FAQ on Adopt A Community

1. What is the “Adopt A Community” Program?

On Earth Day, April 22, 2015, NAFCON launched the Adopt A Community Program which supports communities in the Philippines by strengthening their capacity to survive and develop in the face of environmental challenges.

These environmental challenges range from lack of access to clean and sustainable water sources, to recovery from typhoon devastation,  to defending indigenous communities and their ancestral lands against environmental degradation and displacement due to corporate mining, military harassment, and/or governmental corruption.

2. Why did NAFCON start the Adopt A Community Program?

Since 2009, NAFCON has raised over $1 million to provide relief for victims of calamities in the Philippines such as Typhoon Ondoy, Pablo, Sendong, and Yolanda (Haiyan). Even though providing direct grassroots relief from calamities is critical, NAFCON realizes it is equally important to be proactive and address the underlying issues that greatly increase the vulnerability of communities to typhoons such as poverty, lack of infrastructure, and corporate pollution and environmental destabilization. That is why NAFCON started the Adopt A Community program – to combat these man-made vulnerabilities from exacerbating the impacts of climate events.

3. What is the program’s current project?

This year NAFCON’s goal is to help raise $10,000 to build a water system in Dulyan, Palma Gil, Talaingod, Davao del Norte. Comprising of 65 families or 325 peoples of the Manobo Tribe, this community has no contained system for potable water. Because this Manobo community resides in the highlands, they get water from sources mostly 20 to 30 minutes away including streams, wells dug beside the rivers, and from natural rainfall, limiting their ability to ensure personal and household needs. The current project will provide a sufficient and sustainable water supply for the entire community and adjacent areas that will greatly improve health conditions for the people there.

4. Why is Dulyan, Palma Gil a good candidate for public support?

The community of Dulyan (named after the durian fruit) Palma Gil, Talaingod, Davao del Norte is well-organized and successful in terms of harnessing its available talents and resources. For example, throughout the much larger area of Talaingod, 90% of Manobo children have never been to school. However, the Dulyan community established its own school in 2004, which the Department of Education officially accredited in 2007. Furthermore, the community was able to facilitate and implement several programs for sustainable agriculture, livelihood, and health.

Dulyan, Palma Gil is also one of the communities of Talaingod that is accessible to most of the surrounding Manobo towns.

5. Who are the Manobo and Lumad Peoples?

The Manobo are one of the eighteen remaining indigenous groups in Mindanao whose presence was first recorded in 1881.  The Manobo tribe is concentrated in Talaingod, Davao del Norte. Talaingod means “mountain people.” The municipality of Talaingod has 3 barangays: Palma Gil, Santo Nino, and Dagohoy. Talaingod’s official population as of the 2010 census was 25,566, which is comprised of Manobo (72%), Cebuanos (7.04 %), and Mandaya (2.59%). The rest of the population are migrants from Bohol, Leyte, Iloilo, Ilocos, Agusan, Surigao and Davao. Manobo are found mostly in the mountainous areas while the non-Manobo settlers can be found mostly in the barangay centers.

Lumad is a broader term that encompasses 18 indigenous groups throughout Mindanao. The Manobo is 1 of these 18 groups. Lumad is a Cebuano term that means “native” or “indigenous”. Currently there is an international effort to Stop Lumad Killings because the indigenous groups of Mindanao have suffered unjust treatment, harassment, and killings at the hands of the Philippine military through the government’s counter-insurgency operations. The Adopt A Community Program directly supports a Manobo community that faces these same threats. For more information on the Stop Lumad Killings effort, visit www.manilakbayan.org.

6. How can we support the Adopt A Community Project?

NAFCON offers several ways to support the Adopt A Community Project:

  • Donate via NAFCON Regional Coordinators or on our website via PayPal.
  • Download and share the “River Song” by Diskarte Namin which highlights the struggles of indigenous communities to survive in the face of governmental and corporate land grabbing.
  • Donate by making purchases through Amazon Smile and choosing NAFCON as your 501(c)3 recipient.
  • Defend the Manobo and their fellow Filipinos against harassment. Participate in the ICHRP effort to respond to the recent surge in Lumad Killings.
  • Host educational and fundraising events, and we can provide educational resources and other materials.
  • Visit Dulyan, Palma Gil to meet firsthand the people and their community’s needs and be part of the grassroots solution. (email: info@nafconusa.org)  

7. Who is NAFCON’s partner in the Philippines?

For the Adopt A Community Program, NAFCON is partnering with Kalikasan People’s Network for the Environment (Kalikasan PNE), a network of people’s organizations (POs), non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and environmental advocates that addresses environmental issues in a way that gives primacy to the local people—especially at the grassroots level. The community-based  Kalikasan PNE determines the local projects of the Adopt A Community Program and facilitates communication and transfer of funds. More information on Kalikasan PNE can be found at www.kalikasan.net.

For the current project in Dulyan Palma Gil, Kalikasan PNE has identified Salugpongan International (SI) and Balsa Mindanao as the local partners.  SI is a solidarity network of organizations, institutions and individuals dedicated to the unity and empowerment of marginalized rural communities in Southern Philippines. More information on SI can be found at www.salugpongan.org. Balsa Mindanao or Bulig Alang sa Mindanao, is a citizen-led mobilization among the regions of Mindanao for disaster response and advocacy for climate justice. More information on Balsa Mindanao can be found at balsamindanao.tumblr.com.

8. What are future projects of the Adopt A Community Program?

NAFCON, along with Kalikasan PNE, is planning future projects including Medical Missions, Peoples’ Science Schools, Climate Change education, cultural, sports and health programs and more in areas such as the Fisherfolk Community in Laguna de Bai, Urban Poor Community in NIA Road, Quezon City, and other communities in Central Luzon.

9. Where can I get more information?

More information can be found at our website www.nafconusa.org/Adopt. You may also email info@nafconusa.org or call our main office at 415.333.6267.

10. Are there any other related resources you can recommend?

NAFCON’s 1 Year After Haiyan report illustrates how the more than $ 1 million gathered from 49 states in the U.S. and over 30 countries worldwide was allocated to various partner organizations in the Philippines for rehabilitation and rebuilding of communities. Media coverage of NAFCON’s relief and rebuilding efforts is also available on  NAFCON’s Tumblr.

Two additional significant resources include:

  1. Our Stand on Environmental Justice where you can view a short video produced in collaboration with People Power Media that illustrates the connection between the increasing destructiveness of typhoons to the destruction and neglectful governance of a country with much natural wealth and beauty.
  2. Ibon International: “Primer on the Climate Crisis: Roots and Solutions” which traces the roots of the climate crisis to prevailing economic policies which are very destructive and against the interest of a sustainable world for our children and families to come. 


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