Tag: peace

Oct 20 2013

‘COFFEE FOR PEACE’ IS A MAJOR PARTNER OF THE 2013 DAVAO TRADE EXPO

cfp-at-date2013 Joji Pantoja presents Peace Theology as the framework for Coffee For Peace. Around 1000 participants from various agribusiness companies participated in the 2013 Davao Trade Expo. Photo by Bryan Jay Paler, PAR MetroManila.


Joji Pantoja presents Peace Theology as the framework for Coffee For Peace. Around 1000 participants from various agribusiness companies participated in the 2013 Davao Trade Expo. Photo by Bryan Jay Paler, PAR MetroManila.

17-19 October 2013, Davao City. Coffee for Peace (CFP) took the lead as the major partner of the 2013 Davao Trade Expo (DaTE 2013) for the coffee industry. The theme of the 15th DaTE was Empowering the Farmer: Engage. Enable. Excite. It is the biggest agribusiness expo in Mindanao and is spearheaded by the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCCI). This year’s expo was held at the SMX Convention Center, Lanang, Davao City.

DaTE 2013 focused on the “golden crops of agriculture,” namely cacao, coconut, coffee, corn and cassava. The said crops have an increasing demand not only locally but as well as in the international market. This expo brought together global and national speakers and specialists to provide essential ideas, best practices, and updates on agricultural standards, emerging markets and build business relationships among agriculture players. It has also provided the platform to discuss on availability of products and technology in the local market, matching of local market to the international market, addressing various socio-political issues affecting the agriculture sector at present and conference of the best practices of the concerned industry.

cfp-speakers-date2013

Joji Pantoja and Eddie Isada were major plenary speakers. Dawn Pates was the facilitator for the CFP workshop. Coffee For Peace is a major partner in Davao Trade Expo 2013. Photos by Byron Pantoja, CFP.

Joji Pantoja (CFP’s Chief Operating Officer), and Pastor Eddie Isada (CFP’s Plantation Management Consultant) were two of the seven speakers for the said conference. Joji began her presentation by sharing Peace Theology as the framework for CFP operations. She also shared the CFP experience in the value chain approach to coffee business. Finally, she explained the core values of CFP which are:

  • transparency in partnership with the farmers;
  • protection of our environment;
  • empowerment of the community;
  • peace in our home, community and our land; and,
  • excellent quality of products and services.

After all the inspirational coffee business stories, one of the most awaited part of the program was the technical aspect of coffee production which was well explained by Pastor Eddie. When the session ended, a lot of farmers and interested participants went to Pastor Eddie to get his contact number for training events in the near future.

The break-out session for the coffee industry was attended by around 200 people coming from all walks of life and yet interested in the coffee industry. CFP’s marketing coordinator, Dawn Albert Pates, facilitated the break-out session.

Originally founded by PeaceBuilders Community as a conflict transformation space in the field, CFP has been growing as a community of conscientious individuals who are passionate about business-for-profit, addressing social issues that concerns the farmers, the environment, and the peace situation in our land by advocating Fair Trade in the coffee industry.

CFP looks at fair trade as a business approach to achieve justice and peace in our society and in our environment.

Coffee For Peace, as a business corporation and as a community, includes:

  • A Board of Directors who are made up of business executives, community leaders, creative communication professionals, and academics.
  • A management team led by a business talent with 20 years of world-class financial planning experience in Canada. She is a degree holder in Food Service Administration and a coffee connoisseur.
  • The wisdom, knowledge, and experience of a team of dedicated agricultural engineers and agriculture specialists with a combined experience of more than 75 years.
  • A community-network of well-trained and justly-treated farmers who supplies us with their produce at fair traded prices.

Since the inception of CFP in 2008, the company has been gaining many awards and recognition because of its efforts in addressing the social issues that concerns the farmers, the environment, and the peace situation in our land.

