By Roy Mabasa
Eleven organizations from the Philippines will be the recipient of this year’s Canada Fund in support of projects focused on advancing inclusive governance and human rights, among others.
“By working with Philippines organizations through the Canada Fund, the Embassy of Canada is championing the values of inclusive and accountable governance, including by promoting human rights, women’s empowerment, gender equality, and respect for diversity,” Crista McInnis, the Embassy’s Chargé d’affaires said in a statement issued on Tuesday.
She pointed out that advancing inclusive governance is a “strategic priority” for Canada in the Philippines.
“We are partnering with civil society organizations in addressing barriers that prevent marginalized groups from realizing their full potential and participating in the development and prosperity of their families and communities,” she added.
The Canada Fund is a grants program that provides direct financial support to local organizations for projects that promote inclusive governance, such as by empowering women and girls, strengthening democracy, advancing human rights, and promoting the rule of law.
The 11 organizations and their respective projects that will receive Canada Fund grants are: Active Citizenship Foundation’s Safe Campuses Project – to promote safe spaces by establishing safe space desks for women and LGBTQ+ students in five universities across the Philippines; Samahan ng mga Pilipina para sa Reporma at Kaunlaran Inc. (Spark! Philippines)’s Humanizing SOGIE – aims to increase Filipinos’ willingness to accept and recognize the diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions of Filipinos; Ateneo de Manila University’s Ateneo Human Rights Center – to improve access to justice in the province by empowering barangay officials promote peace and order using existing alternative dispute resolution mechanisms; Pakigdait Alang sa Pag-amoma sa Kalinaw – to sustain peace and prevent violent extremism by organizing community dialogues with Bangsamoro women and youth; League of Cities of the Philippines – to establish evidence-based mechanisms for its 145 member cities to share best practices for implementing gender and development (GAD) policies; University of the Philippines Center for Women’s and Gender Studies’ – Phase 2 of its Angat Bayi Women’s Political Empowerment Program; Foundation for the Advancement of Clinical Epidemiology’s Technological Intervention to Protect Teenagers Against Early Unintended At Risk Pregnancies and Sexually Transmitted Illnesses in the Philippines (PROTECT) – research on developing an innovative chat robot on Facebook Messenger; Bahay Tuluyan – to empower marginalized youth by building their capacity to protect themselves from abuse and exploitation; Pambansang Kongreso ng Kababaihan sa Kanayunan, Inc.’s Women in Emergencies Network in the Philippines – to promote women’s capacity in disaster risk reduction management by boosting women’s leadership in decision making and participation in disaster risk reduction management, climate change adaptation, and peace and security; Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan – to work on a nationwide project that aims to increase active and more meaningful political engagement of community-based and civil society organizations, parishes and schools; and Government Watch (G-Watch) – to train and mobilize officials of the Sangguniang Kabataan (local youth councils) to effectively monitor anti-poverty programs in their respective barangays.