2022 was like seeing the light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. We felt we were getting out of the darkness of 2020-2021 paralyses due to Covid. Joji was able to visit and bond with our three adult children and eight grandchildren last Fall. They bring so much joy to our lives. Meanwhile, the operations of Coffee for Peace (CFP) in the context of the new realities are being appreciated by the global social enterprise community. The Field Operations Team of PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI) revived our on-the-ground projects with various community partners. With both the PBCI Board of Trustees and the CFP Board of Directors, we reviewed the past 16 years of justice-based peace and reconciliation ministry in Mindanao and we all agreed that this Philippine ministry is now entering into a leadership transition phase.
How does Social Entrepreneurship look like when seen through the lenses of Indigenous Knowledge System and Practices (IKSP)? Last 09-11 November 2022, our Inclusive Development Team travelled to the Talaandig Ancestral Territory in Bukidnon. With the guidance of Datu Migketay Saway and of some Talaandig women and youth, we invested a couple of days seeking to design a Social Enterprise development model that would be sensitive to the worldviews, value systems, and customs of Indigenous Peoples. This is made possible in partnership with the University of the Philippines Mindanao (UP Mindanao) and the Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT).
Through the invitation of their leaders, the joint Inclusive Development Team of Coffee for Peace and PeaceBuilders Community Inc. (CFP-PBCI IncluDev Team) went…
The Obo Manobo Coffee Farmers sent their representatives at the Philippine Coffee Expo 2022 (PCE2022) to present their initial product. Datu Romeo Andot, Bai Gemma Andot, and Alvin Baroro were sent by the Manobo Apao Descendants Ancestral Domain of Mount Apo (MADADMA). They were accompanied by Rich Paul Calceta and Don Tormis of the Corporate Social Responsibility Department of Energy Development Corporation (CSR-EDC). Sihaya Ansibod, PBCI Field Operations Director assisted them. The Obo Manobo Coffee presented in this event was the product of a long-term program to develop key farmers who would be the local champions we refer to as ‘farmer entrepreneurs’ or farmerpreneurs. This is part of an on-going inclusive development initiative of MADADMA. We, at PBCI-CFP IncluDev Team, has been tasked to facilitate social preparation, community organization, and training in basic entrepreneurial skills.
26 – 27 Aug 2022. The Talaandig Indigenous People’s community in Sungko, Lantapan, Bukidnon, finished the first of two social entrepreneurship (SE) workshops which was jointly facilitated by Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology (MSU-IIT), led by Dr. Jinky Bornales, and the Inclusive Development Team of PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. and Coffee for Peace (PBCI-CFP IncluDev Team). With the cultural guidance and leadership of Datu Migketay “Vic” Saway, the seminar-workshop focused on generating Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Practices (IKSP) that can be used in their social enterprise ventures. The participants also identified the products that they want to develop as social enterprises.
Indonesia 2022 gathering was my sixth year and my last event serving as chair of the Peace Commission of the Mennonite World Conference (MWC). I feel the joy of watching our team working together to see MWC embrace the Statement on Solidarity with the Indigenous People. For me, this is the most exciting part of the last 6 years serving with the Peace Commission. I have been blessed working with the women and men whom I learned to respect and love. I pray that MWC would continue to serve the Body of Christ; to serve the nations towards justice and peace; and, to serve as a healing body in the process of decolonization and reconciliation in this world.
28-30 June 2022. The Inclusive Development Team of PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. and Coffee for Peace (PBCI-CFP IncluDev Team) conducted a series of small group consultations and workshop-seminars with our partners from the Ovu Menovu Indigenous People’s community and from the Corporate Social Responsibility Department of the Energy Development Corporation (CSR-EDC). These field activities are a part of a five-year Social Entrepreneurial Training Program among pre-qualified Ovu Menovu farmers.
During the final day of the National Indigenous Peoples’ Month, which is celebrated every October, the tribal council of the Bagobo Tagabawa invited us to attend their final ceremonies. We were told that, among several events of the day, “there will be a ceremony to officially include us as members of the tribe.” They actually surprised us by conferring honorary leadership titles along with our ritual membership into the tribal community. For this sacred embrace, we express our deep gratitude to the Indigenous Political Structure, the clans, and the families of the Bagobo Tagabawa people. By the Creator’s grace and mercy, we commit to fulfill the duties and responsibilities implied in this honor.
I heard that the Ayala Corporation is supporting social enterprises by offering free space in their chain of malls throughout the country. Last 19 April 2021, I got a call from one of their representatives inquiring if I was interested in opening a 26-square-meter shop at the Ayala Abreeza Mall in Davao City as part of their Alagang Ayala Land Program. My first reaction was to pray. Then I established my objectives in light of the vision and mission of Coffee for Peace. I presented the plan to our community and to the management team of CFP. Our team recruited new interns and prepared them for this opportunity. Last 16 September 2021, we opened the Coffee for Peace Kiosk at Abreeza.
16-17 September 2021. After the six-month Inclusive Development Training, the Bagobo Tagabawa community in Barangay Binaton, Digos City begins a long-term partnership with the PBCI-CFP Tribe. This partnership involves community-based, culturally contextualized Social Enterprise Development framed in Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) principles and practices. Because 80% of the participants in this program are women, we are giving greater emphasis on indigenous women’s leadership development. We are sharing the aspiration of the Bagobo Tagabawa Indigenous People to realize and enjoy their right to self-determination and to protect their ancestral domain.
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