Archive of ‘IFP’ category

Post IFP Conference Reflection

“Dear new UWCSEA IBDP Class,

Initiative for Peace is a once in a lifetime experience, the lessons you learn during that week are some of the most important lessons you can ever learn. After coming back from this conference I feel like a new and improved version of myself and I have made friends from across South East Asia who I will never forget. If you are signing up to do IFP you must be sure to be fully committed to it.

These are the top 3 ethical considerations to bear in mind before joining IFP: you should know to be someone who is not patronising, be someone who is aware of what these delegates have been through, as well as this you need to be someone who cares enough to not let go of the friendships you make during this week log conference. The last ethical consideration you must bear in mind is the way you act with your fellow facilitators, you shouldn’t leave the delegates out, most of them travel hours and hours to see you so please ensure that you make them feel included at all times.

Through IFP I was able to identify my strength in leadership, this evolved over the course of the year. I noticed this during my time in IFP, before arriving at the conference when we had to present at school,  I would always shake and stutter when asked to present. However, upon reaching the conference something within me changed. I was able to speak confidently in front of all 80 people, as time went on at the conference I found it easier and easier to speak in front of larger groups of people. As well as this I got more confident in giving simplified instructions.

You would’ve seen my commitment to IFP when we were doing our outside of school sessions, we did the Peace by Piece conference, through these many different IFP activities I was able to show that I would be able to commit my time to the conference. As well as this during the entirety of the conference there was never an occasion where my energy wavered, I knew that these delegates spent hours and hours getting here and it was not right of me to ever act low or detached from them. I made sure to make them feel as welcome as possible. Not only this but, even months after the conference came to a close I am still in contact with delegates who were a part of the conference on social media.

IFP cannot happen without a strong belief in the power of collaboration. The three moments which best demonstrated our ability to improve as a collaborative team were when one of the groups was struggling to stick with the time allocated to them, we found a way to work out ways to include the activities they wanted into the timetable of the conference. This meant compromises from the other groups but, we worked together to come up with the best possible outcome for the conference. As well as this we also worked together in a less direct sense, what I mean by this is that we worked together to make sure all the delegates felt welcome and felt like they belonged. We would split up and sit with a variety of delegates and made sure none of them were ever alone.

The one most significant thing that I learned through IFP was that the world is in need of a lot more positivity, the amount of positivity I experienced in IFP is indescribable, we supported each other throughout the conference, we overcame our differences and learnt to just accept and love. As well as this I learnt that it is up to us, our generation to make a difference whether it is small or big is not the point,  I was able to access this learning by speaking to many of the delegates. Through them I was able to learn that I have what it takes to make a difference, I have what it takes to do more than just a desk job. They taught me that I can do something and that what I do can have an impact because I impacted them.

IFP is an experience that can never be replaced in my mind, it is something I will never forget. Whenever I feel down I know that the thought of what I learnt in IFP will take over and make me determined and hopeful again. So, if you are joining IFP be sure to be very committed to it because it is truly an experience you will never forget.”

IFP: Consolidation of Learning Post


Main Video:

Where is your learning going? How will you apply skills, qualities you’ve developed outside of IFP?

I believe the things learnt in IFP are very relevant to what is going on in the world right now. We have learnt not only about the different types of conflict and what they mean and the ways we must address them, we also found out more about ourselves and our importance in a team and the ways in which we can be useful. This relates to the sessions we had about positive peace and negative peace, most conflict resolutions should aim to be positive peace as positive peace attacks the deep and underlying problem and can potentially end the conflict and prevent it from occurring again.  We recently had a session about the ways to have a proper conversation and the ways to know that the conversation is either one sided or non directional. We learnt the many characteristics of a good conversation, how we should make someone feel as though they are being heard. The way I see the skills and knowledge I have gained from IFP going is, in the case that I see a conflict going on I know how to address the issue without making the person I am talking to feel as though their issue is any less than what it is.

What have you learned about collaboration? Have you learned to be more effective when working with others? What’s your biggest obstacle when asked to contribute to a team?

I have learnt that when collaborating with someone you should never listen to answer, you should listen with the intent to listen and only to listen so that the person who is talking to you does not feel as though they aren’t being heard. This relates to collaboration because when you are working with someone you should talk to them as well as listen to them with the intent to hear their ideas and potentially implement them. I feel that the most effective way to work with others is to actually listen to the ideas they are talking about and show interest but, also to give critical feedback so that you show that you understand what they are saying but feel like it could use more work because IFP is also about learning from each other.

In what ways have you been a mentor to others this year? Where and when have you shown initiative?

I feel as though during the Joint Training Session I was able to conduct most of the session  or if the session was not productive I was the one who would try to get people to work again and get the session going again. I feel as though I showed initiative during the Joint Training Session  as I eel as though I gave a lot of ideas to the group and I tried my best to keep our group on track and I tried my best to keep al of the ideas we had on the issue related to IFP and though provoking. I feel as though after the Joint Training Session I got a much better understanding about what I will be doing during the actual conferences we facilitate.

