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Ashoka Fellow Bai Rohaniza Sumndad-Usman
Source: Ashoka Fellow Bai Rohaniza Sumndad-Usman

Peace advocate: Children 'confused' between good, bad in Marawi crisis

This article originally appeared on CNN Philippines

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 23) — Maranao princess and peace advocate Bai Rohaniza "Honey" Sumndad-Usman said some children affected by the Marawi crisis have moral confusion — and peace education is the way to combat it.

The founder of the NGO Teach Peace Build Peace Movement said she was shocked when she discovered some children looked up to extremist groups.

"What really surprised us was when we asked about their hopes and dreams. Between the age bracket of 7 to 12 years old, some of the kids mentioned that they wanted to join a group... doing violent acts," Sumndad-Usman told CNN Philippines' The Source.

She noted some of the children had pleasant encounters with these fighters, who even offered them food.

"Nagkaroon na po sila ng [They have a] confusion between what is right and wrong, who is good and bad," said Sumndad-Usman. "That's why in our peace education sessions... we did a values clarification."

Her organization teaches peace education to children, including those affected by the conflict in Marawi. Their modules aim to impart critical thinking and the differences between peaceful practices and violent ones.

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