In most far-flung communities of indigenous people, learning is a painstaking process.
Why? Because the rural poor, indigenous children live in mineral-rich Mindanao.
President Rodrigo Duterte sent his military troops to occupy Lumad schools and communities, making space instead for foreign and domestic mining, logging and agricultural corporations.
What does that mean for the more than 3,600 Lumad children? That means losing the right to education. That means seeing your classroom burned, bombed, and turned into government military camps.
But it’s not that easy. When schools and classrooms are brutally ripped apart, children and communities rebuild by any means possible.
There are now even temporary schools set up in the evacuation centers, called Bakwit (evacuate) schools where the Lumad community took refuge from military occupation.
For the Lumad, it takes a village to raise a child and a movement to build a school.
A Bakwit School’s success is made possible through the help of people like you. This year, the fight of Lumad for their right to education, land and self-determination continues.
For a long time, the Philippine government has neglected its responsibility in making education accessible for Lumad communities leaving them with no option but to walk for several hours just to get to the nearest public school.
But because of their eagerness to learn and develop their rich culture and tradition, Lumad communities persevered to establish their own learning institutions and programs with the help of faith-based groups and cause-oriented organizations.
The school curriculum is grounded on their culture and way of life that reflects their deep sense of identity as Lumad.
The success of this work is only made possible through the help of people like you. This year, the fight of Lumad for their right to education, land, and self-determination continues.