October 5, 2023. From the uphill of Brgy. Datalpandan, Guindulungan, Maguindanao del Norte in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), descends Omar S. Bandara, 24, representing the community of indigenous people (IP) in this village.
“We walked and descend from mountain for hours, just to attend activities like this, today. I am hoping for something good in joining this organization. It is a chance for us (the IPs) to be included in development.
Omar was one of the participants to the PO Formation, conducted in relevance to the implementation of the program that supports the camps transformation and development dubbed as PROACTIVE: Programme on Assistance for Camp Transformation through Inclusion, Violence Prevention and Economic Empowerment.
He is a member of the Datalpandan Mamalu-Tabunaway People's Organization, a group organized to manage the sub-project to be provided by the programme.
He is determined to continue joining this program and said “I won't stop, regardless of the distance. I will represent our people to help our community”.
Meanwhile, we met mothers who are IPs in Brgy. Tuayan, Datu Hoffer, Maguindanao del Sur- BARMM, who called for support with their poor living conditions at the temporary shelters in their village.
According to them, it’s been months that they have been evacuees due to the unstable peace and order in their community at the uphill of the barangay.
"We often have two instead of three meals in a day because of little income. We do farming to sustain our daily needs. Right now, we are still at the temporary shelters provided by the BLGU because there is still a threat of armed conflict in our homes. We hope to have permanent homes because the condition is difficult."
Their families were among those who received food assistance in July 2023 during the provision of services, coincidentally Nutrition Month. It was through the project SUBATRA-ECSO: Enhancing CSOs Capacities for Inclusive Development Interventions in BARMM in Support to Bangsamoro Transition.
They were thankful for the aid received, which accordingly is already helpful to provide for their meals for enough number of days.
SUBATRA-ECSO and PROACTIVE are both program/project being managed by the Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA Inc.). The agency through these program/ project carries inclusive implementation by considering the involvement and advantage of the IP communities.
For the SUBATRA-ECSO, there are 790 IP beneficiaries. From this number, 176 (86 M, 90 F) were selected and have underwent training on human rights, and 510 (46 M, 464 F) on various skills training. There were 408 IP families who have received food packs during the provision of services in July 2023. Aside from this, there are 109 total number of completers (who are IP) to the Alternative Learning System (ALS) implemented in the camps.
For PROACTIVE, there are 18 IP members of a cooperative; 80 IP members of People’s Organizations and; 33 IP members of the local social formation created. Two tribal halls intended for IP beneficiaries will also be constructed through this program.
SUBATRA-ECSO is funded by the European Union (EU) and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID).
PROACTIVE gets funds from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the European Union (EU).
For the BDA Inc., inclusive program/project implementation does not only include the IP communities, it also works for other vulnerable groups such as women, widows, solo parents, youth, internally displaced persons (IDPs), elderlies, person with disabilities (PWDs), transitioning combatants, others.
Operating since 2002, BDA Inc., now working as non-government organization starting 2019 sustain its value for an inclusive development services, within and beyond the Bangsamoro Region.