Aikido at SDC: a healthy mind in a healthy body

Since the launching of aikido activities at SDC last August, the interest of the children has been growing despite the initial doubts raising from the local staff and some neighbouring communities. Indeed a few people have been worried that this new program would actually promote the use of violence for these young teenagers who are already invoved into a violent environment. However it rapidly proved that there would not be any negative outcome generated by this activity. Mostly used to practicing basketball, the children really appreciate this new way of getting conscious of their body while stimulating their mind. Mind setting is a major factor in the practice of this martial art which was created in the 1950's aside to ju-jitsu, kenjutsu (art of saber) and aikijujitsu (art of harmonizing energies). A healthy mind in a healthy body: these are two inseparable and complementary entities!

Week after week, around 15 children have been initiated to the various self-defense techniques taught by the team of volunteers from Warriors For Peace (http://bacolod-partners.blogspot.com/2012/08/conflict-management-prevention-with.html). The latter made sure that the children were mature enough to adopt a non-violent approach in order to prevent any risk of incident between the young people and also toward the staff.

The 12 matresses required for the practice have been funded by HOST-NGO, thanks to our generous donors. In order to educate the children on the importance to preserve the equipment at the SDC, and also as a way of reducing the costs, they have been involved into the making of the matresses. Kenneth L. Materum, volunteer from Warriors For Peace, and one of our volunteer from HOST-NGO, have run the workshops teaching to the children how to assemble the plywood slabs with the layers made of rubber and styrofoam, which were then wrapped with vinyl plastic.

The frequency of the sessions has been increased to twice a week at the SDC. The practice room has become an actual Dojo with this new equipment, which enabled to set-up the same routines as the ones to be found all over Asia and throughout the world. The practice has also been enhanced with the viewing of documentaries on aikido. This program is already successful as some of the young participants are willing to enter a Dojo when they will leave the center. Warriors For Peace is committed to help them achieve that goal. This will be an amazing reward considering the patient and passionate contribution from Warriors For Peace, which has been striving for years to promote peace and dialogue between the communities on the Negros Island.

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Support program for vulnerable children and families in Bacolod City

The objective is to design and implement a development program supporting the disadvantaged members of the community of Bacolod City, Philippines. This approach is based on the observation of best practices identified in various projects implemented in Southeast Asia and in the rest of the world. The program aims at providing rehabilitation opportunities to isolated children and families in order to facilitate their successful integration into the local community. This includes dealing with social inclusion, socioeconomic development, public health, sustainable production and consumption, as well as green technologies.