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Gender and Mindanao initiatives top Canada’s small grants program

MANILA, Oct. 23 -- Ten proposals from across the Philippines will be awarded financial grants in the competitive program run by the Canadian embassy under the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI).

“For this year, projects that contribute to peace and security initiatives in Mindanao, and those focusing on supporting women and other marginalized groups such as the indigenous peoples and lesbians, gays, bisexual, and transgender were strongly considered,” Neil Reeder, Canada’s ambassador to the Philippines said. “We are very pleased to be able to work with the successful applicants in the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms especially in Mindanao and with the marginalized groups.”

The following are this year’s recipients of the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives:

Human Development and Empowerment Services Inc will help internally-displaced persons (mostly women and children) to increase their awareness on violence against women and how to help prevent it especially in evacuation and transitory sites in Zamboanga City;

Samahan ng Mamamayan Zone One Tondo, Inc. (ZOTO) will provide workshops on gender equality and women’s rights to residents and barangay leaders in Navotas City to develop a framework for a gender responsive barangay development plan

Mindanao News and Information Service Cooperative Center Inc will conduct media roundtable discussions/forums in key cities of Mindanao to train local journalists to best communicate the issues concerning the proposed Bangsamoro region;

Rainbow Rights Project, Inc. will produce a booklet on sexual orientation and gender identities (SOGI) and will organize SOGI and access to justice sessions for lawyers, local LGBT groups, and local government representatives;

Women Engaged in Action on 1325 (WE Act 1325) will train Moro and indigenous women to improve their capacity to undertake conflict resolution and mediation in their communities and enable them to take on roles in peace building, most especially during the normalization period of the proposed Bangsamoro.

People’s Initiative for Learning and Community Development (PILCD) will train community & civil society leaders in Northern Luzon to develop their capacity in participation and engagement in governance, and constituency-building;

Balay Rehabilitation Center’s project aims to strengthening youth and eomen Participation in peace Building and sustain human rights protection in communities at risk of armed conflict in Mindanao

Kahayag Foundation, Inc’s ‘PeaceTOC’: where police personnel in Region XI will be given training on peace-building, strategic planning, human rights, and gender mainstreaming

Nonviolent Peaceforce will train participants on Early Warning, Early Response monitoring and reporting, including human rights violations, to consolidate local EWER structures in respective communities in southern Mindanao.

Support Service Institute for Women will conduct seminars on anti-violence against women and will set-up VAW Collectives in depressed communities in Metro Manila.

Canada Fund is a competitive small grants program that provides direct funding assistance to community groups, non-government organizations, people’s organizations and in exceptional cases, international NGOs, and government institutions for small development projects addressing governance, economic, and other social development issues. (Canadian Embassy in the Philippines)

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