Interfaith group holds solidarity encounter with Badjao families PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 26 November 2011 17:48

On the second day of the ongoing Week of Peace 2011 celebration in Zamboanga, convenors and members of the Inter-Religious Solidarity Movement for Peace (IRSMP) held a cultural encounter with Badjao families in Arena Blanco Barangay, this city, yesterday morning.

The event was hosted by the Samabadjao National Movement headed by president Nulhamdo Cegales and was held at the Arena Blanco Elementary School.

The program was capped by a feeding of the children of the some 1,000 Badjao families that reside in the barangay.

In his message, Peace Advocates Zamboanga (PAZ) president Fr. Angel Calvo pledged the IRSMP’s support to the Badjaos particularly in bringing them assistance from government agencies and civil society.

He observed that the Badjaos are the most neglected ethnic community and are among the poorest families.  He pointed out that most of them are deprived of basic services like public health, schooling, and economic assistance.   Social justice, Fr. Calvo noted, is essential to the building and sustaining of communal peace.
Cegales said among the most pressing problems of the Badjaos are livelihood and housing.  Most of them live along the coast in stilt houses made of light materials that are easily damaged during rough weather.

The Samabadjao movement has a nationwide individual membership of over 2,000, Cegales said.  It was also commemorating its 6th anniversary during the solidarity program.

IRSMP convenors who gave solidarity messages included evangelical pastor Lino Sulit, Amores Interfaith Association president Jaafar Kimpa, and Abdu Rahim Kenoh. 

Today, November 26, IRSMP members will conduct a historical and cultural journey to Taluksangay Barangay, where they will hold dialogues and rituals with barangay officials headed by Councilor Abdurahman Nuno, including residents of the community.  — Peace Advocates Zamboanga