Indigenous peoples empowerment and development project

A rights-based program, this focuses on developing and empowering the Indigenous people in the province of Camarines Norte, Philippines.

Kabihug kids

About the program

Traditionally nomadic, the Indigenous people of Camarines Norte have been pressured by landowners to move deeper and deeper into the hinterland, where it is difficult for them to collect food. This forcible retreat has rendered them outside the reach of government services, such as education and primary healthcare. Thus, health and sanitation are severely neglected and there is a lack of safe drinking water.

Kabihug man and baby

By providing basic social needs such as health and sanitation, livelihood security, education and access to clean and safe drinking water, Caritas Australia is helping to improve the social, economic and cultural wellbeing of the Kabihug people.

The program also works long-term by tackling development challenges and changing discriminatory attitudes toward Indigenous peoples. By providing the Kabihugs with a full understanding of their rights they will be better able to access social services and development facilities. 

An example of this is Caritas' support for Kabihug claims over ancestral domains and the preservation of Indigenous culture. The Kabihugs have been successful in gaining land entitlements with over 1,400 people benefiting from the granting of 22 hectares of ancestral land in Osmena.

Eventually, the program aims to help Kabihug people to overcome any sense of inferiority brought about by the discrimination and marginalisation they have experienced from the government and wider community. A strengthened sense of self-esteem will enable Kabihugs to integrate into mainstream society while still keeping their Indigenous culture.

Program details

  • Issues: Indigenous rights; Sustainable livelihoods; Water and sanitation
  • Partner Agency: Socio Pastoral Action Center Foundation Inc (SPACFI)
  • Funding in 2017/18 financial year: AU $110,000
  • Geographic location: 7 municipalities of Camarines Norte: Basud, Capalonga, Jose Panganiban, Labo, Paracale, San Lorenzo Ruiz and Sta Elena
  • When established: 2007
  • This program is supported by Australian Aid through Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).

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