Volunteer Spotlight: Chrystel Manilag

WBW volunteer Chrystel ManilagEach month, we share the stories of World BEYOND War volunteers around the world. Want to volunteer with World BEYOND War? Email greta@worldbeyondwar.org.

Location:

Philippines

How did you get involved with anti-war activism and World BEYOND War (WBW)?

World BEYOND War was introduced to me by a friend. After attending webinars and enrolling in the Organizing 101 Training course, she passionately told me about the organization’s vision and mission that centers on eradicating the institution of war. As I was visiting the website and browsing through its contents, realization hit me like a bucket of cold water – I only had little knowledge about war and military bases and I wrongly underestimated the gravity of the situation. Feeling a sense of responsibility, I was motivated to take action and decided to apply for an internship. Growing up in a country where the terms “activism” and “activist” have negative connotations, interning at World BEYOND War became the beginning of my journey with anti-war activism.

What kinds of activities did you help with as part of your internship?

During my 4-week internship at World BEYOND War, I got the opportunity to work for the No Bases Campaign, articles team, and resources database. Under the No Bases Campaign, my co-interns and I researched the environmental impact of US military bases and subsequently, published an article and gave a presentation on our findings. We also worked with Mr. Mohammed Abunahel on the overseas bases list where my job was to look for helpful resources that focus on US military bases. Under the articles team, I helped post World BEYOND War original content and articles from partner institutions to the WordPress website. Lastly, my co-interns and I assisted in migrating resources to the new database by cross-checking the music/songs on the website with that on the spreadsheet – checking for inconsistencies and filling in missing data along the way.

What’s your top recommendation for someone who wants to get involved with anti-war activism and WBW?

If you’re a newbie to anti-war activism like me, I recommend following World BEYOND War on social media and subscribing to their bimonthly newsletters to learn more about the movement and to keep yourself informed about what’s happening around the world. This opens a window of opportunity to develop our passion in the fight against war and to get involved with the organization through their events and online courses. If you want to take it a step further, become a volunteer or apply for an internship. The bottom line is that anyone is welcome to join in on the movement as long as you have the passion and determination to take action.

What keeps you inspired to advocate for change?

The very fact that change can be attained is what continues to inspire me to advocate for it. Nothing is impossible in this world and there’s definitely something each and every one of us can do to end war and violence. It is this sense of hope that has allowed me to see the light at the end of this dark tunnel – that someday, people will be united and peace will prevail.

How has the coronavirus pandemic impacted you and your internship with WBW?

If there was one good thing that came out of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was the opportunity to intern at World BEYOND War. Since in-person internships were temporarily prohibited due to health and safety reasons, I was able to maximize my online resources which led me to this global organization. For someone who’s living in a different country, the work set-up I had at World BEYOND War proved to be very efficient. Everything was done online and with flexible work hours. This allowed me to effectively manage my duties as an intern as well as my responsibilities as a graduating college student. Looking back, I’ve realized that even in situations like this, human resilience continues to empower us to get back up and move forward.

Posted June 1, 2022.

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