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Building Bridges

Gains, opportunities, and challenges for CSOs and IDPs Partnership

Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) find strength in diversity, in its participatory nature, and sectoral focus. Because most of its programs and projects concentrate in the local level such as in barangays, municipalities, and cities, access and delivery of services are efficient and tailored to the immediate needs and the local contexts.

The role of the CSOs in coming up with durable solutions for the IDPs is especially significant and strategic. They are in the best position to partner with local chief executives and to serve as bridges for the locals to make their concerns heard and addressed by the local government.

Sharing stories and possibilities

There are various CSOs in BARMM engaging with the displaced population and the MPC gathered them in a forum together with the IDP leaders to talk about durable solutions. The IDPs and CSO Forum was an opportunity to share the situations of the IDPs in the BARMM region and the civil society’s efforts to address displacement.

Akas Sanguila, an IDP leader, opened the conversation by setting the context of displacement in Datu Saudi, Shariff Saydona, Talitay, Mamasapano, Datu Salibo, and Datu Piang.

“We hope that the CSOs will serve as the bridge between the government and the IDPs so that that our leaders will see the realities faced we face in a daily basis.”

Akas Sanguila, IDP Leader

The IDP leaders presented their plans for durable solutions. Afterward, the CSO representatives responded to the IDP plans by offering their current services and engagements with IDPs in the six municipalities.

A cauldron of creative minds

Bringing in their capacities, expertise, and commitments, the CSO representatives looked into the entry points for collaboration with BARMM line agencies, IDP leaders, and MPC. Although limitation in fundings and human resources was a challenge among the CSOs, together the group thought of ways to synchronize all its efforts on the ground and somehow tried to bridge hiatus in between project cycles. Together we identified ongoing projects and in what areas the CSOs are operating. In addition, we identified the government ministries we can partner with in joint efforts especially those that already have programs for the IDPs. The spirit of volunteerism was alive and invigorating during the forum despite of the possible issues and gaps identified during the planning.

The MPC would like to thank the IDP leaders and the CSO representatives who attended the forum, mainly, The Asia Foundation, Tiyakap Kalilintad, IDEALS, UnyPhil- Women, OXFAM, International Organization for Migration, UNYPAD, MOSEP, MWDECC, CBCS, Non-Violent Peace Force, Catholic Relief Services, and Community Organizers Multiversity sa Mindanao.

CSOs and IDPs brainstorming during the workshop session.

Building bridges together

Restoring the dignity of internally displaced persons requires a multi-sectoral approach. No single organization can act on its own when it comes to addressing the plight of the IDPs. The IDPs, the government, and the CSOs have an essential role in finding solutions for internal displacement and thus sustaining the gains of the peace process in the BARMM region.

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