Transformation and Human Rights

Title of the Project:Accompaniment to Indigenous Women of Maguindanao on Conflict
Transformation and Human Rights
Project duration:November 2018 – February 2019 
Project location:Maguindanao Province, the Philippines
Target Group:Indigenous women leaders
Total grant:USD 5,000
Participating Alumni:Nansiri Iamsuk (DIPS#2/APS#2 alumna from Thailand) 
Nery Ronatay (APS#6 alumnus from the Philippines)

The project, Kefiyo Fedew was aimed to enhance capacity of indigenous women leaders of the Teduray-Lambangian Women’s Organization (TLWOI), a federation of 35 community-based women’s organizations of indigenous peoples in the province of Maguindanao in the Philippines to deepen their understanding of conflict transformation as an approach and its intersections with different themes particularly human rights, to utilize conflict analysis and dialogue facilitation skills to address conflicts in their communities, to handle human rights-related issues in the communities, and lastly to build stronger linkages with other human rights actors in the region. The project mainly used the training approach to deliver two activity modules; Introductory Course to Conflict Transformation and Dialogue Facilitation for Indigenous People and Introductory Course on Human Rights for Indigenous People. The first module was delivered on 23 – 26 January 2019 and the second one was on 5 – 7 February. Both trainings took place at the ancestral land of the Teduray in the Municipality of South Upi in Maguindanao province which is considered as one of the far-flung areas in Mindanao region of the Philippines. The participants in this project come from different parts of Maguindanao province. Attending the two trainings was an opportunity for them to exchange updates of their communities during the critical time of the Bangsamoro region given that the two modules took place shortly after the plebiscite of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) providing for the establishment of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), the political entity that replaced Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

The first module enabled the target group to analyze conflict by using different conflict analysis tools. Participants were equipped with knowledge of conflict transformation and skills of dialogue facilitation in particular which helped building their confidence in organizing community dialogues in their Indigenous peoples (IP) communities. The second module provided them with guidance of monitoring and documenting human rights situations in IP communities. Based on the conversation with TLWOI, the project enhanced the role of Teduray-Lambangian women  community leaders to review the intersections of indigeneity, gender, and territory in the struggle of their tribes for the protection of their ancestral domain and their contributions to the ongoing peace process. Additionally the project allowed TLWOI to strengthen their connections with the Timuay Justice and Governance, the political structure of the Teduray and Lambangian, the Regional Human Rights Commission (RHRC) of the ARMM, the local authorities of South Upi and other women leaders from other barangays.

This alumni-led initiative also provided an opportunity for the participating APS alumni to deepen their knowledge of the struggles of IP communities in the Philippines and make use of their technical knowledge and skills they have adopted in their specific line of work to enhance capacity of the IP women.