The Philippines

182 Indigenous Youth empowered with Bachelor’s Degrees, employed, and giving back to their communities

HOPE International Development Agency has been working in the Philippines from 2003, helping families and communities in need become self-reliant. As Indigenous Peoples are one of the groups most affected by poverty in the Philippines, our work has primarily been amongst them.

Indigenous Peoples face not only poverty, but also marginalisation and “vanishing cultures.” By supporting education for their youth that is also sensitive to their cultural heritage, we can empower them to guide themselves and their communities towards a sustainable future. From this vision, the Pamulaan Centre was born and remains one of our key projects in the Philippines.


The Pamulaan Centre for Indigenous Peoples Education

The Pamulaan Center was established in 2006, in a response to requests from Indigenous Leaders for a meaningful and cost-effective education program for their youth. The first of its kind in the country and located in Davao City on the Island of Mindanao, it is a university for Indigenous Youth in the Philippines.

Bachelor’s in Anthropology, Social Entrepreneurship, Sustainable Agricultural Technology, and Elementary Education are offered as core programs at The Pamulaan Centre. A strong emphasis is also placed on preserving and taking pride in their cultural traditions, such as in the languages and arts.

Upon graduation, all students utilise their education and return to Indigenous Communities for two years of community service, serving as teachers, project facilitators or social entrepreneurs.

As of April 2017, out of the graduates, 67 are now working with government agencies, 64 are with civil society organizations, 12 joined the private sector, and 13 are self-employed.

Reach IP Program

We also support elementary education in Indigenous Communities through the Reach Indigenous Peoples Program, with the hope that more children will grow to have the opportunity to access higher education like their seniors in the Pamulaan Center. Pamulaan Graduates also often opt to volunteer as teachers in these elementary schools for their community service period.


2013 Establishing a water system and providing health and hygiene education
Location: Maliwanag, Purok2, Sinaguban, Dulian villages
From 2010 and ongoing Providing higher education for the young people of indigenous groups
Location: Davao City
From 2003 and ongoing Providing primary education for children of minority, indigenous groups
Location: Baguio City