Our Beginning

Sumpay is a vernacular term which means “to connect” or “to bridge”. The word connotes unity, solidarity, and cooperation.

SUMPAY Mindanao is a network of NGOs and POs trying to coordinate and collaborate its efforts to facilitate the promotion of Tri-peoples’ issues. SUMPAY started in 1996. During that time SUMPAY focused on facilitating study visits, exposure programs, and information exchange with other countries particularly in the northern part of the world.

Since then, SUMPAY took active part in promoting the Mindanao Tri-peoples issues and concerns including peace and development campaigns at the grassroots level. Cognizant to the fast changing events in the island, the partner organizations of Sumpay felt the need to pool their efforts to create greater impact in peace and development advocacy, thus, SUMPAY has to expand and embark on a more dynamic and comprehensive networking and advocacy programs from the local communities up to the international level.

Concerned with the plight of the families affected by war in the year 2000, and recognizing the fact that these miserable and disdainful realities in Mindanao will only change given the cooperation and coordinated efforts of all sectors of society, NGOs and POs in Mindanao lost no time in reaching out and joining the broadest number of the grassroots in the all-out campaign for the attainment of peace and sustainable development in the island.

The 10-day Mindanao-wide Peace Caravan held from April 24-May 3, 1999 was the grandest activity ever launched during that year. The said activity was spearheaded by KASAMA KA, the broad alliance of the tri-people (Moro, Lumad, Settler) sectoral and multi-sectoral organizations, church formations, and individuals all working for the realization of peace in the war-torn Mindanao. KASAMA KA was then renamed the MINDANAO PEOPLES PEACE MOVEMENT (MPPM) during the first Peace Summit of the tri-people organizations in Mindanao. Peace Conferences and consultations were also held at the Provincial and Municipal levels to ensure maximum participation of the people. The Mindanao Peace Summit held last June 2000 was a continuation activity and a product of the Peace Caravan.

After sometime, particularly as a result of the previous assessments, NGOs and POs participating in the peace campaign realized the importance to strengthen and push forward its advocacy work for peace not only at the national level, but also at the international front. Solidarity with peoples and organizations outside of the country was seen as a contributory factor in projecting the real issues behind the Mindanao conflict, and in bringing the advocacy work at the international level for possible interventions.

As such, Sumpay has helped to create and develop regional organizations. These include the Mindanao People’s Peace Movement (MPPM); the Alyansa ng Kabataang Mindanao para sa Kapayapaan (AKMK), a youth peace alliance; the Mindanao Tri-People Women’s Forum and its secretariat; the MTWRC and, more recently, the KILOS KA movement for rural populations.

It supported the creation of alternative development models based on unity and solidarity between the Tri-people despite their differences. This means, promoting and supporting activities related to food sovereignty by engaging in land tenure improvement; sustainable agriculture; and building of social solidarity economy.