BAKWIT RELIEF CAMPAIGN
Salupongan International (SI) is a solidarity network of organizations, institutions and individuals dedicated to the empowerment of marginalized indigenous communities in the Southern Mindanao region of the Philippines. Through international solidarity, campaign advocacy and basic social services, Salugpongan International has served many communities throughout the region. One of our primary goals is to develop international support for social services such as community- based schools, health clinics, sustainable agriculture programs, potable water systems and other community development services.
The indigenous Lumad people have a noble legacy of defending their ancestral land from illegal logging and mining by multinational corporations. These acts of defiance have led to military encampments and numerous incidents of harassment and extra judicial killings of teachers, administrators, chieftains and community leaders. Due to these incidents the Lumad have been forced to evacuate their communities, also known as bakwit. Currently, there are upwards of 4,000 Lumad that have been forced to evacuate their communities in Mindanao alone. According to the Save Our Schools (SOS) network, since September 2015, 95 indigenous Lumad schools have fallen victim to various forms of military attacks. In conjunction with International Human Rights Day, we humbly ask for the support of our networks, organizations, institutions and individuals for monetary contributions in order to provide relief and aid for the evacuated Lumad communities in Mindanao.
For more information about the Bakwit Relief Campaign, please visit: http://www.salupongan.org/bakwit-relief
BAKWIT PROFILES: CHRISTINE
TO MINDANAO WITH LOVE II
Save the date folks! To Mindanao with Love is back! Enjoy Valentine's Day with good music from various artists and stories from recent delegates who visited the indigenous communities of Mindanao, Philippines.
"The need for basic social services in the communities was apparent. Seeing children with easily curable infections but not having access to medicine was upsetting to say the least. This is heightened by the fact that all the deforestation and mining on their land not only drives them away further from the forests that provide natural remedies, it also depletes these habitats entirely.
When Side 4 was occupied by the military during my visit, the class I was guest teaching was harassed by officers asking what we were doing. Militarization and subsequent evacuations of this particular community have happened several times over.
The constant dehumanization and exploitation of the Lumad and continued repression of living in fear is a daily occurrence for these communities." - Rachel Lastimosa
"The Lumad have shown me the true meaning of community. They move in forms of "we" and "us", where everyone is heard and contributes. No one's voice is left behind. There is something special here, it stems from the land and people. I think it's because they know that if the land is happy, the people will be happy too." - Robin Navarro