Indigenous women and young women from four indigenous communities in Mindanao, particularly from the Teduray and Lambangian from North Upi, Maguindanao Del Sur, Arumanen ne Menuvu from Midsayap, North Cotabato, and Kirinteken Pulangiyen Ilantungen of Bukidnon, actively participated in a Community Journalism skills training and study sessions held at Timuay Justice and Governance Training Center in Maguindanao Del Norte last October 14-16, 2022. It was a three-day training and workshop on Community Journalism facilitated by LILAK (Purple Action for Indigenous Women’s Rights).
The community journalism training is a platform for indigenous women and young women wherein, true, and accurate information about the events, issues, and concerns, in the cultural indigenous communities are being documented, and published, to get the attention of concerned agencies from the government for action and resolution.
The skills-sharing sessions focus on radio broadcasting, news writing, interview, and digital photography. The study sessions also cover Libel and Cyber Libel presented by the Foundation for Media Alternatives and Fact-Checking presented by Vera Files.
“Masayang-masaya ako dahil nagkakaroon na tayo ng balitaan tungkol sa totoong nangyayari sa mga katutubong komunidad (I am beyond happy because we can now have news about the true situation in our community),” according to Bae Kumey-an, from the Arumenen ne Menuvu tribe.
“Napakalaking hamon sa katutubong kababaihan upang magsalita at ilabas ang totoong nangyayari sa komunidad (It is a very big challenge for Indigenous Women to speak and open up about the real struggles of the community),” said Helen Mao, one of the Indigenous Women from the Lambangian.
“Bilang isang katutubong kabataang kababaihan, malaki ang maitutulong ng Community Journalism sa amin. Dahil dito nagkaroon kami ng kaalaman hinggil sa mga kaparaanan kung paano maging mabisa sa pagpapa-abot ng mga hinaing ng mga na-agrabyadong komunidad at mabigyan pa kami ng lakas ng loob na magsalita at tumindig para isulong ang karapatan ng katutubong kababaihan (As an indigenous young woman, Community Journalism has helped us a lot. Because of this, we gained knowledge about ways to effectively convey the grievances of aggrieved communities and were given the courage to speak and stand up to advance the rights of indigenous women)," said Mylove Jone of BTYA (Bukidnon Tribal Youth Ambassador.)
According to Judy Pasimio, the overall coordinator of LILAK, the objective of community journalism is at the heart of making indigenous women's stories and voices heard based on their own perspectives and realities.
“Hopeful kami na maiangat pa natin ang boses ng mga katutubong kababaihan at ambag ito sa pagbasag ng invisibility nila sa lipunan (We are hopeful that through community journalism, more indigenous women’s voices will be heard and will have a voice that could contribute to breaking their invisibility in society).