The recent gathering of the different Indigenous Peoples around the world for the Rio+20 Conference in Rio de Janiero, Brazil last 19 June 19 2012 called for an active participation of empowered and self-determined Indigenous Peoples. In response to the current challenges which push Indigenous People to the margins of society, where they struggle to live sustainably, the conference created the Indigenous People’s International Declaration on Sustainable Development and Self-Determination.
In response to this challenge, Bentela daw Sayuda (visiting and sharing), a local initiative of both the ESSC and APC, is aimed at indigenous youth and community volunteer educators, as a forum for the sharing of ideas, activities and experiences of other indigenous youth in Mindanao. It focused on identifying ways to educate and empower the youth so that they can actively participate and respond to the different challenges of their communities.
The APC as a school also seeks to share ideas and experiences with other indigenous communities who employ the same approach in educating its children. The different participants sought to understand more deeply the extent of their engagement, how their school is structured and how this has impacted the lives of their youth and children.
These discussions and exchanges, especially in the aspects of ecology and education, are important in helping indigenous youth contribute to sustaining the interrelationships in their ancestral domain.
This event was an opportunity for APC to learn about the priorities of other groups and to share with them our experiences in Bendum, especially in the management of the forest, the responses to disaster and risk resilience, and the
management of culture-based education.
It is hoped that this experience will enhance the learning of indigenous youth and support them as they firmly stand and decide for the life of peace and justice that they deserve.