Discovering Together

Osmosis for the fifth time happened last April 8-15, 2015. Accompanied by their program head, four student volunteers from STREAMS - Xavier University (XU) in Cagayan de Oro City and 5 Indigenous youth leaders from the Ata tribe in the Paquibato District journeyed together to learn and live in Sitio Napusukan, a far-flung Ata community in Davao City. An Indigenous youth from the Mandaya tribe in Davao Oriental, who is volunteering with iEmergence, and a Colombian colleague, also joined the activity.

The community in Napusukan together with their tribal leaders, Datu Sagoksok and Datu Dalisay, welcomed us with warm hearts. For four nights, the host families opened their homes and allowed us to live with them and experience their way of life. Our time in Napusukan was greatly appreciated by the osmosers because their experiences in the community led them to understand the culture, traditions, beliefs, practices, skills and way of living of the Ata tribe. For the group from STREAMS – XU, as an education development program, the immersion contributed to them redefining how they will positively engage with Indigenous communities in their own areas.

For the Ata youth of our IYL (Indigenous Youth Leadership) program, osmosis became a venue for them to relearn or rediscover their own culture. Indigenous spirituality and leadership became the core of their discoveries in this osmosis.

Playing, fishing, planting, singing, playing traditional instruments, wonderful conversations, and community prayer were the key ways in which the group discovered things about the culture of the tribe, and recognized the value and uniqueness of their simple yet profound way of life.

After the community immersion, the group of osmosers together with the IYL shared their extraordinary experiences and discoveries through a two-day Appreciative Inquiry workshop. The process allowed them to share positive experiences while they were in the community and the creation of provocative statements and visions. These embody their dreams and hopes not only for their own groups but for their personal lives as well.

More stories from the osmosers themselves will be posted soon.

Thank you STREAMS XU-Pathways to Higher Education for journeying with iEmergence and the Indigenous communities we walk alongside with.