Reported by Dawn Albert Pates, CFP Marketing Coordinator

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://waves.ca/2013/10/20/coffee-for-peace-is-a-major-partner-of-the-2013-davao-trade-expo/

Apr 20 2013

THE DREAM OF PAR COMMUNITY MULTIPLICATION IS BEING REALIZED

coffee-seminar-joji

Joji Pantoja leads a Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) coffee farming workshop in an armed-conflicted area in Mindanao. A livelihood program is a critical component of PAR Seminar. In this case, Peacebuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI) trains the farmers on how to grow and care for their coffee trees, how to process their coffee beans in accordance with global quality standards, how to market their products with justice and dignity, and how to develop themselves as coffee entrepreneurs. PBCI’s sister organization, Coffee For Peace, buys their Arabica coffee beans at fair prices.

Our dream is to see one Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) Community in each of the 80 provinces in the Philippines by the year 2020. This dream is spiritually motivated and is technically planned. We call this dream Vision 2020.

The dream was borne out of a spiritual realization that the church can, and must, be an effective agent of peace in the face of a post-911 global realities. This prompted my husband, Dann, to reflect on a biblical peace theology that can be applied in the historical context of the Philippines.

In January 2006, the Peace Mennonite Church in Richmond, British Columbia commissioned us as peacebuilding missionaries to Mindanao, Philippines. We were sent with their love for God and for the people in this land, along with their prayers, pastoral care, and finances.

After several years of working in the field as conflict transformation missionaries, the local leaders began asking us to train them to form local community-based peace teams that would help in the on-going work of reconciliation within their respective areas of responsibilities. Out of necessity, a local peace team started organizing another peace team in the next village or in the next municipality. Thus, we thought of forming a province-wide leadership community who would coordinate the organization of local teams. We started referring to this provincial group as Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) Community.

par-growth

Here’s an example of PAR growth in one of the provinces in Mindanao: In the early months of 2011, a group of bishops, pastors, business executives, academicians, and local government administrators invited us to conduct a series of PAR Seminars among them. After three consecutive months of training, the Region 10 PAR Community was organized. One of the graduates invited us to train the members of the Council of Evangelical Churches in Bukidnon (CECB). CECB in turn shared the PAR principles among the members of the Valencia City Evangelical Ministerial Association, Inc. (VCEMAI). Both CECB and VCEMAI decided to make PAR to be a major component of their ministry in the province. In partnership with PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI) and Coffee For Peace (CFP), they have started organizing PAR Teams in several municipalities and villages in Bukidnon like Dominorog and Manalog. They also helped PBCI to organize PAR Communities in the provinces of Maguindanao and Davao del Sur.

PAR Community  is an initiative to organize a group of local leaders—church leaders, local government leaders, non-government organization leaders, business leaders, academic leaders, or any mix of these—

  • who have expressed interest to have a working relationship with us, who have made a commitment to embrace our Peace Theology;
  • who have invited us to teach them our PAR Seminar Series;
  • who have a vision to work with us in developing a PAR Program needed in their area; and,
  • who have organized themselves as PAR catalyst group in their particular province in accordance with our Dreams, Values, and Team organizational standards.

Today, PAR Communities have been established in 19 out of 80 provinces in the Philippines. But we still have to nurture, stabilize, strengthen and facilitate the sustainability of these PAR Communities. A few weeks ago, PBCI appointed Tala Bautista, one of our newly-trained field workers, to be the PAR Mobilization Coordinator. Her overall job objectives are:

  • to coordinate, monitor, and evaluate all activities and resource appropriation to reach the monthly, quarterly, and yearly objectives that would lead towards the realization of Vision 2020; and,
  • to assist PBCI in establishing one PAR Community in each of the 80 provinces by 31 December 2020.

par-map-vision2020

Imagine.  By December 31st, 2020, each of our 80 provinces will have a circle of leaders called Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) Communities!  They would serve as the catalysts to organize PAR Teams in their municipalities or cities.  These PAR Teams, in turn, would serve as conflict transformation volunteers in their respective families, churches, neighbourhoods, barangays, cities or municipalities.  The PAR Teams would also get involved in PAR Programs that are relevant to their specific context.

