Terminal Report (on Community Empowerment Project with JICA)

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EMPOWERING CAPACITIES OF WOMEN IN SPECIAL CONDITONS PROJECTS

 

NARRATIVE DESCRIPTION OF PRIMARY ACTIVITIES:

 

The Maguindanao province in Mindanao is the location of massive displacements of whole communities due to armed conflict between the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and non-state actors; and between feuding clans. The primary conflict in this area is between the GPH and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), though the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Movement (BIFM) and its armed wing the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) led by Ameril Umbra Kato staged sporadic violent clashes against government forces in different communities. The BIFM seceded from MILF following the collapse of the peace process in 2008, wherein the Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain (MOA-AD) was declared unconstitutional. In August 2012, the BIFF launched simultaneous attacks in Maguindanao Province prompting the government forces to retaliate. Thus, Maguindanao renewed its part as the battleground of different armed forces. The presence of differing armed groups in the ARMM manifests even in the communities where families align themselves with either the MILF, the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), the Abu Sayaff, or the BIFM. Thus exacerbating the war-torn state of the region is RIDO or bloody clan feuds.

 

Over and above the violation of the civil and political rights of the civilian populace due to ensuing conflict is also the violation of their economic, social, and cultural rights. Communities were fragmented, uprooted from their places of origin and source of living, pressing them more in dire poverty, poor health, hunger, malnutrition, poor economic capacity, inaccessibility to housing and other social infrastructure. It is a heart wrenching reality and it greatly affected their patterns of life which increased their vulnerability into dangerous elements. The project entitled “Empowering Capacities of Women in Special Conditions Project” overall goal is to improve social, mental health and economic capacities of women and girls in special conditions in identified communities. With the general objective of enhancing overall capacities of organized women groups as early warning and quick response mechanism to respond to and address trauma and human rights abuses done to women due to conflict. The beneficiaries included the women’s groups in three (3) affected Barangays namely, Brgy. Libutan of Mamasapano municipality, Brgy. Balanaken in Datu Piang municipality, and Brgy. Dapiawan of Datu Saudi Ampatuan municipality

 

In October 15, 2012, the GPH and the MILF signed the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro (FAB) that is expected to pave the way for a just and lasting peace in Mindanao. Indeed, this initial step of the government and MILF will eventually rebound its benefits to the Bangsamoro community, however, much is still left undone to ensure that the peace process will be accomplished and more so in ensuring that the communities can achieve desired quality and security of life.

 

Major Activity Undertaken

1.      Project Briefing /Orientation and Staff Planning-

Prior actual field work under this project, a staff briefing and orientation on project details was conducted in order for the whole staff who are directly and indirectly going to be involved in the project to be well aware of the project details, timeframes and parameters.

Included in the project orientation and planning is the tasking on specific responsibilities and deliverables by both program and finance staff, so that project is properly implemented and project objectives are effectively attained.

 

2.     Community Orientation & Formation

 

A project orientation and formation of mechanism were conducted in the three (3) Barangays namely Barangay. Balanaken in Datu Piang, Barangay Libutan in Mamasapano, and Barangay Dapiawan of Datu Saudi Ampatuan Municipalities. The said Community Orientations and formation of mechanism started last October 10 and ended November 14, 2011. The objective of the said activities is to formally introduce the project to the communities and for them to have an overview of the project to gain their support and cooperation. With the formation of the community mechanism it was understood by the communities the importance of this formation because of the recurrent conflict these communities are greatly affected by it and this justify the formation. Identified members of the mechanism can now directly access to the Bangsamoro Wellness Center a temporary shelter for women and children who survived physical and psychological abuses committed against them. The formed mechanism is the outreach arm wing of the Center who can refer cases of violence against women and children. The formed mechanism will be managed by selected officers from the community and provided with livelihood project for the sustainability of the organization. Members of the formed mechanism Early Warning Early Response were selected on the basis of the following criteria:

 

They are multi-sectoral women and youth leaders from the targeted barangays and are credible and exert degree of influence in the community, including heads of people’s organizations and similar local formations. They are politically and emotionally matured and have a deep grasp and understanding of the local issue and problems in their respective communities and the are committed, dedicated and willing to spare their time and resources to the cause, as well as ready to assume tasks and responsibilities in times of crisis. They were trained in psychosocial and human rights documentation, monitoring, etc. their primary task is to identify, locate and refer women and girls who are experiencing vulnerable situations or have yet unaddressed their feelings of woundedness and refer them to the center.

 

The activity has been a great opportunity for the project personnel to explain the goals and objectives of the said project and it’s general benefits for the entire community, and able to built trust and confidence between the UnYPhil staff and the community beneficiaries. It opened the windows for the direct beneficiaries to raise questions and give recommendations to ensure the effective implementation and operation of the said project.

3.        Courtesy Call/Coordination Phase/IDPs Assessment

 

Courtesy calls/ coordinations were also conducted in the three (3) Local Government Offices of Datu Saudi Ampatuan, Datu Piang and Mamasapano Municipalities including Barangay Officials of the targeted Barangays with the various stakeholders such as MLGU’s, MSWDO, BLGU’s, as an initial steps of the projects activities. Courtesy calls and coordination’s aimed to officially meet LGU’s of each targeted area and provide them with a quick overview of the project and specific activities to be undertaken and to support from them for the project to be successful.

The MLGUs, BLGUs and other stakeholders expressed their appreciation and willingness to assist, cooperate and support the project.

