This project aims to empower the small farmers organization living near the buffer zone of Mt. Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary who are involved in forest conservation by training them on documentations, reporting system and setting of Community Information Center as communications pool regarding protection activities within the sanctuary and outreach strategies to promote environmental conservation in Davao Oriental, Philippines, and develop an online social network to engage their peers around the world to share, learn, and support their campaign in the global community.
What locality or neighborhood will your project focus on?
San Isidro, Davao Oriental
Describe the specific population with whom you will be working.
We will work with the United Christian Farmers in Maputi, San Isidro, Davao Oriental, Philippines. This upland peasant lives right at the foot of Mt. Hamiguitan Range. The idea comes from the group of forest rangers who actively monitors all developments or treats to the protected forest. They need to report activities or exploitations around the area and to ventilate the community initiative in conserving natural resources. Majority of them cannot use computers because they are not available but some owned mobile phones. They have low understanding of the advocacy power of social network, hence need to be empowered and a platform to raise their voice to enable them participate actively in global major issues like production, biodiversity conservation, sustainable development, etc.
Who else will be on your team to help implement the project?
This will be implemented by SUBANG Foundation staff. We commits to serve the peasant through community organizing, aims to empower and strengthen to be more develop in all aspects of life: social, political, cultural, ecological, economical and to establish most especially the spiritual faith. Comprises of seven (7) experienced and committed development workers, equipped with the basic knowledge and skills required for community organizing works and committed to carry out the challenge of the organization.
Me, as team leader is a licensed Forester, Other team members will include Eduardo Braga, our Executive Director (https://www.facebook.com/dodong.braga); Liezel Odilao, a teacher (https://www.facebook.com/liezel.odilao) ; Raul Abaya bay, a community organizer and rest of the staff.
What kinds of news, stories and other content will be created?
The project will train the local forest conservation advocates especially the forest rangers within the protected sanctuary on how to use mobile phones, media documentaries, take photos, write article, journals and news updates on environmental issues within their community. They will create awareness on issues such as access to water, sustainable energy, food security amongst other major issues of concern. They will document their campaign and report experiences through their network online for feedback and support.
What technologies and digital tools do you plan to use in the trainings?
Describe the connections that you or your organization have already established or plan to establish that will contribute to the success of the project.
SUBANG Foundation has strong partnerships with other local NGOs such as MASIPAG Mindanao ((http://masipag.org/) and Philippine Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation (http://www.ptfcf.org/). Our local academe partner is the University of Southeastern Philippines (www.usep.edu.ph) through the Forestry Department to help assists in technical aspects. Other local partners who will be involved in this project are the Protected Area Management Board of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. We would like to establish international partnerships to support and expand our conservation campaign.
How many participants do you think will be trained in your project?
We hope to train 15 participants (10 Forest Rangers and 5 Community Leaders) who will conduct information campaign in the first phase. They will learn how to use mobile phones and social media platforms as digital storytelling tools and document the different forest activities & developments on their community. They will also learn how to train other members from their communities to become vigilant in responding different situations.
Describe which technologies, tools, and media you will focus on when training participants.
We have facilitated environmental programs and have led conservation campaigns for almost 12 years. We are knowledgeable about environmental conservation in our province and will educate the participants on the ecological, cultural and social value of the project site of their choice. This project will focus on the use mobile phones and computers for digital news, updates, and storytelling. Most community members have mobile phones but lack skills on how to employ them maximally to benefit the community. We will also provide computers for the participants who are already skilled on such tools and technologies. As an organizer of the project, I have the education and teaching experience to train the participants. The organization has personnel who are computer literate and use most media.
Describe the facilities where you will hold the workshops.
Workshop trainings will be held at our own Conference Room which can accommodate up
to 50 people and equipped with a multimedia projector and screen; unlimited internet access; and white boards. The place is an appropriate location for this project. We have a laptop computer with a LAN, and there is an administrative desk.
What is your current relationship with the community with whom you plan to work? What makes you the most appropriate individual or organization to implement this project?
The United Christian Farmers of Maputi is one of the community based people’s organization and a trusted name in local conservation. They are one of our partner villages located right at the foot of Mt. Hamiguitan which has 6,834 hectare total surface area that covers the 3 municipalities of San Isidro, Governor Generoso and City of Mati. We work directly with this community as partner to promote conservation. We have helped communities identify and establish protected areas, develop site management plans, and build capacity for site managers.
What specific challenges do you expect to face when planning and implementing your project?
How will you overcome these obstacles? If relevant, you may also include information about addressing any security concerns that your project may face. (max 800 characters)
The major challenge we shall face is the capacity of the community to learn, considering that they come from disadvantaged communities where education is poor. Another is the availability or lack of resources such as computers and less knowledge in the use of these computers to access media such as Facebook, Twitter, etc .The SUBANG Foundation computers will be used by the project to manage the page while members will use their mobile phones to access the internet. The other challenge may be post-mentorship support, but we hope to fill that gap by collaborating with like-minded organizations that are closer to them.
How will you measure and evaluate the project’s impact, specifically: your primary participants, the wider regional community, or the global digital community?
We will conduct pre and post survey to measure community knowledge. During the implementation, we shall monitor the progress as well as establishing whether we are on course. The regularity and volume of information disseminated on local and national and social media, from the time the training has been conducted, will give a picture of the impact of the mentorship. We shall develop a tracking mechanism to find out how the mentees are performing, the challenges they are facing and how they can be supported. Success measurement will be done by monitoring the frequency of information received brought in for the project. At the end of the project there will be an evaluation to find out whether the groups expectations have been met.
If your project were to be selected as a Rising Voices grantee, what would be the general timeline of project activities in 2014?
June 2014 : Concept briefing; detailing about the project aims and objectives to selected community leaders and forest rangers participated.
July 2014: Training workshops
July-November : follow-ups, coaching, mentoring to every trained individuals
December 2014 – Draft a report as a team to share experiences; aggregate documents, photos, videos, educational materials, and etc. & Finalize to submit to Rising Voices.
Detail a specific budget of up to $2,500 USD for operating costs.
Training Workshops cost : $555
Supplies and materials: $100
Computer hardware: $1180
Workshops facilitators cost: $250
Travel/Transport cost: $300
Coordination, management and reporting cost – $110
Besides the microgrant funding, what other support can Rising Voices provide for your project to ensure its success?
We would appreciate the assistance of Rising Voices to connect us with other groups especially the environmental conservationist groups. We like to acquire partners that want to share advices to us and like to hear our experiences around the globe and can sponsor our endeavor such as:
1.Capacity building for farmers online.
2. Other resources or tools/computer software
3. Connection to similar projects worldwide
2. Opportunities for global exposure, i.e., participation in international forums in conservation or environment, and face-to-face meetings with fellow network participants.
We are seeking to link the dedicated blog of the project with the website of rising voices and other websites involved with environment conservation.
Edgar B. Solis
SUBANG Foundation, Inc.