Moved by a vision of dialogue, Fr. Sebastiano D’Ambra, PIME and groups of Muslim and Christian friends started Silsilah Dialogue Movement on May 9, 1984 in Zamboanga City and was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under the legal name Silsilah Foundation, Inc. on April 26, 1985. Its operations are supported by foreign donor agencies from European countries.
In the beginning, its activity started with a gathering of a small group of Muslims and Christians who committed to meet every week for a common prayer, for formation and sharing of life experiences and the first project/program was the Silsilah Solidarity Program and Silsilah Publications. From that time on, Silsilah has grown a lot in terms of programs, activities, initiatives, linkages on the local, national and international levels and it has always been in the front line for dialogue and peace, especially in Mindanao.
Silsilah as a dialogue movement promotes deeper understanding and better relations between Muslims and Christians. Its members, alumni, families, communities and other linkages are composed of Muslims, Christians and other faiths.
“The various activities and initiatives have been very dynamic because Silsilah was able to build an attitude of trust, people believe in what we do and in what we wish to convey in a concrete situation where division between Muslims and Christians is evident and is compounded by political events in Mindanao.”
In 1990, Silsilah received a donation of ten (10) hectares of land now called Harmony Village, the official home of Silsilah, located in Pitogo, Sinunuc, Zamboanga City. Inside the village are some structures that were made possible through donations. The different structures also serve as facilities of the Oasis Livelihood and Training Center that generate local income. All revenues derived from the activities of Silsilah and from other groups are used to expand the mission of Silsilah.
Silsilah Foundation is a recipient of the Goi Peace Award of Japan in 2013 in recognition of its many years of commitment to promote dialogue for peace and solidarity among Muslims and Christians in the Philippines.