Tuén hu Uyag: Strengthening education and life skills of indigenous youth in Upper Pulangi, Mindanao, Philippines

This generation is currently faced with limited options for work, yet holds the greatest potential in ensuring levels of social and environmental sustainability, and cultural integrity of their ancestral domains. From these youth come the next cultural leaders, the teachers of the next generations; the keepers of indigenous values, knowledge, and practices. It is a progressive learning strategy that allows indigenous youth to participate in and contribute to broader Philippine society.

IMG_2840The program is held in the Pulangiyén gaup (ancestral domain) of Bendum. It is made up of multiple courses collectively called Hulas, and each course runs for eight weeks with usually two technical subjects and one formative subject. It is a live-in arrangement where a learning community is formed with daily classes, activities and responsibilities, including house management and vegetable gardening.

The program acknowledges 20 years of education efforts in the area that started with functional literacy and is now acknowledged as contributing to the national program of culture-based elementary education through the Apu Palamguwan Cultural Education Center. There are active plans to establish a formal training center for a national program of multilingual education that can offer a parallel Kinder to Year 12 (K-12) program for indigenous and other upland youth.

IMG_0670Tuén hu Uyag evolved from the continuing engagement of the Environmental Science for Social Change with the youth in Upper Pulangi, with training and skills courses that started in 2010 through the project Bridging leadership in Mindanao for cultural and environmental stability, with support from Misereor.

For further information about Tuén hu Uyag, the program brochure can be accessed here.

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