The Center for Art, New Ventures & Sustainable Development (CANVAS)

CANVAS promotes greater awareness and appreciation for Philippine art, culture and the environment. CANVAS also explores the use of art to promote reflection, discussion and debate on selected social issues, particularly national identity, free expression and sustainable development.
Jan 30, 2014

A Report from One of Our Partners

The book as a tool to help children heal.
The book as a tool to help children heal.

In the few months since our last update, we’ve been sending out thousands of books to various islands of the Philippines that had recently been visited by horrific calamities, both natural (Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda in the Visayas) and caused by man (armed conflict in Zamboanga in Mindanao).

But for this update, we thought we’d highlight the activities by one of our partners – the Project Banig Zamboanga, a volunteer story-telling group who worked to provide child survivors and refugees of the armed conflict with psychosocial therapy and healing sessions.

The following is a report we received from them, with minor edits only for brevity and clarity. As you read through it, know that your support and belief in this project, and power of books and art to heal and change lives for the better is making a real difference in the lives of many children. For most, the respite may be fleeting. But we like to think of the books as ripples caused by a small stone thrown in a pond - you never know how wide a path they will travel.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you!!! 

======================================= 

Last November 18, 2013, the second wave of Project Paghilom: Basic Psychosocial Intervention for Displaced Children in Zamboanga City commenced. 

Together with the Ateneo de Zamboanga University Guidance and Counselling Office and Save the Children, 28 facilitators were trained to conduct the 3-week psychosocial intervention for children displaced by the conflict. 

A total of 1,853 children would be served by these facilitators. These children would range from ages 2 years old to 17 years old.  Most of them came from indigenous tribes (Tausugs and Badjaos) and most are muslims. They all came from the 5 baranggays most affected by the stand-off.  Most of their houses were burned to the ground, so most of them had been staying in evacuation centers for more than 3 months.

As part of the pilot training,150 copies of “Nadia and the Blue Stars” were distributed to students of Talon-Talon High School.

Prior to giving them a copy of the book, Nadia was read to them and the Basic Psychosocial module that accompanied the book was conducted.  During the session, one participant (Melany) kept crying as she was doing the activity.  When she calmed down, she shared to the group that she was very angry at the MNLF and soldiers because of the havoc and destruction they caused.  Because of them, their houses got burned down and she had to bear the discomfort of living in evacuation centers. 

As the trainee facilitator, guided by a counselor, talked to her further and explained to her the similarities between her and Nadia, Melany started to calm down.  In a drawing activity that followed, Melany started to color her family blue.  She said that, “Maskin cosa pasa, hinde gad yo deha mio pamilya.” (No matter what happens, I will never leave my family behind.) 

She also shared to the group during the last session that she promised to be more like Nadia, hopeful and someone who would never give up. “Kailangan natin maging tulad ni Nadia kasi siya ang nagsysymbolize ng pag-asa.  Hindi tayo pwede mawalan ng pag-asa,” she said. (We need to be like Nadia who symbolizes hop.  We cannot lose hope.)

Another striking comment was made by Al-rashid, 16 years old.  After reading the book, he commented, “Wala talaga nananalo sa gera.  Lahat talo. Muslim. Kristyano. Lahat biktima.” (No one wins in war.  Everyone loses.  Muslims. Christians. Everyone’s a victim.)

Tetet, 6 years old, told her facilitator that she wants to be like Nadia.  She wants to be a gardener.

After giving the books to the children of Talon-Talon High School, the facilitators and the recipients made a promise.  They promised each other that they will retell the story of Nadia to their friends and families.

The second wave of Project Paghilom created a tight bond between the evacuees and the facilitators.  There are still wounds too painful and too deep to heal, but the survivors have started the process of healing. 

It is the hope of Project Banig and the whole of Zamboanga that we completely heal from the wounds - physical, emotional, and psychological - brought about by the siege.

Reading aloud the story of Nadia
Reading aloud the story of Nadia
Facilitators
Facilitators' kits
Group dynamic exercises complement the story.
Group dynamic exercises complement the story.
Your support help make moments like this possible.
Your support help make moments like this possible.

