Coffee for Peace, PCBI and Mennonite Church Canada


Location: Philippines

This report presents the case study of the Mennonite Church Canada and its relationship with PeaceBuilders Community, Inc. (PBCI), a Mindanao-based peacebuilding organization in the Philippines that carries out a range of peace and reconciliation activities with conflict-impacted communities and local leaders. In particular, the report examines how PBCI was able to achieve financial independence from the Mennonite Church Canada by embarking on a social enterprise initiative: Coffee for Peace (CFP).

The “transition” in this case study was initiated by the local partner organization, which started a social enterprise initiative in response to a conflict situation in Mindanao. This in turn generated sufficient income to allow for greater financial independence of PBCI from the Mennonite Church. The report looks at the strengths of the partnership between the Mennonite Church and PBCI. These were, firstly, that local ownership and involvement was factored in at the outset of project design; and secondly, the Mennonite Church gave PBCI sufficient time to invest in long-term relationships with communities on the ground, which built mutual trust and helped PBCI understand the local context.

This report draws on seven semi-structured key informant interviews, which took place in Davao City in April 2018. Interviews were conducted with four senior management staff from PBCI and CFP. Additional interviews were conducted in the Philippines with a former staff member of Mennonite Central Committee (the NGO arm of the Mennonite Church), as well as representatives of other civil society and peacebuilding organizations. Data from these interviews informed both the case study and analysis of the Mindanao aid context.


The transition in this case study refers to the steps taken by PBCI to achieve financial independence from its key partner and funder, the Mennonite Church Canada, following the creation of the revenue-generating Coffee for Peace social enterprise.

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