Thursday, January 12, 2012

Norwegian Mission holds Marinduque Development Partners Forum




The Norwegian Mission Alliance introduced its ‘diaconal’ mission in Marinduque in 2007. That’s a role in the Christian Church generally associated with service to others to pursue a vision. The said NGO initially identified one barangay in the entire province that they considered the poorest – Yook in Buenavista. Certain sectors of the local community were vocal in their skepticism then that the NMA will ever get anywhere in its attempt to improve the lives of the un-empowered. 

“Many so-called NGO’s and even church organizations have made their presence in those poor communities for years, spending millions of pesos in health-related and livelihood projects but all that help did not make any difference in the people’s lives”, one religious leader openly stated in the introductory meeting organized by the NMA then.


But the unique NMA approach involved the creation of Participatory Action Research Teams in the community they want to support composed of community members with the potential to facilitate interventions and capacity to draw community support. Members were chosen from a cross-section of farmers, fisherfolks, women and youth and were trained by the Mission’s development team.



The NMA has since initiated development partnerships with other community-based orgs, with the local and national government agencies and the private sector, and today it has undeniably made headways in the identified barangays, the number of which also gradually increased. From barangay Yook, NMA expanded its work to other barangays in Buenavista town such as, Tungib-Lipata, Bicas-Bicas, Bagacay, Bagtingon, Caigangan and Libas – eventually moving on to the Torrijos barangays of Malibago, Talawan, Makawayan, Dampulan, Payanas and Buangan, to address problems that the said communities have themselves identified as those needing NMA intervention.



NMA has made headways in these communities in the area of health and nutrition, education and protection of children and livelihood programs. Some poor communities outside Buenavista and Torrijos eventually approached NMA for inclusion in the program. To explore possibilities of further strengthening partnerships with local stakeholders and partners, the Mission has decided to hold a Marinduque Development Partners Forum from January 12-13, 2012 at the 2nd Floor of DJ Plaza, Gasan. The forum will serve as venue for the presentation, discussion and assessment of previous development partnership initiated by the NMA and for strengthening of such partnership and collaboration.

Susong Dalaga Hill

Susong Dalaga Hill
Susong Dalaga Hill from Bagtasan isthmus

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