Kids in kidnap-prone area graduate with honors-A A +A
Sunday, May 1, 2011
HALF of the 67 scholars of the Kristiyano-Islam (Kris) Peace Library graduated on top of their batch amid the horrors of terrorism in a kidnap-prone area in Zamboanga City.
Scholars in 10 public elementary and high schools served by the Kris Library have received special awards. Of the 35 honor students, many have expressed intentions to give back.
The Kris Library has been helping scholars through its scholarship grants, free use of computers, basic computer lessons, catch-up reading sessions; and assistance in research works in the library’s collection of more than 5,000 books.
“More than the honors they garnered, we are proud about their intention to pay forward the help given to them by my friends and relatives in Metro Manila, in US, Hawaii, Great Britain and all over the world,” said Armand Dean N. Nocum, founder and administrator of the A-Book-Saya Group (ABSG), which put up the two-story Kris library to help poor Christian and Muslims who desire to pursue their studies.
Nocum, a Christian married to a Muslim, has put up the Kris Library in Barangay Manicahan, Zamboanga City in 2009 to bring together poor Christian and Muslim students to overcome distrust between them because of the spate of kidnappings believed to be perpetrated by the Abu Sayyaf whose members live in an island near the barangay.
Nocum and the people supporting his cause believe that only education will provide a lasting solution to the problem of poverty, unemployment and hopelessness that has fuelled kidnapping, criminality and terrorism in Mindanao.
Nocum cited the letter of Kris scholar Vivian L. Fernandez, 15, an honor student of the Manicahan National High School, who vowed to study hard to become a teacher.
“I want to help children who cannot afford schooling and help them enhance their skills and talents because I know everyone of us has talents…, but are not showing it. And that is my ambition in life,” Nocum quoted the letter Vivien sent to him.
For her part, incoming high school student Rumaida S. Abdullatip – an orphan but who is on top of her batch at the Manicahan-Poblacion Elementary School – wants to become a nurse so she could take care of the sick, “especially those who are dying for lack of money to buy medicines or lack of means to go to the hospital.”
But Nocum said the greater challenge is to ensure these talented and self-giving students will be able to continue their schooling.
“Once more we are asking help for these children affected by terrorism and criminality to enable them to rise up from poverty and hopelessness and break the deadly cycle of poverty-unemployment- and-kidnapping in our place,” Nocum said.
Nocum said they are now accepting donations of cash, books, pencils and notebooks for their scholars who will start enrolling in the middle of May.
Donors may also check out Books For Guns project in Facebook (http://www.causes.com/causes/449989?recruiter_id=114119653).