Kusug Batah Sug (KBS): Tausug Youth as movers for peace and development

Posted on Monday, September 9th, 2013 and is filed under Community, Feature, NGOs At Work in PhilSouth. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

JOLO, Sulu/9 September 2013 by Nash Usman Abduhadi–In an attempt to showcase the voice of Tausug youth in its quest for the ever-elusive peace, one name rings a bell: Kusug Batah Sug (KBS), loosely translated as Strength of Tausug Youth is a pool of volunteers who aids in monitoring incident reports in the province, assists in delivering basic goods and services to the community, conducts peace-building initiatives and initiates youth-oriented projects in the province of Sulu. Kusug Batah Sug as its name suggests is patterned after an old adage “youth is the hope of the fatherland” and this was proven true since youth is a stakeholder of the society and they are one of the most vulnerable sectors who after all is the recipients of all these peace and development endeavours that our government and other concerned agencies are doing.

Organized on March 26, 2012 by the Preventing and Reducing Armed Violence (PARV), an assisted program of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, an international non-government organization during its Pagbilma’ruf (Speak Out) with its thematic issue: Engaging Youth Against Violence and Lawless Activities.  From then on, KBS has instilled the word “youth empowerment” through participating in series of activities promoting peace. One of its first participation was the”Panawan in Taumpah Ku, Ha Hikasung Sin Pangadji Ku” (Walk my Shoes in the Pursuit of My Knowledge” on May 11, 2012 where they assisted in giving out school supplies to the less fortunate school children of Jolo, Indanan and Patikul.

In order to organize them properly, they had a meeting on June 9, 2012 for the election of set of officers to which Norjaidir D. Majid was elected as their president. Two days after the election, they initiated the first-ever Piece of Peace (POP ART), an artwork, literary and photography contest rolled into one in view of rendering youth an avenue and opportunities for discovering prolific, functional and causal to addressing peace efforts through creative arts. This was made possible in partnership with Community Relations Training (CRT) and Marine Battalion Landing Team 9. Hon. Mayor Hussin U. Amin of Jolo was the inducting officer of the elected KBS officers and members which transpired during the event.

On June 24, 2012, they began linking up with the Sulu Police Provincial Office (SPPO) through participation in the “Do Clean, Go Green” at Barangay Umangay, Patikul, Sulu, a beach clean-up drive which epitomized that “cleanliness is half of faith”. A day after they were also invited by the CRT IV class where they served as observers and documenters of the said program. Series of “Do Clean and Go Green”  were replicated in Maimbung, Parang and other municipalities where they also took part.

During the ARMM Registration on July 9-18, 2012, they were also tapped by the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) and served as monitors/ volunteers for the conduct of the said registration. On September 12, 2012, they were invited by the security sector (PNP, AFP) for a Medical Dental Civic Action Program at Barangay Lahing-Lahing, Omar, Sulu where they delivered basic services to the constituents.

As part of the celebration of National Peace Consciousness Month on September 21, 2012, KBS also joined the “KaPeaceTahan Caravan” where they traversed the municipalities of Jolo, Indanan, Patikul, Maimbung, Talipao and Panglima Estino posting banners of peace, conducting a mini-concert for peace to make people aware of the dividends of peace.

KBS was also given a lecture on the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) by Atty. Nazir Ynawat on November 5-8, 2012 at Jolo Area Coordinating Center and shared their viewpoints and ideas regarding FAB.  Then came, the celebration of Mindanao Week of Peace on December 2, 2012 where they joined in the Walk for Peace and partnered with PARV for its “Alay ng Kabataan: Musikapayapaan”, a song writing contest that depicted messages of peace through music and entertainment.

January 15, 2013 marked an important milestone in the lives of KBS and fellow youngsters as they commenced the one-of-a-kind “Photograpeace” workshop with a renowned photographer Mon R. Corpuz held at two different venues Notre Dame of Jolo College Review Center and  Jolo Area Coordinating Center.  A total of 150 participants showcased peace through the power of lenses.

