Fil-Canadian team brings ‘Learning Center on Wheels’ to Zamboanga PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 02 December 2013 13:12

A team of Filipino Canadian residing in British Columbia came to Zamboanga City to introduce the Jeepney Story Mobile (JSM), a learning center on wheels to train teachers with creative approaches to efficiently teach displaced school children caused by the September intense exchange of gunfire between 3,000 Philippine soldiers and 400 separatist militants.

The Jeepney Story Mobile brings a lot of children’s learning resources placed in a passengers jeepney (a public vehicle in the Philippines) where volunteers use to train school children. The JSM was officially launched in Zamboanga in November 29 at the Zamboanga State Polytechnic College with more than 300 children and partners in attendance.

In the last week of November, the mobile learning team has initially trained several teachers to make Math, English and Reading classes more fun and entertaining to school children especially in the four villages affected by the war namely Sta. Catalina, Sta, Barbara, Rio Hondo and Mariki.

The three-week bloody conflict that erupted in September 9, claimed more than 200 lives and conflagrated more than 10,000 houses.

The Fil-Canadian team included Idrenne Lim-Alparaque, a retired Research Professor in Canada, Evelyn Yadao, a hotel marketing executive, Monette Ledesma, and Patrick Elaschuk, Hope for the Nations Executive Director.

Elaschuk said that Hope for the Nations is supporting the JSM in Zamboanga City because they want to empower children of risk to become children of change.

Furthermore, Professor Alparaque also said that while she was meeting with displaced children, these school chilren pro actively participated in their learning games and they love to sing and dance.

“These children tirelessly keep on dancing and singing and we don’t see the scars (of war),” Alparaque said.

Meanwhile, Evelyn Yadao, the convenor of the JSM said, God kept on sending the right people to be our partners as we introduce this children’s mobile learning center to the City. Yadao was born and raised in Zamboanga before moving to Canada.

In the launching ceremony, no less than Mayor Beng Climaco-Salazar keynote the affair and led the children in attendance an action children’s rhyme. She further said, “let us make the children’s future a reality today.”

Project Banig coordinator Kiko Miranda, an implementing partner of JSM said that when typhoon Haiyan hit the Visayas region, most NGOs and volunteers group flew to Tacloban but Project Banig stayed in Zamboanga to attend to the city’s humanitarian crisis.

“Zamboanga still needs our assistance and there are more tasks to be done in this City,” Miranda said.

The JSM also organized a local core volunteers group to sustain the school children project. The Filipino-Canadian team flew back to Canada but the local partners of this once bustling city are hopeful that the advocacies of this learning center on wheels will stay a lifetime.