Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Talk the Walk: Tales of Development, 1

These are actual experiences in the development work and how these might re-shape our understanding of what development may be for the community and people we worked for.

Reviewing What Fits the Community

I was on my way to a meeting when , a friend of mine who works at the Vice-Governor’s Office in our province, quickly called my attention and asked me about some projects that may be implemented next year, 2010. The project shall benefit the out-of-school youth of the province.

I paused and think for a while. Few minutes later, while she was enumerating some projects on her list, I could not think of particular project she might like. What I thought was the necessity that for whatever project/s that or those might be, it will be important that the beneficiaries will be trained on managing and handling the project.

Then just lately, I came across this line from a book on culture and development. A teacher in a village in Burkina Faso told the Director General of UNESCO in one of his visits in the area: “Mr. Director General, you people in the UN agencies when you came here instead of asking our experiences, our skills or our dreams; you give us lessons and advice? Why do you not come here to listen first then give us advice based on what you heard.”

Often, development workers (and aspiring ones like me) tend to forget this rule in the development work. Community sensing should always be practiced not because it is mandated and for the sake of complying it. Workers should see this one not as a required blueprint but rather a way of seeing to it that projects given in the community reflect their own needs and cognizant with cultural implications.

The Development of “Kang-kong”

Following the development of peacebuilding initiatives in Mindanao, I happened to have documented few of the events for the ACT for Peace Programme in South Central Mindanao. Among these, that caught my attention, was a workshop for community enterprise development project beneficiaries last February 2009. The participants came from some post conflict or conflict affected areas in Mindanao.

During a dinner break, I had the chance of dining with group of men from Sultan Kudarat. The dinner was field with good food and of course with good food and humorous conversations. After two days of brain draining workshops, the team gathered in a night field with laughters. Most of the discussion concentrated in the theme, “the comfort the hotel gave.”

While everybody seemed to be enjoying the dinner, a participant noticed the deep-fried and egg-coated green leafy vegetable. He said, “Wow! What this is made of? Maybe, this is an imported vegetable because we are in a hotel.” Then everyone stared at him. “True, it’s delicious,” commented the other one.

Then our facilitator talked. “It’s made of kangkong leaf, coated with egg and deep-fried.”

Then everyone seemed to be surprise. A participant said that the Municipality of Lebak and perhaps neighboring places has lots of kang-kong. Yet not anyone of them perhaps thought of making this vegetable to a delicacy that can be served by hotels in the city by simply deep-frying it.

The incident above is indicative of another dimension in development work. Should we use to maintain the indigenous way or to re-package some of our locally produced products. The effects of enterprising and marketing are only appreciated and practiced at the urban areas. Rural areas are still starving for ways to develop their own local product and make it marketable.

AIM-World Bank Mindanao Bridging Leaders Programmme (MBLP)

AIM-World Bank Mindanao Bridging Leaders Programmme (MBLP)
CLICK ON PIC FOR LINK: The overall objective of the program is to build a cadre of Bridging Leaders in Mindanao, who can address issues like peace, education, health, land conflicts, poverty, and poor local governance, among others. The MBLP is implemented by AIM Center for Bridging Leadership.

Bamboo Craft

Bamboo Craft
South Cotabato is proud of its bamboo craft. Please call ProTech Center for orders: 083-228-9738 or DTI SC at 083-2282659

B'LAAN INDIGENOUS NITO PRODUCTS

B'LAAN INDIGENOUS NITO PRODUCTS
Let's help B'laan Communities in Tampakan earn additional income by buying their products made of nito. Products include plates, baskets, hats, and others. Call directly the Municipal Agriculture Office of Tampakan at (083) 227-2902.

SWEET, SPICY AND CRUNCHY

SWEET, SPICY AND CRUNCHY
Mommy Juling's Atsara of BKR Foods continue to increase productivity, hence increasing its job generation and income. On its launching of its expanded processing plant on Oct. 23, BKR reported that it has increase its production from 60 kgs a month in the late 2008 to 600 kgs a month in 2010. Mommy Juling's Atsara is available at Gaisano Mall, KCC Malls, ACE Centerpoint and other convenient store. See its processing plant at Bayan, Polomolok, South Cotabato. Rona Ortiz will be happy to hear and know from you through (+63) 0919-461-0152.

CORN HUSK NOVELTY ITEMS

CORN HUSK NOVELTY ITEMS
Help protect environment, help our rural women and out-of-school youth from Surallah. Buy Novelty items for Christmas and any occasions (souvenirs and corporate giveaways) to Pag-Asa Youth Association of Centrala, Allah Valley Crafters Association and Neza's Novelty Items. Text or call (+63) 0917-347-0832.

HEALTH AND WELLNESS! CLEANSE TO A HEALTHY LIFE

HEALTH AND WELLNESS! CLEANSE TO A HEALTHY LIFE
Food supplements are never expensive and should never be. What we need now are 100% natural products (no synthetic materials or foreign bodies and no artificial preservatives added). For Jong Bajunaid of Tupi, South Cotabato helping others is very important. Her advocacy of natural healing and remembering old ways of healing and bring that to present scenario is never old. Buy mangosteen tonic, papaya cider, and coco-papaya vinegar from JNB Industries in Tupi, South Cotabato. Mam Jong will be happy to share her knowledge on the wonders of natural healing. She is a Gawad-Saka Awardee (farmer-scientist). You can reach her through (+63) 0916-795-3154.

BDS

BDS
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