Which session has done the most to address your areas for improvement as a peace builder? How did that session encourage growth?

My biggest takeaway from IFP

What have you learned about leadership & what qualities and skills have you developed in IFP to help  do this?

My IFP Public Speaking experience

What has your engagement in IFP looked like your peers? What makes you say so?

I feel as though my engagement in IFP is shown through my multiple posts as well as the amount I contribute during sessions. I also think that others can notice that I am passionate about IFP and the sessions that happen during IFP. I always have engaging conversations with everybody who is in my group. Every time I exit an IFP session it is very apparent that I have come out with something new I have learnt, something that interests me enough to go home and tell my family, enough for me to speak to my classmates, my teachers, and my friends about. I always feel rewarded after an IFP session and I know what Ive learnt in IFP will go with my to college as well as life in general.

Dear Mentor Group…….

Dear mentor group:

Here’s what we should do next Tuesday, let us discuss Rumi’s poem “The Guest House”. Through this poem we should answer the questions: “What does Rumi say about human nature through this poem?” , “What does this mean in terms of solving conflict?” and “What significance does the last line play in terms of getting his message across”


“The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.

Be grateful for whatever comes.
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

— Jellaludin Rumi,
translation by Coleman Barks”

We should first read the poem as a class to get a feel of the mood of this poem, secondly we should analyse the words he uses when talking about humans and the different adjectives used when describing the different guests (emotions). Lastly we should talk about how this plays a role in peace building and how significant Rumi’s message is.

I believe through analysing and looking through this lovely poem we will be able to better understand humans and also better understand how we should go about everyday life. This poem really opened my eyes and spoke to me about how significant each and every feeling we feel plays an important role in our lives.


Peacebuilding…..what is it?

Today in our IFP meeting we discussed what peace building was and how it connects to what we do at IFP. We discussed that peace building can be anywhere, it is not only with stopping wars, it also deals with standing up for someone who is being bullied, or standing up for a minority group in a local community.

We were then asked to look at Galtung’s ABC triangle of conflict, Galtung believes that there is visible conflict and invisible conflict. Visible conflict is usually the behaviour exhibited such as punching somebody, or bombing a country. It is the action taken due to the invisible conflict. The invisible conflict is the Attitude and the Context of the conflict, this aims to look at the feelings and perspectives of the people involved which led them to take that action. Whereas context mainly looks at the historical background, economical and political stances of the parties involved.

Using this ABC Triangle we were asked to look at the Syrian conflict and then categorise the different events that took place into Attitude, Behaviour, or Context. We looked at how this entire conflict started and the possible reasons behind this horrible tragedy still taking place.

I believe that through doing this activity, we, as people who have no direct attachment or direct involvement in this conflict were able to get a better understanding of what is truly going on and the underlying issues which have led to this horrific war going on in Syria. This activity really helped me understand the reasons for this conflict and the very unethical decisions that were made in order for certain countries/ people to maintain power. I hope through many activities such as this I will be able to get a better understanding of many of the current events and their underlying issues and not just look at the actions (behaviour) being taken.

IFP One Day Peace Conference

Last Sunday (10th September 2017) I went to my first IFP conference. In the beginning I was quite apprehensive as I didn’t know what to expect and what we would be doing. However as the day went on I started to like the whole idea of an IFP Conference. We are not there to come up with resolutions for world issues, we are there to make a live and actually visible difference to people’s understandings of words and phrases that correspond to everyday life.

The activity that got to me most was the activity we did in the “Violence” committee where we closed our eyes and stood in a circle and voiced our personal experiences with violence, and because everybody was blindfolded there was no chance for a feeling of judgement. It was a truly safe space which made me quite hopeful for the future of IFP, the fact that it can make someone who is quite closed off into someone who is comfortable enough to talk about personal experiences with serious issues like violence.

I was also impacted greatly by the “Discrimination” committee as it shed light on the fact that many stereotypes that were formed ages ago are still at work today. Stereotypes like woman are weaker, men can’t cry, woman can only be angry if it is “their time of the month”. It sparked something in me that made so aware of the fact that woman and men are still treated unequally to this day. We had an interesting conversation in my group about the media’s role in stereotypes and discrimination. I voiced my knowledge on the fact that most “women’s” magazines tend to have more articles on how to look better, how to clear skin, how to get a flat stomach. Whereas “men’s” magazines consisted of more interesting articles on how to build a boat, or how to make an app. I found this quite upsetting that woman’s magazines focused more on the looks, the exterior whereas, men’s magazines focused on furthering knowledge and learning new things. Woman are obviously more than just their looks.

This conference made a lasting impact on me and sparked an interest in me that is making me proud to be a part of this “Initiative For Peace” movement. I want to make a change to people’s lives and their views on certain issues in order to make them more open-minded to help build amore accepting and safer environment for all.