As part of strengthening the capacities of youth in election-monitoring, they were given lectures on voters’ education, election processes and its Do’s and Don’ts during the PARV’s CONTRIBYouth on January 27, 2013 held at Sulu Training Center. At the end of the training, they were tapped once again by the PPCRV as election monitors. To reinforce their ability in awareness-raising and information dissemination, they were also invited for a FAB-lic Information: Orientation on Information Dissemination on the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro on February 6-7, 2013 at Sulu State College Hostel with guest speaker Atty. Nazir Ynawat. KBS volunteered in the conduct of PARV’s FAB-bilmaruf in different municipalities.

A series of All-In-One Community Outreach sponsored by the Marine Battalion Landing Team 2 were participated by the KBS such as in Barangays Tuyang, Kagay, and Pigih Dahuh, Talipao, Sulu and also in Barangay Siasi Poblacion, Siasi, Sulu.

On March 8, 2013, they provided direct humanitarian assistance and sustainable aid to the special orphan children in Sulu dubbed as ANAK YATIM Project at Barangay Matatal, Maimbung, Sulu. Two days later, on March 11, 2013, a sequel to the first POP ART was organized by them in partnership with MBLT-2, Lifeline Foundation, The Black Pencil Project, Talipao Municipal Government among others.  Some 200 youth and other participants graced the occasion with their magnum opuses of concept peace designs.

After the resounding success of POP ART, they were lectured on the importance of values, non-violent communication by the MEDNET representative Maridess “Madett” Gardiola on their seminar workshop entitled C.H.A.N.G.E (Creating Hopes Aspiring New Generations’ Empowerment) at Sulu Training Center. They were also involved in election-monitoring and reporting training on April 4-5, 2013 sponsored by PARV and ONE-Sulu where some of them turned into volunteer election-monitors.

A follow through of the Anak Yatim Project was conducted by the KBS on April 14, 2013 at 16th Feathers’ Badminton, Camp Kasim, Asturias Street, Jolo, Sulu where they provided space for dialogue, delivered health kits and toys, lectured on hygiene and sanitation and rendered entertainment to the orphaned kids of Sulu. They also played a part and served as ushers/ usherettes during the signing of the Peace Covenant for H.O.P.E on April 25 2013 at Notre Dame of Jolo College Covered Court where they wore traditional Tausug dresses emphasizing the importance of cultural preservation.

KBS also organized the Sulu Photograpeace Club on May 10, 2013 as a sequel to the success of Photograpeace. On May 13, 2013, they served as PPCRV volunteers and some of them as PARV election monitors.

During the observance of the Holy Month of Ramadhan, on August 2013, they conducted Iftar break, otherwise known as Pagpabukah in three different mosques: Masjid Lambayong and Masjid Laud-Laud Lambayong, Bus-Bus Street, Jolo, Sulu and at Martirez Street, Jolo, Sulu.

Recently, KBS was invited for a Caucus Meeting with One with Sulu and other stakeholders on August 26-27, 2013 at NDJC Review Center where they shared their commitment to fellow Tausugs in the hope of attaining peace and development in Sulu through series of peace-building efforts. KBS also participated in the Peace Communications Training held at Notre Dame of Jolo College Smith Hall on August 28-29, 2013 where they would re-echo the lectures and activities learned during the said training to their fellow KBS, Sulu Photograpeace Club and other youth groups in Sulu.

With a couple of activities being organized, conducted, participated, KBS stands for the magic word “volunteerism” which made them where they are right now. KBS believes that work plus passion equals success and inspiration. KBS is an independent youth organization in progress, it stands for its motto as: Kabataan Mamarulihi Ha Kahanungan Iban Kasambuhan Sin Lupah Sug (Youth as Movers for Peace and Development). (Nash Abduhadi/The PhilSouth Angle)

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