Bainot K. Andao, a project staff of Kadtuntaya Foundation, Inc. (KFI) on children’s rights, was one of the 12 selected members of Child Protection Working Group (CPWG) who participated in the week-long Mine Risk Education Trainer’s Course conducted by the Swiss Foundation for Mine Action (FSD) in partnership with Philippine Campaign to Ban Landmine on April 19-25, 2014.
The training course was held at the office of Community Family Services, Inc. (CFSI) in Cotabato City as part of a signed peace accord between the Government of the Philippines and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), particularly in accordance with the Framework Agreement on Bangsamoro’s Annex on Normalization.
The 12 selected participants were trained as volunteers to conduct an Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) risk education in conflict-affected areas of Central Mindanao. According to Wikipedia, UXOs, sometimes acronymized as UO, are explosive weapons (bullets, shells, bombs, grenades, land mines, naval mines, etc.) that did not explode when they were employed and still pose a risk of detonation, potentially many decades after they were used or discarded.
Highlight of the training was the actual conduct by participants of an UXO risk education in Barangay Darapanan Elementary and Secondary School covering four sessions: for children in Grade 1-3; Grade 4-6; high school students; and community adults.
The awarding of certificates of completion to the 12 mine risk educators was witnessed by ambassadors from the European Union.
Reported by: Bainot Kalanganan
Through the “Improving Product Quality of Coffee Farmers for Better Market Opportunity” of Catholic Relief Services (CRS ) FARM – Infrastructure Project Fund and Kadtuntaya Foundation Inc. (KFI) in coordination with the Local Government Unit of Senator Ninoy Aquino (SNA), Sultan Kudarat province, three 450 square meter solar dyers have been properly turned over within the months of March and April for the barangays of Tinalon, Kadi and Kuden.
This is in support to post-harvest facilities project for the coffee farming communities of the said town. The management and custody of the project will be under the control and supervision of farmer’s associations with strong and active participation of members based on the agreed utilization and sustainability plan.
The Municipality of Sen. Ninoy Aquino is not only known as the progressive supplier of coffee beans in the region; it also boasts as being the No.1 coffee producer in the Philippines and coffee production has been increasing each year with the assistance of the local governments and other support agencies like Nestle, Tri-com and COINDECO.
The main objective of this latest CRS-KFI joint project is to provide accessible and readily available drying facility to the farmers in SNA for them to produce good quality green coffee beans, increase their income, reduce post-harvest expenses, and produce good quality dry coffee beans.
To ensure that the project will be sustained, the Barangay Council of each three beneficiary barangays allocated local counterparts during the acquisition of materials, actual construction, monitoring and maintenance.
During the operation stage, the main proponents and clusters will formulate policies to ensure proper recording of income and expenses for monitoring purposes. Cluster meetings will be also called regularly to update the members on the status of the project. At the project end, KFI and the Office of the Municipal Agriculturist as well as the BLGUs will conduct continuous advocacy and monitoring.
Reported by: Lo Ivan Castillon
Two top officials of Mensen met een Missie, the Netherlands-based funding agency of one of KFI’s community-based peacebuilding projects, visited the project site in North Binangga, Municipality of Talayan, Maguindanao on February 18.
Ton Groeneweg and Marjan Stoffers, Head of the agency’s Asia and of Program Department respectively, represented Mensen to assess the project’s third year of implementation and to validate its 2013 annual report.
The project “Enhancing Community Participation in Peacebuilding” has the goal of building peaceful communities by empowering people at the grassroots level to participate in conflict transformation.
The project encompasses four adjacent barangays of Talayan such as Katibpuan, North Binangga, Dimablac and Linamunan. Project officer Norman Abas said their main activities are focused on organizing and mobilization of local peace volunteers, updating on Framework Agreement on Bangsamoro (FAB) at the grassroots level, monitoring of human rights violations, and formulation of community-based peacebuilding plan.
Security measures for the visitors were given significant consideration beforehand by leg-working and proper protocol with the local authorities and community leaders. Together with the Tiyakap Kalilintad (Care for Peace) volunteers and members, KFI Admin Officer Omar Juanday and barangay local officials, the conduct of focus group discussion (FGD) and one-on-one interviews with the partner-beneficiaries have been successfully facilitated.
During the FGD, the role of organized peace group (Tiyakap) in promoting peacebuilding advocacies have been highlighted with the peace volunteers’ sharing of their personal experiences in mediating in or resolving conflicts. Land grabbing, stealing of domesticated animals and family conflict were just some of the conflicts resolved through their intervention. In a ceremony attended by different local and international stakeholders, the project declared North Binanga and Katibpuan last December 21, 2013 as Darussalam or Zone of Peace.
The community also brought to the attention of the visitors some problems and concerns which they hope the funding agency may support. Nevertheless, Groeneweg told them of Mensen’s limitations in supporting such concerns.
“Though this program may not answer all the problems of the community, looking forward it would be a good start and in the long run, support from other agencies both government and non-government will go through with the stable and positive peace and order situation in the locality”, he said.
The activity ended with a sumptuous lunch prepared by the community. Exchange of thanksgiving also ensued afterwards. Both the visitors and hosts were very positive on the outcome and impact of the project to the community without ignoring some lessons learned in the process and with hope that peace may come very soon.
Reported by: Lo Ivan Castillon