NOT YET LATE. These elders in the village of Tuka Maror in Bongo Island in Maguindanao's Parang town graduated from the Functional Literacy Program, a sub-component of Learning Livelihood and Food Sufficiency Program of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao Social Fund’s Community Development Assistance which was implemented by the Social Welfare Department of the Muslim Region. (Mindanao Examiner Photo / Ferdinandh Cabrera)
BONGO ISLAND, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / May 6, 2009) - Sandaria Lampatan who lives in the village of Tuka Maror in Maguindanao's Bongo Island is proud to tell everybody that after long years she now proudly say that she can count from one to thirty and could clearly write her thoughts.
Sandaria is 50 years old.
“Natuto na kaming magsulat ngayon, magbilang ng dalawampu hanggang tatlumpo”, Sandaria said when face on a conversation with local media who made a visit in the Island.
Rupia Empan, a fellow Iranon forebearer said education during her younger days was not tame.
Only reached her schooling in the 6th grade, she stressed they could hardly manage to mingle with people from the urban areas because of the lack of confidence rooted from lack of education.
In fact, she said they only learn to talk Tagalog, the national language, from listening to drama program and news in transistor radio and the frequent conversation with teachers working in their community.
But for her other fellows, she said it was agonizing and strenuous because they cannot even count their money, especially when doing transactions or buying products.
“Nagpapasalamat kami sa literacy program kasi dahil doon marunong na kaming kumwenta ng pera lalo na ngayong binigyan pa kami ng kaunting livelihood project,” she said.
Rupia said her accumulated knowledge came from the Learning Livelihood and Food Sufficiency (LLFS) Program.
Over the weekend, several teams from the Department of Social Welfare and Development in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and the ARMM Social Fund Project visited this far flung island to grace the commencement activity of Functional Literacy Training (FLT).
Hundreds of islanders waited for them.
Bai Soriada Biruar, DSWD-ARMM Secretary, said she see hopes for Muslim Women in this almost neglected part of the country.
“I would make sure they will be sustained empowered as they should while I am able and actively serving,” Biruar said.
Atleast 200 elders from seven villages also received the "Katas ng E-VAT para kay Lolo at Lola," worth of 500 pesos each. (Ferdinandh Cabrera)