Mindanao, Philippines — June 15 – 19
Eight Dutch delegation members of TRANSCODE visited South Mindanao from June 15 to 20. They came to see Pasali‘s projects. They saw the rice fields in Palimbang, Sultan Kudarat and made friends with the local farmers. They witnessed Muslims, Christians and Manobo in full traditional colors dance during the celebration of the market’s anniversary, a market managed by the Women’s Market Association. They even hiked down and up a mountain to visit a pump in Alabel, Sarangani.
Participants saw with their own eyes the social side-effects of Pasali’s technical and economic focus.
PEACE: the start of peaceful cooperation between people groups previously in conflict with each other. EQUALITY: Indigenous peoples take part as equals.
WOMENS POWER: half of staff and volunteers are women, both men and women farmers take part in trainings, the market is managed by the 100 females of the Women’s Market Cooperative.
YOUTH STRENGTH: a mixed group of Muslim, Christian and B’laan (IP) youth head the theater group against domestic violence, guests are welcome professionally by female newly graduates doing an in-job training program, once out-of-school-youth now install ram pumps as technical professionals. Pasali isn’t about single livelihoods, but the creation of agro-industry: the development of a chain of businesses in organic rice production and processing, organic farming, food processing, and agro-tools.
In the days prior to their visits delegation members were warned by Manila participants of the gun-point dangers of Mindanao. When they got there, they experienced reality: breathtaking nature, warm hospitality, and beautiful people. Not a weapon in sight.