I never thought I would be in the radio. But life is full of surprises and so Munya (Zimbabwe), Sakib (Bangladesh), Cengiz (Turkey) and I had the incredible opportunity to be interviewed by RTHK, Hong Kongs biggest public broadcasting organisation, currently operating seven radio channels.
After a short bus ride, we arrived at the RTHK building, where we were sent to the foyer and waited for Alyson Hau, the moderator of the RTHK Teen Times to pick us up. We had never met her before, but the moment she walked in the foyer, followed by a group of students, we knew it was her: she had the perfect “radio voice”.
She greeted us with a warm smile and guided us to the studio. Surrounded by microphones and buttons we first introduced ourselves and had a lovely chat with Alyson. She gave us a brief overview of the program we would be heard in:”Open Space” a feature of the RTHK “Teen Time” (airs from Monday to Friday, 9pm-10pm) where students from Hong Kong come on air to express their views.
Our interview was about Initiative for Peace (IFP), one of our Quan Cais. As I have not written a blogpost fully explaining IFP yet (but you can read about our IFP Change of Pace Day on this link), here is a little summary of what Initiative for Peace actually is:
Founded 8 years ago, IFP aims spreading knowledge on conflict management and resolution to various local and international communities. Each and every member of IFP undergoes theoretical as well as practical training on Conflict Management (read about my training here), empowering them with the tools necessary to facilitate day camps and conferences. The practical application of knowledge on conflict management takes place through different activities divided into three categories:
a) Warm Ups: These activities are designed to function as ice-breakers in order to engage the participants for the activities that are to follow and provide them with a very basic understanding of conflicts.
b) The General Activities: These form the main body of IFP designed and led activities. They are in various forms ranging from discussions to active role-playing, each representing different aspects of Conflict management.
c) Simulations: These are real live situations modelled by participants to reflect real international issues. These are the most complex and take the longest time to complete as, similar to real life, they require extensive amounts of negotiation.
IFP regularly invites members of both local and international community to day camps where we bring in students from different schools and hold activities to enhance their knowledge and application of conflict management theory. One o fmy most memorable daycamps was with a minority school: the students were reflected very well on the activities we conducted with them and told us how happy they were to have had the chance to participate in a day camp. Through the activities, we hope that the participants learn methods in which they can use to deal with natural everyday conflicts.
The main event of the year for IFP is the conference at the end of the school year – i am very excited for this conference! The preparation time and selection of applicants ( we have an acceptance rate that is smaller than some U.S. universities!) was a long but very worthy process. In this conference, we invite participants from areas which are going through internal conflict in the South East Asia region. Our current focus is on Mindanao in the Phillipines, where there was a religious conflict. IFP is in the process of changing this focus next year and shifting it to the Southern Thailand region, with the aim of setting up a conflict management and resolution conference there.
In May this year, we will be inviting participants from the Phillipines to come for a one week conference, in which we will share our knowledge on conflict management and resolution with them, with the goal of expanding their knowledge on this topic and going back home with the skills that can help them to make a difference and spread peace in their local community. Through working closely with student communities in the local environment, as well as abroad, IFP aims to bring out the potential of every student to function as a peacemaker.Next year we will be focussing on the Southern Thailand region!
The interview went quite well and we recorded about 20 minutes of material (only 10 will be featured), shared a lot of laughter and got to peek behind the stage (or mics in this case) of a big radio broadcasting company. If you live in Hong Kong, feel free to turn on the radio on June 2nd 9pm! (Or if you have internet access, you can listen to us online as well by clicking here)