Bobet Dimaukom is a young and passionate peace worker born and raised in the Philippines. Educated as a teacher, he started working in a government special agency while he was still a college student. His work involved monitoring ceasefire implementations in local communities during the ongoing peace process between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Philippines government at the time, compiling information and sharing it directly with the negotiating parties. Feeling unfulfilled with his work, he left the government and decided to devote himself to work full time with NGOs that support peace work.
Bobet had already heard about forumZFD around 2008, when they established a presence in Cotabato City. Seeing that they were sincere and passionate in their intentions to help address social issues, he kept track of forumZFD and participating in activities with them until 2014 when he decided to apply for a job with them. Since then he has been working for forumZFD in several positions as a Project Officer or Project Manager.
In 2019, forumZFD granted him a scholarship in order to take the full-time course in Peace and Conflict Work at the Academy for Conflict Transformation in Germany. Bobet says this was an incredible, life-changing event; he happily shared with us his experience:
“The most rewarding part I would say is building relationships with fellow participants. The experience of being together with a very diverse group was at first difficult, because everyone has different perspectives. But getting to understand different concepts and experiences was very interesting and insightful; to learn about other perspectives towards peace and conflict work. Already working with forumZFD, to me it was kind of natural to understand these things - but learning about this together with other participants who had limited background on this was very interesting. You don’t have to work in a peacebuilding organisation to be inspired to work for peace. While other participants were connected with forumZFD, we had a participant who is inclined in music, a lawyer and a women’s rights advocate, and others who are professional coaches who provide psychological support. These people came to the academy together and it was a good mix.”
After coming back from the course as a certified consultant, Bobet continued his job as Project Manager but felt more inspired to share what he learned with his colleagues. Whereas in the past external facilitators were hired for trainings, he now likes to facilitate topics and inputs himself whenever possible; sharing knowledge in topics such as nonviolent conflict transformation, nonviolent communication, encouraging self-care and mental health, among others.
Bobet thinks the Academy for Conflict Transformation is doing much needed work, and encourages anyone to experience the course in Peace and Conflict work, in order to be better equipped to contribute to peace work everywhere.