The Binaton Bagobo Tagabawa Farmers Livelihood Association (BBTAFLA) in Barangay Binaton, Digos City committed themselves to look at long-term Inclusive Development Program based on their indigenous identity. This sense of ‘who they are’ would determine the production and marketing of their farm products—such as vegetables, coffee, flowers, and handcrafts. They will also share with outsiders their Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Practices through stories, arts, and native products. In coordination with the government, civil society, and business sectors, they will open their community as a learning center for Indigenous cultural understanding, peacebuilding, and reconciliatory initiatives.
Last 15-16 April 2021, the Binaton Bagobo Tagabawa Farmers Livelihood Association (BBTAFLA) in Binaton, Digos City gathered for their 3rd of six months Inclusive Development and Social Entrepreneurial Training. The following week, 20-21 April 2021, the Kapeyapaan Farmers Association (KFA) in Alegre, Bansalan went through their 4th month on similar training. Both communities focused on becoming farmer-entrepreneurs or ‘farmerpreneurs‘ of quality coffee within the framework of peace and reconciliation principles.
Two years after the Olimpain family participated in the Coffee Farming and Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) training, the PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. Inclusive Development (PBCI IncluDev) Team revisited their farm to follow-up on the development of their coffee plantation.
We have been immersing ourselves among the farmers around Mt. Apo, specifically among certain Bagobo Tagabawa indigenous communities and certain Settlers’ communities. As we listen to the people on the ground, we adjust our inclusive development policies based on the contexts of the communities we serve.
The founding leaders of Kapeyapaan Farmers Association in Barangay Alegre (KFA-Alegre), Bansalan, Davao del Sur started their six-month training. This program happens from January to June 2021. The participants are among the strategically qualified group of farmers. We have secured proper coordination with government authorities and the provincial tribal leadership regarding our purposes, objectives, and operational procedures, especially our compliance with public health safety protocols.
We join the Christians around the world in celebrating Christmas. During the four Sundays preceding Christmas, we remember the four values we associate with the Holiday Season. Hope. Love. Joy. Peace. For us at Coffee for Peace, this progressive reflection on these four values serves as the foundation of our journey in faith-based peacebuilding. This expresses our sense of expectation as social entrepreneurs. This is our reason of being why we refer to our company as Coffee for Peace.
Last week, I delivered my valedictory address in behalf of my online classmates at Ashoka.Org. According to their website, “Ashoka is the first and largest network of leading social innovators in the world. Founded in 1980, Ashoka pioneered and helped establish the field of social entrepreneurship. There are now over 3,500 Ashoka Fellows in 93 countries who are working in all fields—from health and human rights to education and the environment. Since 2013, Ashoka has been electing Ashoka Fellows from the Philippines.”
We’re excited for the wonderful possibilities were facing and at the same time having a ‘feeling of suspense’ because of inherent uncertainties. Before, our journey can be described as trekking through a vast landscape with plenty of landmarks. Now, it’s like navigating through an ocean. No landmarks. We’re charting a new map. But we know our True North. We have our Reliable Compass. We are being moved by the Holy Wind. Uncertain and yet so assured!
The message of Peace and Reconciliation (PAR) is articulated and demonstrated even in the midst of CoViD19 public health crisis in our land. This is particularly made possible by 7 budding women entrepreneurs who are being mentored by the CFP-PBCI Tribe. They are Mary, Sihaya, Annie, Wanay, Mandy, Bennette, and Diane. They are developing their own micro-enterprise and have been marketing their products and experiencing encouraging results.
With much gratitude to Afunyan—our Creator, Tala fulfilled all her academic requirements and earned the Master of Arts degree in Conflict Transformation from…
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