I've once talked to a friend here in Switzerland and discussed about helping the less fortunate in the Philippines. Since both of us came from Jesuit schools, the mission "men and women for others" was very familiar. After that talk, that mission lingered. I also remember, during that conversation, we realized that most Filipinos living abroad, when talking about the Philippines via Facebook and other social networking sites always have something negative to say about the Philippines, the government, it's processes, or even the people and just recently the majority of the voting population of the Philippines. But what's funny, these people are not even doing anything to alleviate the problems they critic, just making comments.
This is an attempt to something better, something more concrete, something better than whining.
Last month I was able to talk to another friend in the Philippines. Thanks to Facebook and a face tag, I discovered him. He introduced me to his initiative, The Matigsalug Development Project.
Below is a description I copied from his Facebook Page
SOLED KI, a community-based indigenous people’s organization (IPO) situated in Brgy. Kalagangan, Municipality of San Fernando, Province of Bukidnon. The organization was founded in 2001, with the purpose of uplifting the living condition of the Matigsalug Manobo communities, particularly in Sitio Simsimon.
SULED KI envisions the following:
1. To uplift the living condition of the Matigasalug Manobo through;
a. Enhancing livelihood and agriculture to secure food security in the household.
b. Provide access to basic health services, thereby minimizing the risk on morbidity, infant death, maternal death and malnutrition
c. Provide access to a quality basic education among indigenous children, youth and adults.
d. Promote a sustainable environment through protection of the natural resources and community sanitation.
e. Promote the rights of the indigenous Matigsalug Manobo people and to protect the ancestral domain,
f. Preserve the Matigsalug Manobo indigenous culture, customs and traditions
2. To promote participatory development as a formula towards self-determination of the Matigsalug-Manobo indigenous cultural community.
3. To promote collaboration among different stakeholders within and outside the ancestral domain as a means for collective action in addressing community issues.
And to add to that, my friend is currently in the process of constructing a school for the Lumads. This is one great project. You can't get more grassroot development than that. And if you reflect more deeply, these lumads are more closely attached to the original Filipinos than what we are now. So helping them is not only a responsibility, but it's giving back for what they have protected, our true Filipino culture. Not the ones we got from the west.
May I ask you to please donate just a minimun of $3.00. That's just the same amount for a Starbucks drink, or one McDonald's meal, or 3 packs of cigarettes, or one movie ticket. A little sacrifice. Press the donate button at the left.
And for transparency purposes, please note your name, real name or code name, when donating in my Paypal account. I will be posting a thank you note on my facebook wall and on this website page the names of the donors.