Donation channels open for Malipayon Peace Hub


Winnipeg – Mennonite Church Canada’s International Witness ministry is inviting donations to complete the construction of the Malipayon Peace Hub in Mindanao, Philippines. The aim is to raise CAN$235,000 by March 2024.

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The completion of the project includes a new peace and reconciliation training centre for Peacebuilders Community Inc (PBCI), an upgraded processing and farmer training centre for Coffee for Peace (CFP), a new staff house and guest house, and a delivery vehicle.

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PBCI and CFP founders Dann and Joji Pantoja, who will transition into retirement in 2026, will lead the project in the Philippines. Jeanette Hanson, Director of Witness International Ministry, will coordinate fundraising efforts in Canada.

The Pantojas were sent by MC Canada to Mindanao, Philippines in 2006.  Their peace building work in an often-violent context led to the development of the not-for-profit PBCI, resulting in a community of pastors, academics, and indigenous leaders who collaborate to provide training in peace and reconciliation for organizations, churches, community groups, indigenous communities, and even military leaders.

The peace and reconciliation training in communities and social enterprise activities make up most of the work of PBCI, but there is a growing demand for their peace and reconciliation training from companies, government entities, and even the military. These are sources of revenue for PBCI.

CFP, an outgrowth of the Pantojas’ initial peacebuilding work, is a for-profit economic justice initiative that helps impoverished farmers who were driven up onto the mountains by violence resulting from inter-tribal, religious, and military conflicts.

CFP has formed a coffee producers’ cooperative, assists framers with research, development, processing, packaging, marketing, and aids in finding domestic and international markets for their multi-award winning product. Importantly, the new facilities will enable FDA approval of the coffee processing operations, a necessary requirement for export markets. CFP revenues help in part to fund the peace and reconciliation work of PBCI.

Brief History

With the Malipayon Peace Hub, the Pantojas are preparing to pass on their work to a younger team of Indigenous leaders. The construction and completion of the Malipayon Peace Hub will provide much needed, sheltered facilities for the future work of PBCI and CFP.

The model of PBCI training and CFP’s coffee production expertise has already proven sustainable in Bukidnon, where an indigenous group has developed a similar centre.

PBCI has received 25%-35% of its budget from MC Canada over the past five years.  This funding would be replaced by the increased capacity and profits from the new and upgraded post-harvest processing operations.

Completion of the centre in 2023 will give PBCI the footing it needs to fully complete its leadership transition by the projected 2026 date of the Pantojas’ retirement.  At that point the annual funding for PBCI from MC Canada will also come to an end.

Read more about Dann and Joji Pantoja and their work: Read More