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In the hopes of creating a child labor-free sugarcane industry, SIFI launched the Child Labor Mitigation Program (CLMP) in Southern Negros patterned from the Integrated ARBO Child Labour and PPE Program (IACAP) of the SIFI-Responsible Sourcing from Smallholders (RSS) Program in Negros Occidental.

As part of SIFI’s Advocacy pillar, the CLMP aims to spread awareness on the importance of education, child protection, hazardous and nonhazardous labor, and responsibilities of a child. Nine SIFI-livelihood assisted agrarian reform beneficiaries organizations (ARBOs) were invited in the CLMP orientation. Out of the 9 ARBOs, five (5) committed to support the CLMP and have Child Rights Advocates (CRAs) trained this year. These 5 ARBOs are Brgy. Don Jorge L. Araneta Agrarian Reform Cooperative (BDJLAARC, Bago City), Entorilan Agrarian Reform Cooperative (EARCO, Murcia), Cusi Farmers and Farmworkers Association (CUFFA, Pontevedra), Integrated Sugar and Rice Farm Workers Association (ISARFAWA, Pontevedra), and Casal-agan Agrarian Reform Cooperative (CARC, Pontevedra).

A three-module CRA Facilitiation Training was conducted with resource speaker Leslie Abello, Project Officer on Community Partnership of Balayan Social Development Center in the University of St. La Salle. Currently, the CLMP CRAs are on their second rollout of awareness raising activities in different areas.

Meanwhile in Northern Negros, IACAP recently concluded their second CRA Capacity Building this year. A total of 15 new CRAs from 8 ARBOs were trained under the SIFI-Carlos Hilado Memorial State University (CHMSU) continuing Partnership for Empowerment, Advancement, and Continuing Education of ARBOs or Project PEACE. Facilitated by Rhoderick Samonte, CHMSU Director for External Affairs, a new breed of CRAs from Northern Negros – Don Esteban Agrarian Reform Cooperative (DEARCO, Escalante City), Defuego 2 Farm Workers Association (DFWA, Silay City), Violeta Integrated Farmers Association (VIFA, Silay City), Hacienda Malisbog 2 Farm Workers Association (HAMAFWA, Silay City), Hacienda Editha Small Farmers Water Association (HESFWA, Silay City), Hacienda Pula Silay Agrarian Reform Cooperative (HPSARC, Silay City), and Candelaria Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries Association (CARBA, Manapla) – were trained ready for deployment to spread awareness.

As of date, IACAP has trained 57 ARBO CRAs from 28 ARBOs in Northern Negros. SIFI continues to promote and sustain the “no to child labor” campaign through their ARBO-CRAs.

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