DAVAO CITY – An interfaith network supporting the indigenous peoples rights is launched in a hotel in Cagayan de Oro today.

The network named, “Higala sa Lumad” (Friends of the Lumads) Network aims to help in protecting indigenous communities through campaign popularization.

The network is composed of individuals and organisations who pledged in monitoring the rights situation of the communities and  to conduct quick response activities when needed.

“We have gathered over a hundred supporters not only from the Philippines but also from other countries the campaigns on indigenous peoples’ rights have reached,” said Atty. Czarina Golda Musni, core group member of the Higala sa Lumad.

The network is created under the ‘Healing the Hurt’ Project, an initiative aimed at addressing marginalization issues of the Lumad. One of its components hopes to increase financial, material and other forms of support for the protection and security of indigenous leaders and communities.

During the inauguration program Sr. Ma. Famita Somogod, MSM said that she have experienced threats and harassments as an advocate for the Lumads rights.

Somogod has previously worked with indigenous communities through the literacy and numeracy schools of the Missionary Sisters of Mary.

“I am glad that despite the attacks on the Lumad campaigns, many are still convinced that what we are fighting for is right,” she said.

On December 8, the project also inaugurated the Tagtabulon Cooperative at Brgy. Banglay, Langonglong, Misamis Oriental. Its members are from the Higaonon community in Sitios Camansi, Tapol, and Anahaw in Banglay.

The establishment of the cooperatives in indigenous communities is to give them financial capacity to sustain their needs even as they work on their campaigns. (davaotoday.com)

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