God willing, by January 01, 2021, the 80 PAR Communities in the Philippines would advance as a Peace and Reconciliation Movement with an integrated framework for peace-building, who are organized in partnership with various parts of the People of God, who are mobilized to do ministries of justice and peace in the name of Jesus, and who will lovingly serve all the peoples of our land unconditionally regardless of religion, ethnicity, or political ideology, to the end that our land will experience holistic transformation!

With the power of the Holy Spirit, Dann and I are more energized and motivated to surf God’s waves of peace and reconciliation in this beautiful land.

Thank you, our partners, for being with us through your prayers and support.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://waves.ca/2013/04/20/the-dream-of-par-community-multiplication-is-being-realized/

Jun 06 2011

I’M PRAYING FOR THE PEACE OF SOUTH CHINA SEA

Joji was taking the picture while she was asking me what I think about the dispute between China and the Philippines about Spratly Islands

The Philippines and Vietnam are alarmed by China’s increasing military presence in some islands in South China Sea.

This issue has been causing some fear among us, peace building workers, in the region.

Then, according to the Voice of America, the United States “has offered to facilitate territorial disputes between China and its Southeast Asian neighbors.” In fairness, I’d like to think that the US actually meant facilitating a resolution to this dispute. Just like before, the Super Power may be well-meaning as they get involved in this dispute. But based on their historical record in trying to police the world, I’m skeptic about American peacemaking.

Personally, I think the United States should not get involved in the current South China Sea dispute between the five Southeast Asian nations and China.

Here’s how I understand the nature of the conflict: The Spratly and Paracel archipelagos hold major oil and gas reserves. These archipelagos are claimed in whole or in part by Brunei, China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

In 2002, China and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations signed a pact called The Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. This is a good basis for a multilateral approach to this dispute. Vietnam’s Defense Minister Phung Quang Thanh referred to this document, during a regional meeting in Singapore yesterday, as the framework for a peaceful conversation about this fragile situation.

If the US gets involved, their most probable approach would be towards the equalization of military presence. It’s like Uncle Sam telling Juan dela Cruz, “China’s military presence is in your backyard. Would you like us to protect your backyard from them?”

What was the real reason for the presence of an American aircraft carrier in Philippine waters as the Philippine government struggles with the reality of Chinese military presence in the Spratly Islands? A few days after our President went on board the American aircraft carrier, we hear that our Filipino diplomats in the US are shopping for American military gear! Hmmm…

I know that many of my fellow Filipinos would immediately welcome the support and protection of the Big Brother USA in the face of China’s increasing military presence in South China Sea. I understand the fear of being “bullied” by the Awakened Dragon.

So, I’m facing two risky scenarios: (1) the risk of continuing US military dominance in the Philippines; (2) the risk of a budding military dominance of China in South China Sea.

I’d choose a third risky scenario: the multilateral approach where Brunei, China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam can have conversation based on The Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. I hope President Benigno Simeon Aquino III will pursue this path which he expressed during his dialogue with Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei. Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. of the Presidential Communications Operations Office said:

…the President also raised the issue on the disputed Spratlys Islands, and expressed hope that multi-lateral dialogue participated in by all the claimants be the main avenue in resolving conflict.

“The principal objective is to maintain peace and stability in the region. This is the stance taken in by the Sultan and other ASEAN countries,” Coloma said.

In the discussion, Coloma said the President referred to “certain challenges” in the contested area. Both the Philippines and Brunei, and other Asean countries, including China, are contesting the Spratlys

“The President told the Sultan that there have been some developments in the area recently, that leads us even more purposive in seeking the objective of full cooperation and dialogue,” he said.

Manila Bulletin, “Aquino boosts ties with Brunei”
By Raymund F. Antonio
June 1, 2011, 6:48pm

 

I pray that the US would not impose its involvement.

I pray for peace in South China Sea.

—————————————————–

News Updates on this Issue:

Philippine Daily Inquirer‘s editorial, June 08, 2011

Manila Bulletin‘s editorial, June 09, 2011

Philippine Daily Inquirer’s Update, June 10, 2011

Manila Bulletin Headline, June 10, 2011

Philippine Daily Inquirer, June 11, 2011

 

 

Permanent link to this article: http://waves.ca/2011/06/06/im-praying-for-the-peace-of-south-china-sea/