page 2 news feature
Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation Inc. (MISFI) implements Action REPAIR in Southern Philippines
Kung dunay pagkaon, ug busog, dili makahuna-huna og kagubot
Kung may laman ang tiyan, di ka makakaisip ng gulo
While ultimate peace has not yet been achieved in Southern Philippines, the Mindanao Interfaith Services Foundation, Inc. is building steps towards the attainment of peace through the safe pathway of development.
Director Percinita J. Sanchez has taken the lead in empowering 39 communities in Agusan del Sur, Davao del Norte, Bukidnon, North Cotabato, Davao City, Davao Oriental, and Maguindanao.
Appropriately called Action REPAIR or Rebuilding Pathways towards Integral Peace and Development for the Uprooted People in Mindanao, the project aims to improve the socio-economic situation of the uprooted people as a mechanism to regain their opportunities lost in armed conflict while strengthening their defense and resiliency to factors leading to their displacement.
Action REPAIR was implemented in 39 communities in the five regions of Mindanao covering 8 provinces, 14 municipalities, one city and 26 barangays with 4,648 Muslim, indigenous and Christian families or approximately 28,392 individuals assisted.
MISFI is one of the grantees of the Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines under its humanitarian aid programme. The MISF, Inc. received a total of €971,632.06 for its Action REPAIR venture.
A two-year initiative which ended on June 2009, the project had the following components: sustainable agriculture, community education, health and nutrition, psycho-social therapy, peace advocacy and disaster preparedness.
Director Sanchez said that while the project had finished already last year, the legacies still remain.
Concrete proofs are level 2 water systems in 20 out of 39 communities covered in the project. Level 2 water system means tap stands have been installed for every 10 households in the 20 communities.
“For as long as the water keeps flowing, we will always be reminded of the Action REPAIR project funded by the European Union”, she said. “Water symbolises hope for the internally-displaced people. You cannot imagine how people were grateful for the safe drinking water that they have, as for now, they no longer need to hike for few kilometres just to get access to water”. Pump and well facilities have been put up in North Cotabato and Maguindanao while spring development for the lumads.
With water systems in place, comes not just hope but rather a means to livelihood, and eventually, better health and better life.
Residents of Sitio Nabunturan, Barangay Kalagangan, San Fernando, Bukidnon with their evacuation drill during the Community based Disaster Management Training conducted by MISFI last 2008.