Arizza Ann Nocum

Country representing

Philippines

Languages

Tagalog
English

Education

  • University of the Philippines - Diliman
  • Undergraduate Student (Majoring in Industrial Engineering)

Current organisation

KRIS Library

Current role

Overall Head

Skills and Expertise

Education
Engineering
Project management
Public relations
Social entrepreneurship

Areas of interest

Business
Education
Interfaith Dialogue
Peace and Conflict
Sustainable Development

Website & Social Links

I am passionate about

I am most passionate about sustainable development - particularly in the fields of education and peace. I believe that our nations, our communities and our world cannot truly progress without an educated people living without fear of terrorism and conflict. I am passionate about peace because I am a Filipino "hybrid". My mother is a Muslim from an ethnic tribe in the island of Sulu and my father is a Catholic from Zamboanga province. Growing up, my parents taught me that love and understanding can be nurtured even in the presence of two religions. They taught me to value the similarities between these two great religions, and to understand the differences. However, I saw that the peace I found in my home was difficult to replicate outside of our family. In Zamboanga, Sulu and nearby islands in the Southern region of the Philippines, I grew up hearing news about conflicts between Christians and Muslims. I grew up finding out about the crimes of religious extremists not just in the Philippines but also in the ASEAN region and the world. This is why I value the possibility of peace in the world - if it is possible in my home, it is definitely possible outside of it. I am passionate about education because, since I was 12 years old, I have been studying under full scholarships paid for by the taxes of the Filipino people. If it were not for these scholarships, I would not be who I am today. I would not be a productive, driven and informed member of society. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for millions of people in the world who still do not have access to education. Without it, they cannot realize their full potential and achieve their goals. Education and peace work together to enable people. With more efforts directed towards educating and promoting unity and peace (such as One Young World), I am optimistic that we can empower more people to create and sustain positive cycles of change.

Actions

To pursue my passion for peace and education, I have been the Overall Head of a non-profit organization called KRIS Library since 2011. KRIS Library is short for Kristiyano-Islam Peace Library (or Christian-Muslim Peace Library). KRIS Library provides opportunities for young people in the Philippines to promote peace and to access education. We have now built 6 libraries in poor and conflicted areas in the Philippines. The communities we serve include slum areas, suspected terrorist camps and mixed cultural communities. Each library provides books, computers and educational resources that are not usually found in these areas. Each library has, over the years, become a hub where Muslim and Christian children come to read together, learn together, study together and make lasting friendships. Each library hosts numerous activities for the children. These activities are facilitated by volunteers who have come prominently from Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Taiwan, Japan and other Asian countries. We have also had volunteers from Europe and Africa. Through this volunteer program, we aim to expose our kids to more cultures to encourage in them the openness that is necessary for peace. Aside from our libraries, we have also started a Scholarship Program for the underprivileged children we serve. We have provided nearly 400 scholarship grants in the past 4 years. Just this year, seven students from our first batch of scholars graduated from their respective universities through our program. Moreover, we have also sent at least 50,000 books over the years to public schools in remote communities - especially in far-flung islands of the Philippines. Our books come from generous donors from the Philippines and the world. Though I have principally lead KRIS Library, these accomplishments would not be possible without the lasting support of many volunteers, donors, partners and friends. For more information, please visit www.krislibrary.com.