Giving peace a home is Balay Mindanao, a non-profit foundation that sets up homes or “balay’ in conflict-stricken areas in Mindanao. These homes are composed of local Lumads, Christians, and Moros that are often within areas of armed conflict. Often, Balay Mindanao would work with indigenous groups in the area who require extra support to carry out necessary tasks for their communities. Also by working with other non-government and local government bodies, Balay Mindanao’s main concern is with development work and sustainable peace.
Balay Mindanao’s peace-building activities are centered on community-based partnerships to mainly oversee making relevant community development plans as enduring solutions for communities in need. Their team is also highly competent in the area of relevant training, such as conflict analysis and dialoguing, given their expertise and field experience. From the barangay level up to the national level, and even the international level, Balay Mindanao’s thrust for peace and development in Mindanao has deepened and given relevant and recent change among Indigenous Mindanaoans and other locals in need.
Aquilah “Cup of Hope”
Marawi City has undergone a lot of local challenges, especially among the youth who are both caught within the conflict in their communities and also studying as either full-time or part-time students. One of the most pressing issues has to do with mental health and addressing it within their context. Providing timely services and support is Aqilah. They are a team of Marawi individuals who engage the youth through Mental Health education. Stationed in the heart of the education community, Midanao State University, Aqilah highlights the urgency of dealing with mental health issues, disaster preparedness, stress management, and other coping mechanisms that are relevant to the Marawi context. Aquilah has also developed a social enterprise called “Cup of Hope”, a Lanao special coffee social enterprise that helps fund their advocacy for mental health.
Through their social enterprise, Aquilah was able to take part in a policy dialogue with CSO-SEED titled “Bridging the Gap: Fostering Social enterprise in BARMM” on August 16, 2019. Given the stance on issues of the youth, Aquilah was able to engage key state and non-state partners in their community regarding the ongoing socio-political change happening in Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). By introducing “Cup of Hope”, Aquilah takes part in not only better growing their social enterprise but developing youth engagement and timely dialogue on mental health in the region. Inspired by their youthful spirit and proud Lanao identity, Aquilah and “Cup of Hope” is brewing change one cup and individual at a time.