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Community Organizers Multiversity (CO Multiversity)

A vision, a place, a people…

Established in 1994 as Community Organizers Training, Research, and Advocacy Institute (CO-TRAIN) it evolved to its present name as Community Organizers Multiversity (CO Multiversity) in 1997 to pave way its establishment as an alternative learning center for community organizers, People's Organizations (PO) leaders and other Non-government Organizations (NGO) workers.

CO Multiversity traces more than 30 years of CO tradition that incorporates the ideals of Saul Alinsky, Paolo Freire and Gustavo Gutierrez. Today, CO Multiversity is actively engaged in the pursuit of realizing its framework for sustainable development as contribution to the growth of the body of knowledge in community organizing. The framework gives emphasis on gender, ecology, ethnicity, equity, justice and democracy.

More than a decade of existence, CO Multiversity gave birth to two organizations that are now autonomous: Philippine Community Organizers Society (PHILCOS) and the Mediator's Network for Sustainable Peace (MEDNET). The organization continue to play a lead role in promoting community organizing as tool for development and empowerment as shown in its achievements, it also continues to search for innovations to develop an integrated and sustainable development process. To wit, some of its major accomplishments are:

1)Community organizing towards the progressive elimination of child labor in the quarry site of Montalban and pyrotechnics industry in Bulacan. The program was supported by ILO-IPEC.

2) Implementation of the Successor Generation Program for the leaders and officers of the Caucus for Development NGOs (CODE-NGO) networks. The program was supported by FORD Foundation.

3) Peace and Development Program in Mindanao where MNLF combatants were trained to become peace and development advocates. The program was funded by UNDP and currently supported by OXFAM-HK, CIDA-LGSP, Peace and Equity Foundation and Trocaire.

4) Mainstreaming Gender in Community Organizing is a milestone in the tradition of CO practice. A handbook was developed incorporating gender sensitive indicators and gender perspective in the CO steps as well as concrete illustrations by CO Multiversity partner NGOs and People's Organizations highlighting roles and contributions of grassroots women in community empowerment and development.

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