Meikko Forones is a PhD candidate of Politics and International Relations at Monash University’s Gender, Peace and Security Centre. He is supported by the Australian Government’s Research Training Program (RTP) and a recipient of the prestigious Sonia Narodowski PhD Scholarship.
His research project focused on understanding where and how children can contribute to peacebuilding in a post-conflict transition community, as well as the socio-cultural factors that may shape and impede these contributions. The research has been inspired from Meikko’s two-year work experience with Save the Children Philippines (SCP) where he was deeply involved in children and young people empowerment initiatives. In 2019, Meikko was designated by SCP as a seconded Technical Officer to the Ministry of Education’s Special Programs and Projects of the new government of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) – a region in the southern part of the Philippines that struggled with decades-long armed conflict. Through this post, he was able to provide technical support on matters related to policies for conflict-sensitive education in emergencies.
In 2012, he was selected to join other youth participants from ASEAN-member states and Japan to the Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program (SSEAYP), an international diplomatic and cultural exchange program by the Japanese government – to discuss social issues from a global perspective, including children and young people’s participatory rights.
Meikko both obtained his BA Honours in Political Science (2014) and MA in Political Science (2017) degrees at the University of Canterbury through a New Zealand Government Aid Scholarship.