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Education for 40 displaced indigenous Filipinos

by Cartwheel Foundation, Inc.
Education for 40 displaced indigenous Filipinos
Education for 40 displaced indigenous Filipinos
Education for 40 displaced indigenous Filipinos
Education for 40 displaced indigenous Filipinos
Education for 40 displaced indigenous Filipinos
Education for 40 displaced indigenous Filipinos
Education for 40 displaced indigenous Filipinos
Education for 40 displaced indigenous Filipinos
Education for 40 displaced indigenous Filipinos
Education for 40 displaced indigenous Filipinos
Education for 40 displaced indigenous Filipinos
Education for 40 displaced indigenous Filipinos
Education for 40 displaced indigenous Filipinos
Education for 40 displaced indigenous Filipinos
Circle of Solidarity
Circle of Solidarity

Ayang (woman in white, far right), is the teacher to indigenous Bajau mothers who attend the Adult Capability Building Program sessions in Zamboanga, Philippines. She is indigenous Bajau herself, having been raised in the same community as that of her learners. As they remain a traditional seafaring people, Ayang takes pride in her capacity to dive deep and swim far--in the ocean, and in life!

She struggled to remain in school as a young girl. Her father encouraged her to keep on, even when their family's challenges seemed overwhelming. Ayang is grateful for the reading, writing, and counting skills she learned early on as these are what she now shares with her fellow Bajau who have had no opportunity for schooling almost all their lives.

Ayang is one of our many teachers who joined the second THRiVE (Trauma-Informed Healing and Resilience strengthening in Vulnerable EnvironmentsTeachers’ Workshop in 2016, shown in the photo above. The expressive arts activities shared during the workshop sought to promote healing, stress management, and learning in response to the challenges that students may bring to the classroom. The workshop also encouraged the teachers to nurture a space within--attending to their own needs through self-care and the creation of "Cirlces of Empathy," essentially drawing from the premise that one cannot give what one does not have. In nurturing classrooms of peace, they learned that teachers and caregivers alike are to mindfully care for their inner peace as well. 

For enabling teachers like Ayang to support each other and find renewed strength for their work in learning and thriving indigenous communities, we continue to be sincerely grateful for your generosity.

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Linda (standing) with her fellow learners
Linda (standing) with her fellow learners

Linda is a widow with nine children. As among the indigenous Bajau who regard the sea as their central life source, she has been sustaining her family by diving for sea grapes every morning.

When the Adult Capability Building Program (ACAP) began in Masepla Transitory Site in Zamboanga, Philippines, she approached the teacher with eager willingness to be counted in as among the first learners. With no opportunity and resources for education from before, Linda now beams with pride in her own growth through the program facilitated by fellow Bajau. Her teacher says she has learned to write in capital letters (as her eyesight has slowly deteriorated with age) and finds how she may directly apply this skill in availing of government services to benefit herself and her family.

She is among the many mothers who have expressed much appreciation for all that they have been taking in through ACAP. It has been a joyful learning journey for them so far, as they recognize how pursuing education has not just enabled them to develop their knowledge, but to strengthen their interpersonal skills as well. Many have indeed attested to growing in confidence and overcoming shame. They now more freely and courageously express themselves; they are finding their own voice especially in interacting with others who are not of their tribe.

Linda still sees to it that she is able to provide her family's needs through diving for sea grapes every morning. Your generous support has enabled her to continue learning, growing in skill and confidence, keeping on with much joy.  

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Nene was among the first enrollees of the Adult Capability Building Program for displaced indigenous Bajau of Masepla Transitory Site, Mampang, Zamboanga, Philippines. She introduced herself as a mother of three who knew little of the skills in reading and writing. Whenever asked to practice writing her name, the letters would come out crooked with her trembling hands. 

Ten months into the program, she has shown improved confidence in her functional literacy skills! She can now write and read without fear, even voicing out her own opinions whenever there are discussions in class. On election day in May 2016, Nene proudly went to the precinct to vote all on her own, without needing extra assistance. She has also become one of the most reliable parent-leaders of Angiskul ma Banca ("Classes in Bancas") Early Childhood Education Program for the Bajau young learners of their community. 

Nene is one of the Bajau adults who continue to grow in knowledge, skill, and even confidence as they seek to pursue lifelong learning for their children and themselves. 

The Cartwheel Programs Team will go on community visits on the third week of August 2016 to help prepare the community as they transition into their permanent homes, after being displaced by political conflict in their area some three years ago. Being among the last seafaring people in the world, the Bajau are very much excited to move back nearer to the coast where there is easier access to the sea, around which their life revolves. Even as they change addresses, they have expressed desire to continue their education—this is what Cartwheel Foundation, Inc. seeks to sustain in partnership with the community members themselves.

We are most grateful to donors and supporters who have generously helped in making partnership with the Bajau bear fruits of peace and hope through education.

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To find out more about the floating classroom Bajau parents like Nene have helped build, click here

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Subtiya is one among the learners of the Adult Capability Building Program for indigenous Bajau in Mampang, Zamboanga, Philippines. She beams with pride and gratitude as she addresses her many community members and other stakeholders on March 3, 2016; the collaborative work of her people with other like-hearted organizations has led to the completion of a boat classroom for their children.

Subtiya is part of many Bajau seafaring families who were forced to flee their coastal homes in 2013 because of political conflict in their area. They reamin in transitory shelters to this day, hoping that soon they may be able to move to their more permanent residences. They are given renewed hope in settling back nearer to the sea with the boat classroom giving them the convenience of mobility.

Along with other mothers, Subtiya participated in the curriculum validation process on March 1-2. They gave input into the modules, making sure that elements of their vibrant culture as Bajau is integrated into all of its content. At the same time, they ensured that learning topics were relevant for their children.

The enthusiasm Subtiya and other mother-learners like her show is much encouraging: there truly is a resounding "Yes!" from all of them in committing to their children's education as well as their own.  

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Adult Learners' Orientation
Adult Learners' Orientation

The Adult Capability Building Program (ACAP) was designed to build capabilities of the indigenous Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) residing in Mampang, Zamboanga, Philippines to participate actively and collectively in overcoming the disadvantages of illiteracy, as well to improve their economic condition.

The program’s operation started with a community consultation conducted in September 2, 2015. During the consultation, the community expressed their need to be equipped with both functional literacy and life skills, and were enthusiastic about the idea of attending school and learning new things. A program orientation for interested participants were thereafter held last September 16, where the rationale, nature and mechanics of the engagement were discussed.

On September 22, a learners’ profiling was held to assess their learning needs and readiness, as well as to capture their expectations on the program. A follow up meeting was likewise conducted in October 5 to finalize the list of enrollees and the schedule of the classes.

Teacher’s training was conducted to ensure effective teaching based on Adult Learning Principles. The two-day training was conducted in October 2 and 6, by Cartwheel Foundation, Inc. (CFI) local implementing partner, the Ateneo de Zamboanga University’s Center for Community Extension Services (CCES).

The ACAP classes officially started in October 2015, conducted every Saturday and Sunday, from 1pm to 4pm. A total number of 47 adult learners were officially enrolled as of December 2015. The current curriculum being utilized is based on CCES Functional Literacy Program, but shall go through CFI’s recommended process of indigenization, to ensure integration of IP education and peace education principles and approaches.

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Organization Information

Cartwheel Foundation, Inc.

Location: Mandaluyong - Philippines
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Maria Johanna Pia Ortiz-Luis
Project Leader:
Maria Johanna Pia Ortiz-Luis
Mandaluyong, Philippines

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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