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The Dream Weavers of San Rafael

It’s damgo In Bisaya or Cebuano and damugu among the Higaonon and Talaandig. Both words mean the same thing -- dream. It’s also the name that the Lumad weavers of Barangay San Rafael in Talakag town in Bukidnon gave themselves – Damugu Weavers Association.

Weaving, or paglala, among the islands’ native inhabitants dates as far back as the 13th century. Normally, if not exclusively done by women, the craft served a cultural purpose as the indigenous peoples’ link to the spirits whom they would invoke for protection and good health.

Nurturing Connections through 20@20 Tree Growing and Fundraising

To borrow a popular quote of Lucy Larcom, ‘(S)he who plants a tree, plants a hope.’ The Higaonon community of Sitio Panlablaba, Awang in the Dulangan Unified Ancestral Domain (DUAD) is on its third year of re-planting the bare hills in their area. Under the leadership of the Datu Macalamag Marcus Nabatlao, Sr., and the participation of the  youth and women, they had successfully established their nursery even at the height of the COVID pandemic in 2020, and have continued to grow seedlings for re-planting. 

Collaboration to Protect and Strengthen Indigenous Institutions in Tambrauw Regency


Collaboration with local community, government, and CSOs help to strengthen customary institutions.  This was demonstrated during the Tambrauw Indigenous Peoples' Institution (LEMATA) Customary Meeting which took place in Fef District on January 19, 2023.
An organization or community institution known as a "customary institution" is one that has been set up by a particular customary law community. 

Capacity Building Training for the Balai Juhu Indigenous Peoples

One of the cornerstones of product marketing is competent human resources. Cognisant of this fact, Aliansi Masyarakat Adat Nusantara (AMAN) and Hulu Sungai Tengah (HST) held a joint training session to maximise the skills of the Balai Juhu Indigenous Peoples (IP), specifically in regard to managing agricultural commodities such as coffee and honey.

Indigenous, Local Women at Forefront of Defending Environment, Community Development

In 24 indigenous and local communities in the Philippines, women are at the forefront of facilitating efforts that address pressing community issues and vulnerabilities, especially on defending the environment.

Through the Women Environmental Defenders (WE-Defend) program, Samdhana supports Cohorts—-individuals who have had long years and experience in leading their community, and Fellows—-individuals who are taking up the challenge and stepping in as next generation leaders, to learn and practice new skills in pursuit of their respective communities’ goals.

Recovery after Odette

Indigenous and local communities still vulnerable to natural disasters aggravated by climate change.

A month after the devastating category 5 typhoon Odette (Rai) last December 16, 2021, affected communities are focused on their recovery. Through the urgent action grant mechanism, Samdhana Institute was able to contribute to the relief and recovery efforts of community partners.

PARARA Festival: "Local Food Traditions for Indonesia’s Future"

From 2-18 December 2021, the PARARA (Panen Raya Nusantara, or Archipelago Harvest) Festival represented a consortium of 30 non-government organizations (NGOs) assisted by business groups and more than 105 Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLC) from all over Indonesia. These participants showcased local food traditions, along with a range of creative products, handicrafts and non-timber forest products (NTFPs).

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