The Alternative Bridge to Community Development
According to government figures, over 52% of the population in northwestern Mindanao in the Philippines live below the poverty line. With high levels of school dropout rates, girls become especially vulnerable to human trafficking, sexual exploitation as well as vulnerabilities deriving from drug wars. The challenges of Islamic extremism were acutely felt in the Mindanao region with the Marawi Crisis in 2017 in which 1,200 people were killed and more than 1 million displaced.
The Alternative Bridge to Development works on peace, economic, social and cultural issues of marginalized groups with a special focus on women, girls and trans-gender communities in northwestern Mindanao. The CSO seeks support in establishing a school to train women and girls in skills that will enhance their livelihood opportunities. They hope to promote women-led community-based economic development through the cultivation of non-timber forest products, such as fruits and vegetables and simultaneously promote the sustainable management of natural resources through environmental protection, and the preservation of biodiversity. The organization’s efforts will also focus on creating a culture of peace to address challenges around radicalization and violent extremism.