Agroforestry is a new term learned by 24 Teduray youth who recently took part in a Bentela daw Sayuda activity, a Pulangiyen cultural mechanism of visiting (bentela) and sharing (sayuda) under ESSC’s Bridging Leadership in Mindanao project. The Teduray youth participants who joined the visit shared their problems in upland farming, such as pest control and management and the limited funds to purchase fertilizer and pesticides, and soil erosion and landslide occurrences in their areas.
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Education is neither the subjugation or simplification of meaning, nor the elimination of mystery. I need to feel the land where I am, its life and history, its story in order to open up my story. There needs to be time for input, reflection, analysis, conversation, discernment (head and heart) and clear community action. Children are not prepared for life – for living – if they do not experience this approach to engaging and learning. It’s not just IQ, it’s I care, which makes for living.
ESSC framed the planning activity with two objectives: to build a common understanding and shared approach to the research agenda and to commit to collaborate with others and work towards Our Environmental Way of Proceeding. The OEWP document provides a framework and an operative spirituality that guides in the experience of, and deepens our relationship with, creation and Creator.
Environmental Science for Social Change (ESSC) and the community of Sitio Bendum, Bukidnon, recently played host to a group of students studying at the United Nations University for Peace. Their visit was aimed at bringing home the true practical realities of the development process and to deconstruct the theoretical and academic teachings of their course.
Through the assistance of ESSC, the Cultural Empowerment Center (CEC) was set-up in Bendum in 1993. CEC’s main objective was to provide a venue for child literacy and adult education, community livelihood activities, health program, resource mapping, community management training and documentation of their ancestral domain claims. In 1997, the community decided to name the literacy program Cultural Education Program. As the community sought to more formalize the education system in Bendum, the name was changed to Apu Palamguwan Cultural Education Center.
The Pulangiyen people’s indigenous grade school in this picturesque community in the middle of Mindanao’s heartland – Bukidnon – is now fast becoming a model in the push of using a people’s mother tongue as the language of instruction in a multilingual and culture-based education (MLE-CBE) toward sustainable development. The Apu Palamguwan Cultural Education Center (APC) was founded on the desire of the Pulangiyen people to read, write and be educated in the context of their culture and life.