APC visited Gawad Kalinga’s (GK) Enchanted Farm outside of Manila earlier in January this year when we were invited to speak at their Global Business Summit. The “farm university”, which incubates numerous locally grown social enterprises, including the successful Human Nature toiletries line, is a lively, vibrant compound which seamlessly integrates aspiring social entrepreneurs from all over the world with the local community – all living side by side, and working together to foster a better livelihoods and improved quality of life for those in the community. It was an eye-opener and we were grateful for Tito Tony Meloto’s welcome.
Back in Manila, APC members and other leaders from the philanthropic community gathered to discuss “how to move the needle” with regards to the work that are already invested in the education sector. It seems that there is already a lot of activity with NGOs, multilaterals and development agencies, but the ultimate impact is not significant. Finally, we agreed that the sector could benefit from a landscape study, and APC committed to follow up on this with PBSP.
Another issue that was high on everyone’s agenda was the situation in Mindanao. The group discussed the need for investment and livelihood opportunities in the region, in spite of the insecurity and conflict. We acknowledged that the situation in Mindanao was extremely complex and required a very nuanced and layered ongoing response with multiple partners. Hence, the idea was floated to organise a regular convening to discuss the issues in the region, possible opportunities and progress in projects.