Here's a letter from the coordinator of Solidarity of Matigsalug People for the Development of the Ancestral Land. Inserted in between paragraphs are pictures of the community and its residents. Should you wish to help the organization in any way, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Mark Brazil at email@example.com.
Maepya ne aldew! (Good day!)
Educating the young people has been considered as one of the effective means to empower communities, thus I am writing to invite you in this campaign we are initiating. In a collaboration with SOLED KI, we are inviting you to join in an initiative that seeks to support indigenous school children from the Matigsalug Tribe in the outskirts of Davao-Bukidnon boundary, where we operate our satellite community schools.
Among the vulnerable groups, the indigenous children are the most marginalized thus intervention must be directed towards them. Among the Matugsalug children going to school doesn’t come easy as they have to walk seven (7) kilometers and even cross the dangerous Salug river. Such condition left them with lesser chances of surviving even primary education. As intervention, we have started to organize a support initiative to provide assistance for school supplies for the community schools, school uniform and eventually, come up with a school dormitory in the barangay center to house the students coming from the far-flung area. This initiative is still on a birthing process, thus we can also start little by little until we will be able to actualize the dormitory building.
Now since that that the school year is about to start by June 2012, I am reiterating my invitation to join us in this advocacy. Any amount, in goods or in kind will be most welcome and we will be organizing a
day sometime soon to turn-over our support to the targeted beneficiary communities.
To give you glimpse of the aspiration of the Matigsalug community, in one of the community meetings we facilitated, the members- especially the women- have reiterated the following details related to the education program:
- Students dormitory in the barangay center to house the students living in the far-flung areas.
- Classrooms for the existing community schools. We have established 3 community
- School supplies such as papers and notebooks, pencils, cartolina, cardboards
- Educational materials like wooden letters and numbers, shapes etc.
- Books for Pre-schoolers and Adult Learners
- Sponsorship for the Student’s uniform (opting for traditional design)
- Fund for Teacher’s training, access to training partners, or interested groups interested to facilitate training activity to Lumad Parateachers.
- Special Project: Coming up with a book with traditional stories. Research and data gathering on the Matigsalug stories shall be conducted and commissioned, but with direct community participation.
- Organizing the Young Adult Alternative Education Program. Twenty out-of-school youth are gathered to conduct farming activity in the morning while non-formal education classes will be conducted in the afternoon. Datu Jimboy commits to facilitate the program. A 40-hectare land is already allocated for the program which shall be used as demonstration farm. The program seeks to provide venue for livelihood and education development for the Matigsalug youth. The site will be at Sitio Malunasay, 30 minutes away from Sitio Simsimon.
- Establishment of Community Center that will house the community library, Ethnographic/Community Museum, Visitors Receiving and Ritual area, as well as the Peoples Organization’s Office.
schools within Brgy. Kalagangan (Simsimon, Anibong and Malengen). Malengen is the farthest, 6 hours away uphill, on foot.
Note: Lumber to be used in the construction of the classrooms and the community center shall be taken from a number of fallen trees due to swidden (kaingin) farming. This shall be related to the idea of Datu Jimboy to “give life to what has died” and serve as a testament and reminder to the community of the importance of valuing the environment.
Any assistance on any of the indentified need will be much appreciated. Your generosity is much appreciated and assurance is given that all your contributions will be directed to the rightful beneficiaries.