Follow us by email

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Philippines: A Milestone for Indigenous Children

This past spring, two of the schools that we support in the Philippines celebrated their first ever Elementary Graduation. These schools are incredibly special: they are attended by children from Indigenous Peoples’ tribes.

Indigenous Peoples (IPs) of the Philippines are so neglected and dirt-poor that they are unlikely to meet minimum caloric intake standards for six months out of every year, much less attend school.

This milestone is an exciting one. Many students received special awards for classes that demonstrate the firm footing these schools have in traditional IP culture: agriculture, dance, archery, poetry. These schools also create in-roads of vital learning in the greater community, ensuring that their rich traditions are bolstered by the skills that give the people power in wider Philippine society. Witness Ernesto Manalay, a fourth grade student who has given special honours for teaching his parents to read and write.

We were presented with a Kuglong, the Matigsalog tribe’s most well known instrument, as a token of gratitude for helping these children to realize their dreams. Friends of HOPE International Development Agency should know about the gift—without them, of course, nothing would have been possible in the first place.

No comments: