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NGO, local leaders extend aid to IP children in Maguindanao upland community

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES NEWS • 18:00 PM Thu Oct 3, 2019
476
By: 
Edwin O. Fernandez
Aileen Kesa Marie Usob-Hualde, director of Women Organization of Rajah Mamalu Descendants (WORMD) prepares the hygiene kits that she and Councilor Saidie Lidasan of Upi, Maguindanao, later distributed to Teduray children in Borongotan village.

COTABATO CITY  – More than 100 pupils of a remote and far-flung day care center have benefitted from the outreach program conducted by a non-government organization in partnership with the local government of Upi, Maguindanao on Thursday.

The volunteers, led by Aileen Kesa Marie Usob-Hualde, director of Women Organization of Rajah Mamalu Descendants (WORMD) and Upi town Councilor Saidie Lidasan, in partnership with barangay officials of Borongotan as well as the youth.

The school children received dental and hygiene kits and vitamins. A feeding activity followed the distribution of assistance done in observance of the Indigenous Peoples (IP) Month this October.

“All of them are IP children, the area is very far and we had to walk for several kilometers to reach the place,” Hualde said of the day care center up in the mountain.

The beneficiaries were residents of Sitio Kabalu and Sitio Lenilitan.

Councilor Lidasan vowed to continue a feeding program that will benefit school children in remote communities of Upi as a way of expressing his appreciation for the support extended him during the last elections.

A first termer town councilor, Lidasan also said that his priority as legislator is the passage of local laws that will provide health services IPs in far flung areas.

“This is just a launching program because we are celebrating IP Month,” Hualde said, adding that more similar activities are scheduled during the month of October.

Aside from distribution of assistance and hygiene kits, the group also hold mini-forum on the law about violence against women, women’s health and prevention of violent extremism conducted by WORMD.

“We are very happy you came over, we did not expect our community will be a recipient of your kindness,” the visibly elated Elma Dipaling, day care center teacher.

“We are happy that despite the muddy road up here, and it’s raining, you still push to bring help for our children, this is very much appreciated,” Dipaling said, adding that it was the first time a group of volunteers came over to give them hope.

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