'I want a better future for my children. I don’t want them to grow up the way I did.' – Renie Kabagel, Former rebel leader

For the first time in 40 years, former enemies are working side by side to create lasting peace in a region of the Philippines ravaged by conflict. Former rebel leader Renie Kabagel, now an active member of the project, has learned to communicate with his community for the first time without using a gun.

The Bangsamoro Community Policing Project represents a new approach to policing in the Philippines and has been hailed as an example of best practice by neighbouring countries. Former rebel leaders like Renie - who taught to fight as part of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front - are working with police, government, military and the community to design an agreed system of policing. The approach involved various groups visiting the UK to study international policing standards and the development of a community policing toolkit.

The British Council's expertise in increasing understanding and trust between diverse groups has been essential to the project's design, delivery and success. An inclusive approach involving consultation and participation from grassroots communities through to government and police officials was at the heart of the process, empowering individuals to contribute and take ownership of the project.

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