ADDU hosts Mindanao IDP Summit
Davao City (19 November) -- Approximately a hundred internally displaced peoples (IDPs), humanitarian groups, government agencies and members of the civil society organizations from various parts of Mindanao will troop to the Ateneo de Davao University for the 2010 Mindanao IDP Summit on November 22, 2010 from eight o'clock in the morning until five o'clock in the afternoon.
The summit theme "Voices and Narratives on IDP: The Mindanao Journey," reflects the primary goal of the gathering, that is, raising the marginal voices of the IDPs on account of armed conflict.
"It is high time that we create a space for those who bear the brunt of war in Mindanao. We need to listen to the voices of those who are displaced by armed conflict if we are to take seriously the task of charting our roadmap to development particularly in Mindanao," said Lourdesita S. Chan, the summit coordinator and director of the Social Research Training and Development Office of Ateneo de Davao University (AdDU).
According to Dr. Christine Diaz, chairperson of the Social Sciences and Education Division of AdDU, " The university (AdDU is hosting the summit since migration is one of the frontier social issues that the Jesuits are engaged with in consonance with their General Congregation No. 35. We also believe that understanding the movement of people in Mindanao having been dislocated due to war will give us a clearer view in developing programs and projects to assist the needs of the IDPs."
Based on the figures provided by the International Organization of Migration Tracking Update, for Maguindanao Province alone, as of July 23, 2010, there were a total of 18, 874 families or around 94,000 to 113,000 are living in displacement either in evacuation centers, relocation sites or as home-based IDPs.
Determining reliable figures on the number of IDPs remains a huge challenge, both because the displacement in Mindanao is characterized by frequent population movements, and because of incomplete collection of information with some groups of IDPs, not captured in government data (Mindanews, 16 November 2009).
It is on this premise that the summit on IDPs has been conceived. "This is aimed not only to provide the venue to gather IDP-work related stories, experience, lessons, insights and perspectives of those involved in such undertaking in Mindanao but also to surface concerned partner's expectations regarding possible collaborative efforts among the stakeholders in addressing the concern of IDPs," said Luz Rodriguez, Executive Director of MAGI. (RTCJ/pr) [top]