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 Environments) Teachers’ 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.