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Indigenous Peoples: Their Identity and Skills for Economic Sustainability

MAMANWA

Their Identity, Brief History and Reality

The Mamanwa tribe is the only Indigenous group in Surigao and is the most disadvantaged and seems or nearly extinct. According to the survey, they are the number one in illiteracy among the 110 tribes in the country. They are not more than five thousand in Surigao del Norte living in 15 Mamanwa Communities in the province. They are mostly farmers who view land as their ancestors’ property even if each family tills a parcel of land. They are poor in many aspects yet they are intelligent people given the chance for schooling. Due to their high illiteracy, they are voiceless and easily taken into illegal activities and abuses even among themselves. They become victims of injustice and discrimination among the lowlanders They too are caught between forces: the military and the rebels aside from the group of bandits.

Originally, the Mamanwas live in huts far from each other, due to their way of living: hunting and gathering foods from the forest. However, their once virgin forest as source of their livelihood is depleted due to mining and logging thus, they are experiencing hunger. Much as they wanted to settle down and cultivate their land, continuous encroachment of the lowlanders and investors made them feel insecure in their own territory.

They have traditional leaders and justice system but are also weakened by the influence of the lowlanders and mining companies.

Culturally, the richness of it is still expressed in rituals, dances, and in their spoken dialect. Until this time, there is minimal written document about their culture. One reason is because of illiteracy. There is a fear of loosing their culture because the young generation are very fast

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in assimilating the culture of the lowlanders. Aside from these, their indigenous skills, musical instruments, knowledge and practices are pirated by the outsiders.

 

Ecologically, the forest cover is thinning which causes erosion, floods, and the dramatic changes of the topography of the land. Non IPs took advantage of the bounty of the forest, depriving them of the main source of livelihood, their ancestral domain. They plant bananas and crops like camote, carlang, and other crops which sometimes failed to produce and that they have no choice except to give in to mining and logging companies as cheap labour for their ‘daily fare’.

Skills for Economic Sustainabilty

· Able to weave baskets and mats.

· Can produce abaca from the forest.

· Able to plant root crops together as a community and able to harvest enough for the whole year round.

· Very good in hunting wild animals like pig, deer, rats, and wild cats and can gather vegetables and fruits from the forest.

· Carry heavy logs / woods in a long distance walk just to get an amount of money as a source for living..

· Initiative and creative in searching to fulfil their physical needs especially in getting foods.

Services of the Sisters

The IP Apostolate of the Diocese of Surigao considers it foremost to help them in their development with priorities like education and livelihood. The Missionary Sisters Servants of the Holy Spirit(SSpS) were tasked to carry this ministry four (7) years ago. With the help of mission funds and funding agencies funded the projects which include Literacy and Numeracy for children and adults, sending pupils and students in formal school, providing assistance and guidance to the formal school students who stay in the dormitory, sustainable agriculture training for adults, medical assistance which limit only in the pilot communities. Feeding programs to the malnourished children in various IP communities. Formation of Youth and Women.

Links and collaboration with other organization

· The Episcopal Commission on Indigenous Peoples (ECIP-National office and regional (ECIP-Mindanao)

· Assisi Development Foundation (ADF) help in the seminars of IPA workers and para-teachers.

· Collaboration with the Local Government Unit (LGUs) to counterpart in building construction.

· The HAPAG ASA who provides sacks of rice for feeding program every class days.

· The Parish in each municipality may also extent their services in terms of food assistance (limited).

 

 

 

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Justice and Equitable Education towards a GENDER-FAIR Community

SCHOLARSHIP

Due to poverty, a lot of young people today left school to find work so as to help their parents lighten their burdens in putting food in their table. Others are forced to work in dangerous jobs that they may be able to contribute in feeding their younger siblings. Others, resulted to addiction to cover up their feelings of helplessness and eventually lead to more crimes or even suicides. Aware of the realities that is happening today with the young, the Sisters Clarette-Rosario Foundation Inc. reached out to youths and provide scholarships to those

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GENDER-FAIR EDUCATION in Holy Spirit School - Tagbilaran

The Holy Spirit School in Tagbilaran, Bohol intensifies the Gender-Fair Education(GFE) and the Genderized Student Learning Experiences (SLE) to help the students and teachers see the world through gender-lens. This approach would help in transforming the minds and hearts of all the students, teachers and parents as well and see women as persons created equally by God.

PARTNERSHIP IN EDUCATION MINISTRY in Liceo del Verbo Divino-Tacloban

The SSpS Sisters in Tacloban also works in partnership in the Education Ministry

with the Society of the Divine Word in Liceo del Verbo Divino. They are molding the minds of the young as Campus Ministers, Christian Living Education (CLE) teachers and being part of the Administration respectively.

 

 

 

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SSpS WINGS (Women Interacting for New Growth and Services) for JPIC
“Empowering Women to Serve other Women…”


fight against violence towards women and children,including embracing women in prostitution by simply allowing them

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to reclaim their dignity by retraining them with alternative livelihood skills.


Advocacy . . . Networking … Consciousness Raising on Women Issues such as VAWC (violence against women and children), HIV AIDS and Human Trafficking...Pastoral Care and Counseling

 

 

 
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