It is with deep sadness that Shift announces the passing of friend and Board member Annabelle T. Abaya, or “Belle,” as she was known to friends, family and colleagues.

Belle was considered by many to be the “Mother of Peace and Mediation” in the Philippines. She lived her life teaching to others the importance of open communication, and mentored and trained a new generation of Philippine mediators on these same philosophies. She served as mediation consultant for various organizations including the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, Harvard University and the United States Institute for Peace.

Among her many accomplishments, Belle founded The Conflict Resolution Group (CoRe), a foundation dedicated to non-adversarial processes of conflict resolution. In 2009, she was appointed as Secretary of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process in the Philippines. During her tenure, she successfully reopened negotiations on multiple deadlocked fronts with the Communist Party, New People’s Army, and National Democratic Front. In recognition of her work, she was awarded the Presidential Order of Lakandula, Rank of Bayani or National Hero.

Shift is honored to have had Belle as one of its founding Board members. Her legacy will continue to inspire.

Shift is grateful for the kind donation made to its work by “Friends in Honor of Belle Abaya,” to celebrate Belle’s life and work.