 

4.          Monitoring of Mechanism

 

A monthly monitoring of the formed mechanism were conducted to ensure response to the issues referred by the organization and to update data provided to the Protection Cluster group a network of International Non-Government Organizations and local Non-Government Organizations headed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

 

A community monitoring to gather information and concerns of the three (3) targeted villages focused on their security, health, and education and the government’s response through the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps)- Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT). The Human Rights Based Approach (HRBA) was the parameter in monitoring and evaluating the community situation and the pertinent issues that should be addressed by concerned agencies.

1.      Capacity Building

 

This component of the project facilitated the capacity build-up of the organized women in three barangays that are conflict-affected through the conduct of trainings on Knowing Self Making A Difference, Empowering Rights of Women & Girls, Life Skills Improvement, and Introduction to Basic Literacy. These trainings were also extended in the targeted barangays as community based training and it was conducted and facilitated by the participants who underwent the trainers training.

 

All trainings conducted utilized the methodology of contemporary workshops facilitated in Mindanao, which feature series of group exercises, situationers, role-plays, lectures, activities, educational discussions, and film showings. Each of the trainings implemented used an inclusive approach. The trainings were participatory and experiential training.

All the trainings have three-day duration. Participants arrived on the afternoon before the first day of session and depart on the morning after the third day of session.

Training designs and training modules used was developed and contextualized to the Mindanao grassroots dynamics for the participants to easily relate and identify with the contents of the training and its implications to their respective communities. Each module designed in such a way as to ensure that participants shall be procedurally trained in both theory and praxis.

Trainers/facilitators with reputable experience and expertise were contracted for these trainings. On a per-topic basis, resource persons from partner organizations with the relevant expertise were also invited.

The first wave of training for both the women’s group and the community were conducted between November 2011 to February 2012. And the second wave was between September 2012 to November 2012

Following are the trainings conducted in the community:

Community Based Trainings

 

  1. CB-Conflict Mapping &Analysis Training

          August 1, 2 and 6, 2012

  1. Early Warning & Quick Response Training

          September 15, 16, 17, 2013

  1. Community Inter-Phase w/ Mechanism

           October 10, 11 and 12, 2012

 

GOALS:

1. As a result of organizing women QRTs in additional communities considered vulnerable, a greater number of women are protected of their rights and are able to access legal remedies against those who have harmed them.

2. UnyPhil-Women has broader and deeper access to women in vulnerable communities, where such access can be utilized for future development and advocacy-based interventions for women and children therein.

INDICATORS:

1.      As a result of organizing women groups in vulnerable communities more women are able to access legal remedies against those who have harmed them. Please provide examples and the role of the organization played in filing these cases.

UnYPhil-Women is a member of the Gender-based Violence Sub Cluster (GBVSC) of the Protection Cluster headed by UNHCR. Reported incidences of VAWC to the UnYPhil-Women are first validated by UnYPhil-Women staff, then the victim is accompanied to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), hospital for medico-legal, and to the police station for police blotter. These are the initial protocols. After which the victim is then referred by UnYPhil-Women to other organizations that can provide legal, medical, and psychosocial services. The GBVSC member-organizations are working towards providing a comprehensive response to victims-survivors of VAWC.

In March 2012, three women were gang-raped by members of the civilian volunteers of the state forces. After the Maguindanao massacre perpetrated by the Ampatuan, the Sangki clan in Mamasapano sided with the Mangudadato clan which lead to the ongoing rido between the Sangki and Ampatuan clan. The Sangkis who became member of the CAFGU went after the Ampatuans hiding in Sultan sa Barongis Municipality, the adjacent municipality of Mamasapano.  The male Ampatuans fled but they left behind their wives, and so, they were raped by the Sangkis. Upon learning, UnYPhil-Women fetched them and housed them in the wellness center of UnYPhil-Women for one month. During that, the victims-survivors were brought to Cotabato Regional Medical Center for medico-legal and they were referred to the National Bureau of Investigation for legal assistance.

2.      After receiving training from UnYPhil-Women, organized women groups are able to collectively respond to cases against women’s rights and against trafficking in persons. Please provide specific examples.

From the above mentioned example, UnYPhil-Women was made aware of it because the Libutan Women’s Organization in Mamasapano reported the incident. They collectively documented the case and presented the victims-survivors to UnYPhil-Women.

3.      As a result of UnYPhil-Women’s outreach, there is a substantial reduction in the number of cases of violence against women and in cases of trafficking in person. Please describe what the organization has done, and how you are measuring the reduction of violence.

Most of the reported cases of VAWC to UnYPhil-Women are cases of domestic violence. That is why it was imperative to conduct Conflict Resolution Skills Training to the women leaders and to the community so that the domestic cases can be settled within the community. In the case of domestic violence, there was a decline of reported cases. However, other grave cases of violence against women and children are still immeasurable. Although, there are reported cases especially in areas within the outreach of UnYPhil-Women and its adjacent areas, the over-all measure within the province is still not achieved due to the culture of denial and silence that UnYphil-Women aims to break.

4.       As a result of the data gathering activities, a data bank of cases of violations and/or abuse to women’s rights, as well as cases on human trafficking has been developed for use as a reference and for resource materials.

5.      UnYPhil-Women and stakeholders will design appropriate and demand-driven programmatic interventions for women in the area based on the findings collected in the data bank including advocacy materials to be used to press municipal and provincial level governments to include women’s rights and human trafficking among their priorities.

6.      As a result of the mobilization activities, organized women community groups become more familiar with the communities where they are working, which has lead better coordination and cooperation in reporting cases of violation to women’s rights and of human trafficking is developed.

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Vega on May 24, 2016 at 2:42 pm

    This sucks

    Reply

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