16 Day Activism against Gender-based Violence

In partnership with the Austrian Embassy in Manila, SPARK observed the 16 Day Activism against Gender-based Violence through various activities which highlighted the structural inequalities that perpetuate VAW.

The campaign was launched on 25th of November during the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Senator Grace Poe was the guest speaker during the screening of Girl Rising and Women’s Rights Forum where she encouraged people, both men and women, to speak up and speak against gender-based violence. Austrian Ambassador Bita Rasoulian, SPARK Trustee Ronna Reyes Sieh were also in attendance. The forum was held at the Asian Institute of Management in Makati.

After the screening, the regional Girl Rising mbassadors Katrina Bayog (Iloilo), Shamah Bulangis (Dumaguete), and Anwedda Navarra (Iligan) shared the work they contribute to the girls’ empowerment advocacy. Ms. Kate Alyzon Ramil, gender expert, who also shared her thoughts on VAW in the Philippines.


According to the United Nations, violence against women (VAW) is the most persistent and the most extreme form of discrimination. Achieving gender equality aids in preventing conflict and alleviating the number of cases of VAW. SPARK and Austrian Embassy in Manila aligned the theme on this year’s observance with the United Nations theme, Orange the World, Leave No One Behind: End violence against women and girls.

Throughout the 16 Day campaign, empowered women and gender advocates such as Senator Risa Hontiveros, Rags2Riches co-founder Reese Fernandez-Ruiz, UP Babaylan’s Vince Liban, and other women pledged to eliminate gender-based violence through mainstreaming gender equality.

Annually, December 10 serves as the International Human Rights Day, which also acts as the culminating event for the 16 Day campaign initially launched by UNiTE, United Nations Secretary General’s Campaign, which addresses gender-based violence. This year’s International Human Rights Day theme, “Let’s stand up for equality, justice and human dignity” addresses the importance of achieving equality, justice, and freedom to prevent violence and preserve peace.

SPARK and Austrian Embassy in Manila partnered with the city of Taguig and Progressive Ladies League of the Philippines for the culminating activity of the 16 Day campaign. Mayor Lani Cayetano and 500 women from Taguig showed their support by participating in the “Break The Chain” Dance Against VAW, pioneered by One Billion Rising, a movement that demands to end all forms of exploitation on girls and women through solidarity.

As a result of the thrilling success that the partnership brought, SPARK and Austrian Embassy in Manila will continue its partnership for Women’s Month in March 2018 to celebrate the significant success of women in social, economic, cultural, and political spheres in achieving gender parity. It will also serve as platform for women to focus on the collective efforts and ownership to address gender issues and take action to eventually achieve gender equality in all facets of the society.

DILG – Cotabato City pioneers GAD Trainers Training, highlights JMC 2013 – 01


The Department of Interior and Local Government of Cotabato City in partnership with SPARK! Philippines conducted a Gender and Development (GAD) Trainer’s Training for Civil Society Organization leaders on January 29-31, 2014 held at the St. Joseph Retreat House, Cotabato City.

“The advocacy on mainstreaming GAD cannot be done alone by the government. We need leaders like the strong CSO network to help us carry out this initiative, after all, this is our own city” said Director Abdillah of DILG Cotabato City.

Twenty community development leaders from different areas from South Central Mindanao responded to the call and attended the training. The Gender and Development (GAD) approach aims to provide Philippine government agencies, partners and donors with a common set of analytical concepts and tools for integrating gender concerns into development programs and projects. The training includes Gender Sensitivity, Gender Analysis, and Gender Mainstreaming, Tools for Gender Mainstreaming andGAD Plan and Budget components. It aims to capacitate LGUs through its development partners in the community in creating their GAD Plan (Gender and Development Plan) to address gender issues and concerns in their respective sectors and constituents as mandated by RA 9710. The highlight of the said activity was the introduction of the recently-signed Joint Memorandum Circular 2013 – 01 issued by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Department and Budget and Management (DBM) and the Philippine Commission on Women on the Localization of the Magna Carta of Women.

As a result of the 3-day training, the 20 GAD trainers together with the city government commits to federate the civil society organizations and non-profit organizations to formally create an alliance that will significantly contribute to policy making and city planning particularly on mainstreaming GAD.

The participating NGO’s and CSO’s include: Noorus Salaam, LIPAD, Kadtuntaya Foundation, Inc. (KFI), SoLD Pax, Advocacy for Advancement and Development Mindanao, Advance Progress, Magbasa Kita Foundation Inc., Kapagawida Development Services Association, Inc. (KDSAI), and MTB- Mindanao Tulong Bakwet among others.

Psychosocial Trauma, Healing and Reconciliation Training of Trainers



An urgent and crucial training program post-disaster.
A critical capacity development initiative post-Yolanda.

SPARK! Philippines, Inc., in cooperation with Goals for Peace- Colombia will be conducting a Psychological Trauma, Healing and Reconciliation Trainer’s Training with Dr. Al B. Fuertes of George Mason University on December 13- 15, 2013 at the SGV I & II, Asian Institute of Management, Paseo de Roxas, Makati City.

The training is designed to allow participants to develop an appreciation of human resilience and acquire more coping mechanisms by gaining a broader knowledge and deeper understanding about the nature and dynamics of psychosocial trauma, healing and reconciliation given the various forms of natural disaster and conflict that are affecting individuals and societies.

Participants will investigate the difficulties people and communities face in responding to deep personal and communal loss, pain, and suffering in settings of displacement, natural disaster, and protracted, violent conflict such as war or armed struggle.

The participants are expected to cascade their learnings especially to those who are directly helping in the relief efforts.

For more information please contact Mr. Joseph Navarro, SPARK! Philippines Project Officer 0916 396 9123 or send us your inquiries at sparkphilippines2013@gmail.com as soon as possible. Limited slot available.


Dr. Al Fuertes was a recipient of the 2008 GMU Teaching Excellence Award and the 2001 AT&T Asia-Pacific Leadership Award. Al is a field practitioner and consultant who specializes in community-based trauma healing as an integral component in peacebuilding and conflict transformation. He travels extensively around the world, particularly in places affected by war, armed conflict, and natural disaster. Al works with government, religious, military, and community leaders, as well as NGO development workers, school administrators, teachers, youth, refugees and internally displaced persons. He is the faculty director of the global education program in the Philippines, a 9-credit summer course in Grassroots Peacebuilding, Environmental Issues and Cultures, and in Cambodia, a 3-credit winter course in Community Development, Post-Conflict Reconstruction, and Spirituality through George Mason’s Center for Global Education.