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The Bamboo Processing Facility project will give Indigenous youth in poor communities the opportunity for vocational training – so they can use these skills to help the community rise above poverty.
A wonderful thing about the Mindanao community in the Philippines is its collective togetherness. Members of this Indigenous community want to use what they have to serve their neighbours, so nobody falls to the margins. Sadly, this island is home to many of the nation’s poorest people. Vulnerable people are unable to escape cycles of poverty because of limited access to employment, education, healthcare and  government services. The people are heavily reliant on living off the land however the harvests have been inconsistent due to droughts and excessive rainfall. Our partner, Apu Palamguwan Cultural Education Center (APC), has been using Indigenous culture, language, and relationship with the land (gaup) as the basis for educating children in the upland villages for over 25 years. The centre offers basic education and vocational training with a meaningful and culturally appropriate curriculum for the Indigenous populations. The focus on practical skills training and human formation, such as leadership of service and personal development, empowers vulnerable people to build livelihoods for self-reliance and to contribute to their community. With the backing of Jesuit Mission and our generous supporters, APC plan to construct a bamboo processing, fabrication and storage facility to provide vocational training programs to Indigenous youth in Mindanao. Students will learn bamboo processing and fabrication, bamboo-based construction, and traditional music production.  Not only will graduates from the program learn new skills, they’ll also obtain official certification – boosting their employability. The infrastructure on the island is currently very poor, so the community will benefit greatly from the skills training, particularly in bamboo-based construction. The APC are already planning projects for their young graduates to use their skills for the community, such as building classrooms and a dining hall for the new high school campus.
“One of the unique characteristics of culture-based education is we relate all the subjects to the actual experiences of living in the uplands… We want students to use what they learn here - about environmental science and managing natural resources - to serve their community.” 
–Jill, Apu Palamguwan Cultural Education Center DONATE  
Thank you for supporting this project to give the marginalised Indigenous youth of Mindanao the skills training necessary to become self-reliant. Learning to use local natural resources, like bamboo, provides opportunities for employment and improved infrastructure in the community. See the bamboo training program in action with Jesuit Mission’s partner in the Philippines, Apu Palamguwan Cultural Education Center.