CCT’s Malungon Retreat and Community Resource Center is built on a huge 72-hectare property in Malungon, Sarangani Province, Mindanao.
The indigenous people of the area, the B’laan, are poor subsistence farmers who have been historically marginalized. Since 2003, CCT has provided them with health care, livelihood skills training, insurance and microfinance from a CCT micro-finance branch in nearby General Santos City.
The Malungon property currently runs five main programs for the B’laan: Education, Training, Spiritual Development, Nutrition and Health Care and once completed, a new Community Center.
Fourteen children aged between 5 and 10 currently attend CCT’s Basic Literacy Education and Support Systems Program (BLESS). 37 B’laan between the ages of 14 and 50 are undertaking the Alternative Learning School (ALS), a ten month program which provides them with an elementary or high school diploma.
10 B'laan families are undergoing livelihood training, including sewing and traditional dress and bead making. Six more B’laan are attending CCT’s Magdalena Vocational Training Center.
67 B’laan attend weekly Bible study groups and services at the Malungon Worship Hall.
Health Care and Nutrition
82 children, 32 of them chronically undernourished, are provided much needed nutrition in six nearby B’laan sitios, villages, every month.
The B’laan have been trained in the harvesting, treatment and storage of bamboo from the Malungon property, to be used in the construction of the Community Center. With bamboo abundant in the area, the B’laan will be able to retain these skills for the construction of their own villages in the future. The Community Center will include a pre-school, health clinic, library, training rooms and a worship hall. It will be completed in early 2011.
CCT staff at Malungon have also helped B’laan children get birth certificates, provided legal advisers to protect the B’laan from losing their land and organised help from the Department of Agriculture.