ZABIDA inaugurates Peace and Dev’t Resource Center bldg. PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 29 December 2012 14:21

The Zamboanga-Basilan Integrated Development, Inc. (ZABIDA) consortium ended year 2012 with a turning-point milestone event.

On  December 21, it inaugurated its own newly-completed building named as Peace and Development Resource Center, located in Suterville, Zamboanga City. After renting office spaces for many years, ZABIDA and its three partner non-government organizations in the city – Peace Advocates Zamboanga (PAZ), Katilingban para sa Kalambuan, Inc. (KKI) and Reach Out to Others Foundation (ROOF) - have now moved into the one-storey building. The consortium’s fourth partner, Nagdilaab Foundation, Inc. (NFI) is based in Basilan province.

This building is dedicated to the poor and marginalized people in the city and region whose upliftment and welfare form the mission of ZABIDA, said consortium president Fr. Angel Calvo, CMF during the brief ceremony.     This building stands as a symbol of the enduring partnership between ZABIDA and the people it serves in their shared vision to achieve peace and development, he said.

Blessing prayers were said by Muslim civil society leader Jaafar Kimpa, Zamboanga Fellowship Ministry president Atty. Paul Ersando and Fr. Calvo, who are convenors of the Inter-Religious Solidarity Movement for Peace (IRSMP), whose secretariat is PAZ.

“Let us thank God for this building. It is a clear sign of His support for ZABIDA’s mission, and of His presence among the people,” Fr. Calvo also said.

The P5-million structure was funded by the Agencia Espanola de Cooperacion Internacional para Desarollo (AECID), which has also been extending financial support to most of ZABIDA’S  projects in the last six years, along with the Spanish foundation Manos Unidas.

ZABIDA was formed 2007 by Fr. Calvo and six other local personalities to implement a Manos Unidas program called “Convenio”.  Through it, the four NGO partners have since collaborated in such projects as teaching organic farming to farmers, micro-lending and livelihood training and production, coastal resource conservation, women support and community organization good governance practices, health and water systems, shelter of trafficked and street children, peace-building and advocacy, and other special concerns. 

After the inauguration ceremony, ZABIDA held its annual stakeholders’ forum with some 100 farmers and other community groups leaders attending. The main topic was the “National Year of Rice”, with discussions led by Department of Agriculture (DA) regional office information division chief Melba Wee as resource person.  For this 2013 program, DA has partnered with ZABIDA, which is in accord with its human security target, as pointed out by consortium regional executive director Espie Hupida during the forum.

Wee gave pointers on how to make the Philippines rice self-sufficient by next year, in contrast to its present status as rice importer. — Peace Advocates Zamboanga