’ Circle would be protected and the success of future transactions for other Muslim-Christian communities can be ensured.

6. Continues Workshop

Workshops such as those that were given to the Muslim-Christian Peacemakers’ Association, Inc. should also be given to the new members of SEA-K Association. Relationship between the old and the new members is expected to become more fraternal when the new ones are form according to the Vision and Mission for which the Muslim-Christian Peacemakers’ Association was created. Better appreciation and understanding of the role as a member of the association happens only when values formation is given.

7. Self-Initiated Community Project

Self-initiated community project by members of the association is expected to deepen the bond that ties them. These are community projects that are to be undertaken by the group as a whole. Projects that are visible and have higher impact in the community have to be carried out side by side with barangay officials and DSWD. Members of the SEA-K Association in particular and the community in general should work together to improve their community.

8. Regular Business Evaluation

Preventive measure is deemed necessary to ensure business activity will proceed as plan. To protect the investment, Regular Business Evaluation has to be conducted both by DSWD personnel and Peacemakers’ Circle Foundation. Intervention has to be under taken by line agency if necessary. Instruments that will be use to determine the success or failure of business has to be provided by DSWD. The evaluation has to be conducted individually for members of the association.

9. Length of Payment and the Assumption of Obligation

Returning the seed capital doesn’t have to take long. For the whole members to avail of the next loan (which is far bigger than the previous one), the association will have to agree on when and how long the seed capital would be return. In some cases where other members failed to meet their obligations the association would have to be ready and willing to assume the obligation of that delinquent members of the association. In this case, those who failed to meet their obligation to the satisfaction of the association would be strike out from the membership roll of the association.

Organizational Structure & Officers

President - Sultan Maklis R. Bala (Muslim)
Vice President - Antonio Guerrero (Christian)
Secretary 1) Juliet Nanari (Christian)
Treasurer 1) Farida Bala (Muslim)
Treasurer 2) Loreta Borlongan (Christian)