Apr 11, 2017

Giving Support to Earthquake Survivors

KI Volunteer Hameda giving emotional recovery
KI Volunteer Hameda giving emotional recovery

Dear Friends and Supporters,

With your help, KI has been able to recruit and train a new batch of 7 volunteers. The six women and one man received their training during last February. Then in early march, they travelled to the Surigao City in Eastern Mindanao, a 12 hour road trip. Christian dominated Surigao was hit by a 6.7 magnitude earthquake on February 10 this year that caused damage to the communities both physically and emotionally, KI joined with other volunteers from different organizations of Mindanao Emergency Response Network (MERN) to provide psychosocial aid to those communities,especially the children, affected in the area. This intervention was the final part of the volunteer's training program and I would like to share with you some of their experiences.

"We prioritized more on children who experienced the earthquake. The sessions were conducted in schools in different places in Surigao. We, the trainees were nervous and excited at first because it is our first time to handle these kinds of tasks which is an emergency response. We were given several orientations and briefing before coming to the area so that we know how to do it properly. The conducting of sessions is by pair, so from KI we are divided into 4 teams. In the first sessions, we encountered young children ages 7-12. Our self introduction to them was a bit difficult at first because of the language barrier. The people in Surigao speak Cebuano differently than what we used to hear in Iligan City. These children also speak the native Surigaonon dialect and we really find it difficult to understand them because they kept on talking to us in their dialect despite asking them to use Filipino instead. But along the way, we were able to adjust to them and learnt few words from their dialect. Their cheerful faces say as though they didn't experience a disaster. But when we asked them what they felt during the earthquake, they were all having the same answer that we are all very scared. Some children told us that they thought it’s the end of the world because the earthquake is not stopping and they’ve witnessed their family members being hurt during the tragedy."

This is just a brief excerpt of their experience. Thanks to your support, you are not only helping to empower young people, you are also enabling them to help those from other communities in Mindanao.

Thank you

Mariam

KI volunteer Aisah with children
KI volunteer Aisah with children
KI volunteer Naida facilitating recovery session
KI volunteer Naida facilitating recovery session
Jan 10, 2017

My Unforgettable Experience

Saidomar (R) with PWD leaders of San Remigio, Cebu
Saidomar (R) with PWD leaders of San Remigio, Cebu

Dear Friends and Supporters,

As we enter the new calendar year, it is a time for many to start afresh. We at KI are also starting the recruitment process for our 11th Batch of Muslim Youth Peacebuilding Volunteers. Your much needed support will contibute to their upcoming development training. We look forward to infoming you of their progress in the coming months.

In this report, we thought we would share with you the story of one our previous volunteers, Saidomar, who finished his placement on September 1st 2016.  All of our volunteers are asked to write their Significant Change Story at the end of their placement. Saidomar was placed in Cebu CIty in the Visayas region of the Philippines. The Visayas is more than 99% Christian, there are only a few Muslims living there.

My Unforgettable Experience by Saidomar

"Ever since I was in college during our National Service Training Program I really like to help my co-Filipino who is in need of help. That was the reason why I apply and entered to Kapamagogopa Inc. because I want to help people and share my skills and knowledge. During my volunteering I was assigned at Philippine Accessible Deaf Services. A NGO based in Cebu province that is working for persons with disability inclusive society. At first it was hard because Cebu is a Christian dominated area and I was placed in an organization where in more than 50% of the staff were Deaf. It’s really hard to communicate with them. But as days goes by, I learned basic sign language and I was able to communicate with them properly. I am thankful that even though I am a Muslim, the Christian people that I’ve worked with during my volunteering in Cebu respected and trusted me. They treat me like how they treat their Christian friends. Some said that before they thought that Muslim were not good but after knowing me and other KI volunteer that they’ve worked with, they say that not all Muslim were bad. We had this good friendship relationship.

When I was there, I was able to know more about Person’s with Disability (PWD) community. I became more aware regarding the challenges that they face in their everyday life. The opportunity to work and help the PWD sector is very fulfilling for me. I became more aware on how to deal with them and worked with them almost every day. We help each other to achieve our goal which is to have a PWD inclusive society particularly in Cebu Province. They inspired me to do more good things in life and to help more people who are in need.

The most rewarding in my volunteering is when I saw the PWD community in Cebu Province that they were now participating in different aspects of the society either in socio-economic, politics and etc. I can see the happiness to their faces when we are doing activities like when we had a PWD Summit. I can see that what we can do as a person’s without Disability they can also do it. I am very thankful that I was given a chance to become a volunteer and helped other people in my own little way and developed my attitude and skills. My experience in Cebu were sometimes good and sometimes bad but still the whole thing was amazing. I will never forget this one of a kind and priceless experience. I will definitely share this unforgettable experience to my friends, relatives and up to my grandchildren."

Your invaluable support allows us to train and place more young people like Saidomar, which in turn helps in a small way to make the Philippines more peaceful and prosperous.

Thank you

Mariam

Oct 14, 2016

Leading by Example: A volunteer's story

Nadjera facilitating youth workshop
Nadjera facilitating youth workshop

Nadjera Alauya is 21 years old from Tugaya, Lanao del Sur.  She joined KI straight from college with little experience of development work but with a desire to learn. She is placed at Pailig Development Foundation (A Christian led local NGO working with impoverished Indigenous and Islamized tribal communities living in the hinterland). Nadjera was assigned to work with the Natural Resource management team. At first, most of the work was new to her, "at first I was scared because the road to the community was dangerous and they have a different culture". She reflected "It is an amazing feeling to help the community especially the young ones who I give guidance to". Due to the 40 year old conflict, prejudice in some Christian communities still exists but Nadjera is bridging the gap and helping to bring people together.  "She contributes a lot to the team" commented her supervisor Greg, "she is energetic, participative and open-minded. She is able to work well with her Christian colleagues".

 

In July 2016, Nadera was made team leader for 3 day workshop for tri-people youth (Muslim, Christian and Indigenous People). The workshop was on the Environment, Leadership and Governance. She was in charge of organizing the event as well as the content. Although the participants were youth, some of them were surprised that they were older than her.

Nadjera in her role encourages and inspires other young people (not only Muslim) to get involved and make a difference in Mindanao.

Your support is invaluable in helping us to empower young women to become inspirational leaders in our communities.

Thank you

Mariam

Nadjera working with her Christian colleague
Nadjera working with her Christian colleague
 
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