DAVAO CITY, Philippines— For many years, the Lumad children in Barangay Butong, Quezon in Bukidnon province have been deprived of education due to poverty and lack of resources.
This prompted a local church group to open a school that would address the need of the IP children to have an access to basic education.
The alternative literacy school was officially opened on March 21 in the community of the Tribal Indigenous Group Association under “Project New Genesis” of the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines-Northern Mindanao Sub-Region.
A total of 58 Lumad children, aged 8 to 19 years old were enrolled at the opening of the alternative literacy school. The school’s feeding program and instruction will be facilitated by Marilou Avenido, a volunteer teacher.
“I’m glad that a school is put up in the community so their children will no longer walk far to school avoiding accidents on the road,” said Erlinda Angular, in an RMP-NMSR website posting.
Angular, a Manobo Pulangion in Barangay Butong, Quezon, Bukidnon, said children opted not to pursue schooling because of poverty.
“Most of the community members stopped after the 5th or 6th grade because of poverty and lack of resources,” she said.
The opening of the school has been attended by the Internal Catholic Mission Australia represented by its program officer Godwin Yidana and other church-based and advocacy groups along with the 117 family members of TINDOGA.
“TINDOGA is a very beautiful place,” Yidana said. “People are united not just in their struggle for their ancestral land, but also to their everyday lives. They work as one, they live their lives as one.”
The project, supported by CMA, is a relief and rehabilitation initiative for the formerly displaced Manobo Pulangion community. CMA’s commitment includes child-focused community development and sustainability programs that encourage community participation, improve the well-being of those in needs without discriminating by race, religion, culture or political persuasion, and produce sustainable benefits.
“We thank the RMP-NMR for the unwavering support despite the continuing threats,” Angular said. “We are also thankful to Godwin for visiting us, coming in solidarity with our people. It is rare for funders to visit us, especially as we are already far from the city centers.” (davaotoday.com)