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Mindanao Baptist Rural Life Center (MBRLC)


Abstract The Mindanao Baptist Rural Life Center (MBRLC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of sustainable development in the Philippines. The MBRLC seeks to develop sustainable farming for the benefit of rural Filipinos, apply effective sustainable farming techniques to the upland regions of the Philippines, provide education and training for Filipino farmers, and foster Christian faith in a loving and wise God. The MBRLC has originated a number of sustainable farming techniques, including Sloping Agricultural Land Technology (SALT), which addresses the problem of erosion caused by deforestation by combining soil conservation with food production, and Food Always In The Home (FAITH) gardening, which uses a series of raised garden beds in a 100 square meter plot of land to provide a family of six with vegetables throughout the year. At its nineteen-hectare demonstration site in Davao del Sur, the MBRLC provides training in community development, sustainable agriculture, rural healthcare, and Christian values. The Center’s Baptist Outside Of School Training (BOOST) program aims to provide young people living in rural areas with the values and skills needed to lead a productive and fulfilling life. BOOST participants live at the Center and receive training in sustainable farming techniques, healthcare, community development, Bible Study, and Christian living. At present, more than 120 MBRLC staff members work at the demonstration site and in local villages. The Center receives approximately 20,000 visitors, including 2,000 trainees, per year. In addition to several satellite projects throughout Mindanao, MBRLC has established ties with other international organizations working on sustainable development projects throughout Asia.
Religion Christianity
Geographic Location The Philippines
Duration of Project 1971–Present
History

The MBRLC was founded in 1971 by Harold Ray Watson, who was living with his family at the training center in Kinuskusan, Bansalan, in the southern Philippines. With money from the Foreign Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention (USA) and a private United States (US) donor, Watson purchased ten hectares of underdeveloped and degraded land to serve as a demonstration site for small farmers. When Dr. Warlito Laquihon joined the staff as Associate Director in 1977, he proposed Research, Extension, Development, Education, Evangelism, and Mission (REDEEM) as the future focus of the MBRLC. In the late 1970s, the MBRLC launched a number of programs, including an agricultural extension program, Plan for Extension, Development, And Leadership (PEDAL), and the first of many BOOST programs. In 1978 Watson, Laquihon, and Rodrigo Calixtro developed the SALT technique and began to offer formal SALT trainings at the Center in 1980. By the mid- 1980s the SALT trainings were attracting more than 1,000 people a year. Since then, the MBRLC has added nine more hectares to its demonstration site in Bansalan, initiated several satellite projects throughout the southern Philippines, increased its staff, expanded its training programs, and established connections with international organizations working for sustainable development in other Asian countries.

Mission Statement The MBRLC seeks to help all people, especially upland farmers in the southern Philippines, experience abundant life as promised by Jesus Christ.
Partner Organizations Asian Rural Life Development Foundation
International Institute for Rural Reconstruction
Long-Term Goals None Listed
Bibliography None Listed
Additional Research Resources None Listed
Contact Information Mindanao Baptist Rural Life Center
Kinuskusan, Bansalan, Davao del Sur
8005 The Philippines
Ph:       +63.912.750.0246
Fax:     +63.82.226.4617
Email: (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)