ENGAGE: Empowering Girls as Agents of Change towards Gender Equality in Indigenous and Disadvantaged Communities in Cotabato Province

CTR Reference No.


Title of the project

ENGAGE:  Empowering Girls as Agents of Change towards Gender Equality in Indigenous and Disadvantaged Communities in Cotabato Province

Implementing organisations

Save the Children Philippines

Save the Children Spain

Halad Uma Alang sa Nasud Association Inc. (Ha Uman)

Women’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau (WLB), Inc.


Project Location/s

Municipalities of Arakan, Magpet and Makilala in North Cotabato Province

Operational Duration

(start date – end date of activities)

30 months

March 2022 – August 2024

Allocated budget

(EU contribution only)

500,000 Euros

Overall and Specific objectives (simplified – for publication)

The overall objective of the project is to contribute to the empowerment of girls and their ability to claim their rights.

Specific Objective 1:  Girls have increased agency and capacity as rights defenders to raise their voice and influence actions to address gender inequality and gender-based violence.

Specific Objective2: A supportive and protective environment is established to enable girls to claim their right to protection from sexual and gender-based violence.

Main target groups

Girls aged 10-17 years old from GIDA and IP communities


Parents and Caregivers

Men and Boys

Tribal Communities and Leaders (e.g., tribal chieftains and chairs, tribal affairs officers, IP Mandatory Representatives)

Stakeholders from LGUs (I.e., barangay, municipal, provincial) in the target areas


Main activities (simplified – for publication)

1.Build the awareness and capacity of girls on children’s rights, child protection, gender equality, relevant legal and policy frameworks, civic participation, and relevant life skills

2.Organize girls’ groups around issues on GBV and discrimination, and strengthen their capacity for collective analysis, self and peer protection, action planning, monitoring, campaigning, and advocacy

3.Build the awareness and capacity of parents and caregivers on human rights, children’s rights, child protection, and gender-equality through the development of information, education, and communication materials and the conduct of learning sessions

4.Raise awareness among community members, including boys and men, on human rights, children’s rights and child protection, and gender equality

5.Promote awareness of local government and tribal leaders on children’s rights, child protection and gender equality

6. Advocate for the adoption of guidelines, safe spaces, and the corresponding capacity-building plan and referral pathway to implement the guidelines


Sustainability of the Project

Financial - The incorporation of proposed programmes addressing SGBV against girls—including capacity building programmes, maintenance of referral pathways and establishment of safe spaces for girls--in local annual investment plans as a result of girls’ and community groups’ participation in LGUs’ planning processes will not only translate to budget allocation for these interventions but will also establish clear budget lines for SGBV that can be easily adopted/replicated in the LGUs’ local plans and budgets annually for the succeeding years.

Institutional - The project will influence the criteria to include adolescent girls’ permanent representation in mandated government structures such as the barangay/municipal councils for the protection of children (BCPC/MCPCs) to ensure their sustained representation and participation.

Policy level - The adoption of a policy supporting the guidelines, referral systems, capacity building plan and girls’ only safe spaces will ensure that these mechanisms are sustained beyond the Action and even if there are changes in the political leadership.

Environmental - The project activities require the use of resources and practices that may have some negative impacts to the environment. All these activities and negative impacts will be mitigated by proper planning, implementation of risk management plans, adoption of environmentally-friendly practices and utilization of available technology for more energy efficient alternatives (e.g. e-learning, virtual meetings and workshop).


Target SDGs

SDG 5- Gender Equality

SDG 16 – Peace Justice and Strong Institutions

Link to more information on the project (website/Facebook page/etc)


Facebook: SavetheChildrenPH

Twitter: SaveChildrenPH

Instagram: savethechildrenph