Dear Brothers and Sisters, Greetings in peace, joy and progress this New Year from Northwestern Mindanao, Philippines. We write on the possibility of your support to our people's desire to revive their cultures through the establishment of the ‘School of Living Cultural Traditions’ in the hinterland communities. The area is habituated by the locally-called ‘tri-people’ of Indigenous Natives (Higao-non, Dinagat and Subanen Tribes); Muslims (Maranao Tribe); and, Settlers (mostly Christians). The people also enter into mixed-marriages and produce siblings that are locally referred to as ‘Kolibogan’. This project is considered a 'new initiative' at peace building and transformation of local conflicts as participants begin to understand the customs and practices of their neighbors and provide them with ample friendly spaces to learn and acquire knowledge in a self-help approach, and in the process establish a women-led inter-faith 'culture of peace' and transformation of local conflicts. Another component to the project are the series of participatory seminar-workshops on cross-cutting themes, as in: transparent and accountable governance; environmental and social protection particularly for children, youths and marginalized women; gender equality; adaptation to climate changes and disaster risks management; and, several others, and eventually create an environment where poverty is alleviated; discrimination is ruled-out; and, gender-based violence becomes a mere history and the universally declared human rights becomes the condition for peoples' relationships. The intervention will focus on struggling women and out-of-school youths and even the marginalized elderly with activities that shall place marginalized people in better position to acquire sustainable productivity through awareness of the importance of protection of environment and natural resources and the development of vegetable and fruit value chains and integrating them with community development in the hinterland communities of Northwestern Mindanao, particularly in the often neglected communities of Cagayan de Oro City and Iligan City; in the Municipality of Initao in the Province of Misamis Oriental; in the Municipalities of Baungaon and Talakag in the Province of Bukidnon; and, in selected Municipalities in the Province of Zamboanga Sibugay, and in the process provide sustainability of formal education for their children; provide ample child friendly spaces; and, provide appropriate and relevant nutrition and health care to members of their families, among others, and alleviate themselves from their present poverty conditions through a self-help approach. In our discussion with the communities, they initially identified 6-vegetable and selected at least 4-fruit varieties to progress into distinct value-chain based production. Some communities even identified further other forest-based products in consideration of the abundance of raw materials in their locations and request assistance in furniture-making, production of 'tribal-wares' (cloth, fancy-wears, tribal-oriented bags, etc.); bamboo floor tiles; and, bamboo housing complements, among several others. They also requested community-based orientation on disaster-risk management, particularly on preparedness, alert system, and contingency planning. This project shall then exemplify the pillars of our organization’s holistic and inclusive community-based development approach, as in the areas of: -Human Rights and Peace Education (both formal & developmental) -Environmental Protection & Biodiversity Conservation -Gender Equality -Alternative Income and Livelihood for the poorest of the poor (based on 'wealth-ranking') -Agri-based Food Security and Rural Economic Development (RED) -Climate Change Adaptation and Disaster Risks Management -Strengthening of Inter-Faith & Inclusive Grassroots Empowerment for Democracy Thus, we come to you for possible assistance. Our people need these interventions in a self-help approach that would put them in better position to create a clearer path to their eventual self-determination. We hope you will find this letter is in good order, appropriate and relevant to your own vision of service to others. Should you require other information relative to this, kindly send us a message and we shall gladly be obliged. Thank you and more power. God Bless! Very truly yours, Myra L. Quilab Director ab2cd, inc. (the alternative bridge to community development) 

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Organization Profile
Region Asia Pacific