On November 15, 2018, EMBRACE team, together with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) – Joint Task Force Zamboanga (JTFZ) and other stakeholders, provided school supplies to the teachers and students of Silsilah Elementary School, a school located in Sta. Cruz Island, prominent for its pink sand.
Upon arriving in the area, the team was met by the peaceful and busy community. The school kits and I AM STRONG supplies were prepared while the pupils were still in their classes. Just after the bell rang for recess, the pupils, accompanied by their respective advisers, came out wearing the “I AM STRONG” shirt distributed per grade level. The children were very excited to join the program as they ran to the school’s convening area. As a member of the JTFZ discussed anti bullying, the children started to listen intently as the vernacular used was Tausug. This is also to communicate well to the pupils and their parents.
“Thank you so much EMBRACE, JVOFI and JTFZ for donating supplies not only to students but also to us, teachers. This is a great help because the parents are having a hard time going to town to buy school supplies for the children, aside from the expensive fare”, said Mr. Bensal Dimalaluan, Grades 5 and 6 adviser.
Genuine smiles from the children and their parents were obvious evidence of their gratefulness. The team left Silsilah feeling happy – another community was embraced and a legacy imprinted on the lives of the community.