Minute for Mission: Rebuilding Schools in the Philippines
November 5, 2018
Our gifts for Mission & Service support Indigenous peoples facing human rights abuses.
The Lumad are Indigenous peoples of Mindanao in the southern Philippines. Many Lumad communities have established their own schools, looking for help from government, non-governmental organizations, and church groups. Mission & Service partner the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP) is collaborating with the Lumad peoples in this work.
These people have faced a high level of persecution from the Philippine military, including forced displacement and extrajudicial killings. Lumad schools have been used as temporary military camps, shelters and, in some cases, for weapon storage. Traditional Lumad territory is rich in natural resources, and encroachment on their land has contributed to these people being displaced.
In the midst of these challenges, the Lumad peoples continue to support schools through the Save Our Schools Network or SOS. The SOS network works with others, including the UCCP, to support a non-discriminatory, culturally sensitive approach to education. The schools provide free, high-quality education to Indigenous children. Currently there are 205 Lumad community schools serving almost 6,000 children. More schools are needed! Other communities need new classrooms and support for operating costs, including teachers.
Mission & Service supports schools that help lift people and communities out of poverty and build leadership for the future of the Lumad peoples of the Philippines.
Source: The United Church of Canada