The collaboration and coordination of the different government agencies, private organizations, and volunteer groups during the crisis was proven by the kindergarten teachers of Zamboanga City, who showed their unity and dedication to their profession by volunteering to teach, as well as render other services to the children caught in the armed conflict.
According to DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman, the volunteers play a big role in the current crisis in Zamboanga, helping in different ways, such as helping in the evacuation centers, food distribution, counseling services, medical assistance, and other services to the evacuees. “The DSWD commends the volunteer workers in providing honest and committed service to the evacuees,” Secretary Soliman said.
The 30 volunteer teachers from Baliwasan Central School, Labuan Central School, Southern Support Command School, San Jose Gusu Elementary School, Maasin Elementary School, Don Gems School, Sargali Elementary School, Victoria Elementary School, Presa Elementary School, Sta. Barbara Elementary School, Curuan Elementary School at Mangga Elementary School, are holding special classes from September 20-21 for the children currently in Divisoria
Elementary School, one of the designated evacuation centers of the City Government.
Some 71 affected families with 360 persons are temporarily staying at Division Elementary School. They came from Barangays Sta. Catalina (47 families), Mampang (16 families) and Talon-talon (8 families).
According to Kimraza Irene S. Hadjirul, kindergarten teacher of Balisawan Central School, “it’s a big help to the children when they undergo activities that will lessen or make them forget the trauma they have experienced, as teachers we know that these children have been through painful and difficult experiences, just like their parents,” says Kimraza.
More than 100 children aged from 3 to 12 years old divided into two groups – (3-7 years old and 8-12 years old) in the evacuation center availed of story telling session, film showing, feeding program, and other activities including painting, writing, reading, and artwork.
Free hair cutting sessions were also offered to evacuees at Division Elementary School. Three haircutters volunteered their services.
‘Oplan linis’ is being conducted at the evacuation center wherein children will be taught proper hygiene. They will also be provided with toothbrushes and toothpastes.
The activity culminates today with the teachers turning over the donations, which they have personally collected.
Sherwin Aputin, a teacher said, “We will continue to conduct these activities in other evacuation centers as needed. This is our way of helping the government through our collaboration with the DSWD.” # ##