Six hundred and ninety two children want to learn how to read and write.
Residing in the remotest parts of the towns of San Luis, Lapaz and Esperanza in the province of Agusan del Sur, and from Impasug-ong and San Fernando of Bukidnon where schools are not present, illiteracy and poverty are perennial problems of the communities where they live.
These children are from the communities of Higaonon, Talaandig, Matigsalog, Banwaon and Manobo—five of the 18 ethno-linguistic tribes of the Mindanao Lumads.
Truth untold, the Lumads have experienced centuries of brutal and painful history in defending their lands. They have gone—and are ceaselessly going through—a systematic policy of driving them out of Mindanao in which they are now a minority. They have been marginalized with the right to self-determination denied, and indigenous culture subdued. Beyond their territories, discrimination and exclusion confront them thereby narrowing their choices.
This year, the Rural Missionaries in Northern Mindanao decided to reopen 21 literacy and numeracy schools that were forced to close-down in the past because of the unending problem of militarization that intimidated the teaching personnel and administrators, and put the entire schools and the communities under virtual Martial Law, aside from the problem of resources that hindered few of the schools’ continuous operations.
Help our children. Help us reopen our schools.
Or send them any of the following:
1. school supplies
2. educational materials
4. study chairs and tables
5. other relevant materials
"Lumad" - a collective term for the indigenous peoples of Mindanao, Philippines