Links:

Dec 26, 2013

Where Your Donations Have Gone So Far...

The books with kids from Tacloban, Leyte
The books with kids from Tacloban, Leyte

Merry Christmas, everyone!

This is just our modest way for thanking and greeting you all on this very special day - some photos of the books that you helped bring to children in some of the areas devastated by Typhoon Haiyan.

Thanks too to all our partners who physically transported and gave away the books - UP Mountaineers, Elmer and Plet Borlongan, Chris Linag, Paula Peralejo-Fernandez, the Bike Scouts, Ninoy Leyran, the UP Mountaineers, Action Against Hunger, Scooter Braun Projects, Music Management International and UNICEF. 

We'll post more pictures and more details in the coming weeks as even more of our children's books get into the hands of more children.

But for now, enjoy!

All the best for the coming new Year!

--CANVAS 

A belieber hands out some of the books
A belieber hands out some of the books
The books with kids from the island of Bohol
The books with kids from the island of Bohol
Handing out books in Coron, Palawan
Handing out books in Coron, Palawan
Still in Coron, Palawan
Still in Coron, Palawan
More books this time headed to the island of Samar
More books this time headed to the island of Samar

Links:

Dec 3, 2013

Just a quick update

Two thousand copies of "Earth Tales" ready to go!
Two thousand copies of "Earth Tales" ready to go!

We just wanted to give an update, and to thank you all for your quick support for our project to help children deal with the trauma of displacement from Typhoon Haiyan, by providing them with books this Christmas. The response has truly been amazing and immediate. Already, GlobalGiving has sent us an initial tranche of $4,044.30 plus another $5,000.00 grant to support our project. In addition, CANVAS raised an additional $2,708.97 from our local supporters, which we matched with another $2,325.58.

To date, then, the total amount raised is already $14,078.85, and it's only been less than a month since Typhoon Haiyan!

This amount is enough to publish more than 12,000 books, in addition to helping us send trained facilitators and psychologists to provide emotional relief and support to the children. We've already began ordering several titles. In fact, the first 2,000 copies of our "Earth Tales: 3 Ecofables for Children" were delivered to us yesterday, December 2 (pictured below).1,000 copies of this book - which are appropriate for kids aged 8 and below - will be going to disadvantaged communities and public schools in the province of Zambales and the other 1,000 copies will go to children in the islands of Palawan and Leyte.

Also in publication as we speak are several thousand copies each of "Message in the Sand", "Nadia and the Blue Stars" and "Ang Batang Maraming Bawal". We are very hopeful that most of these will be in the hands of children just in time for the holiday season.  In case you're interested, all these stories, including the 3 fables that comprise "Earth Tales" (The Hummingbird; The Star Thrower; and The King and the Royal Trees) can be read and downloaded for free on our website (www.canvas.ph).

Meanwhile, we haven't forgotten the children displaced by the Zamboanga conflict that shook Mindanao several weeks before Typhoon Haiyan hit. Two thousand "Nadia and the Blue Stars" books (out of a committed 4000 copies), with a local dialect translation (chabacano), have been printed and went direct from the press to the pier, and are now sailing for Mindanao (pictured below). A local NGO called Project Banig will use our books to conduct basic psychosocial intervention for displaced children affected by the armed conflict in the city of Zamboanga.

Be assured that we'll be sure to post more updates in the coming weeks and months as we bring the books to the typhoon-ravaged communities in Central Philippines.  

For now, please do continue telling your friends about this project. Because of your generosity, we've already surpassed our initial funding goal for providing 10,000 children with 10,000 books - but really, there are many many more children who need help in understanding, coping and moving forward. 

We truly believe that our books do help to do just that. We've seen how the experience of receiving the books, and knowing that it’s yours to keep, give children real and unadulterated joy. And, in light of the recent calamity, it is also a profound reminder to them that there are people like you out there, who remember and care enough to give them these books.

Again from the bottom of our hearts, thank you!

Another 2000 books for children of Zamboanga.
Another 2000 books for children of Zamboanga.
Project Banig giving away some of our books.
Project Banig giving away some of our books.
 
   

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