by Rechelle Ann Tolinero-Barraquias, with contributions from Angelo Lorenzo

With its aim to actively engage junior high school students in Cagayan de Oro City in peace-related activities in their respective schools, PeaceKwela, a social marketing campaign designed by Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan’s Development Communication (DevCom) students landed on Top 5 (Honorable Mention) in the recently-concluded Peer to Peer: Facebook Global Digital Challenge (P2P), besting more than 80 universities across the world.

The campaign was conceived as a final requirement for the students who took up DC 28: Strategic Communications for Development under the Service Learning Program (SLP) of the university.

Since its launch, PeaceKwela has visited local schools and installed Peace Info Booths, where volunteers hand out bookmarks, post-it stamps, stickers, and dove-shaped paper strips so that students can write their messages. PeaceKwela’s Facebook page also constantly posts positive messages and daily tips.

“Mindanao is currently traumatized by what Marawi had undergone last year, as well as the extension of Martial Law,” said campaign’s team leader and DevCom student Karlo Jess Abecia. “But PeaceKwela is here to supplement the idea that peace among ourselves is attainable in our own little way.”

Sponsored by social network giant Facebook, P2P is an initiative designed to empower young people to counter hateful and extremist content on social media. Other universities in the top 5 were from Belgium, Turkey, Nigeria, and Bangladesh.

As an Honorable Mention, PeaceKwela received $500 of Facebook ad credits to pursue their campaign online.

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