Silsilah for children: A partnership with Lima Elem School PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 19 August 2011 14:05

Lima Elementary school, located on the top of the mountain of Baluno, is a uniquely beautiful place with mesmerising view of Zamboanga city and the Basilan strait. Children walk to Lima school every morning and afternoon from the nearby sitios Palanas, Crasher Calingac, Mabauhay in the Baluno Barangay. For these children, it is too mountainous to walk five to four kilometres at a time to get their education. But, they are determined. A bird-nest-like class room for the kindergarten. It is so beautiful to see how the children flock together learn with such enthusiasm, though a morning hike to the school had fatigue them way beyond.

The inspiration of these children has inspired the teachers to be more than teachers to them. The teachers with the Principal of the school are in a mission to give better learning opportunities for the students in little ways they can. The Principal of the school, Ms. Sarah invited Silsilah Dialogue Movement to extend Silsilah’s support to make a difference. Ms. Sarah is a Muslim leader from Recodo who happened to be an Alumna of Silsilah Dialogue Movement. Her initiative to collaborate with Silsilah for the good of the children of Lima Elementary School is a way of showing how she lives the culture of dialogue promoted by Silsilah to create opportunities for communities in need.

Silsilah will adopt the school providing them educational infrastructure. Together with the community, Silsilah is planning to build a classroom for the kindergarten, and also to make a proper road to reach the school while introducing the dialogue with creation concept to the school in their environment related activities. Silsilah will also support the school to be included in the buffer zone area to become a protected community, and obtain a ‘protected area of community-based resource management agreement’ issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources of Zamboanga.

Silsilah’s efforts in supporting the school will be a way of extending their Harmony Ecology Zone already established in Baluno area. ‘Escuela del Siembradore’ is established in partnership with the farmers community in the Harmony Ecology Zone which is a living testimony of Silsilah’s involvement in dialogue with creation. This is Silsilah’s inclusive approach sustainable development in Baluno through its ‘Dialogue with creation’ approach to create responsible children who will be the guardians of their community’s present and future.

This effort for solidarity and peace by Ms. Sarah as Silsilah alumni is just one inspirational story among many. Silsilah’s future collaboration with the school in Baluno is a living testimony of Muslim and Christian dialogue and the spirit of life-in-dialogue that Silsilah promotes.