In 2014, JRS had livelihood projects in the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao and in Zamboanga city in Mindanao. These places were identified as conflict areas and has had many IDPs for decades. JRS Philippines assisted lwith ivelihood projects in Maguindanao and Zamboanga city while advocated for peace in Lanao del Norte.
JRS projects were centered on women IDPs and aimed to enhance women IDPs in returned communities in order to have sustainable peace and reconciliation.
JRS aimed to develop sustainable opportunities through the livelihoods programme for returning or returned female-headed IDP households. Through its advocacy efforts and sustained participation for returning or returned IDPs awareness was raised about the peace process with regard to the Framework Agreement on Bangsamoro between the Philippine government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
During the implementation and monitoring stages there were many challenges for JRS programmes in Mindanao. By and large, the challenge of the unstable peace situation in the areas being served by JRS and the restricted access to those field sites hindered our activities. Recurring fighting or threats from the Bangsamoro Independent Freedom Fighters, Moro National Liberation Front and other uncontrolled forces responsible for kidnappings and killings, hindered the implementation of the programme as they were trying to sabotage the peace process.
Despite the challenges JRS was able to assist 460 households in the livelihood programme and in the advocacy programme. JRS also established links with other local NGOs particularly in Lanao. JRS Philippines has gained the trust of the people served and their local leaders through relationship building allowing JRS to work in their critical and vulnerable situations.
Going forward JRS will advocate for fair media coverage based on positive interactions of those based in Mindanao from multiple religions, so Muslims and Christians alike, can try and build a grassroots campaign for women’s rights and awareness raising of the BBL & Strategic Framework.
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