The Zamboanga Education Project (ZEP), a partnership project of WMSU-PHSI and UNICEF has ended last September 2015 at Masepla, Mampang, which contributed much to normalize the situation of the IDP families especially the children who were forced to stop going to school because of the inaccessibility to the education facilities from the transitory site where they were relocated. Bringing the school at the transitory sites ( ZEP constructed Temporary Learning Spaces ) did not only ease the burden of the parents but as well as encourage the children to pursue their education that eventually contributed to the fast recovery of the children from the traumatic experiences they encountered after the 2013 siege.
The need to continue and expand the goals of ZEP is crucial to ensure a greater impact of better education into the lives of the children, thus, the engagement was extended through Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD) project. The extension was geared towards providing early childhood developmental care and support activities towards children ages 3-4 years old, as well as assistance to parents to ensure that quality child care is accessible to all in the transitory sites.
WMSU-PHSI team ran six (6) Day Care Centers (DCC) spaces with kits, materials and other learning tools, aim to aid the different areas of children’s development including physical, cognitive, emotional and social. The children had supplemental feeding which was basically facilitated by parent volunteers. Its daily operation paved the way for partnership with four (4) barangays ( Arena Blanco, Talon-talon, Mampang and Rio Hondo ) thru a commitment in providing one DCW coming from their existing DCC. The project also collaborated with City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO), who provided food packs and rice supply to the volunteer IDP DCWs and supplemental feeding.
The DCC sessions officially commences its activity in the MASEPLA transitory sites last March 21, 2016 through a recognition rite. Around 196 children received certificate of awards and completion to which 76 came from Masepla 1, while Masepla 2 had 55 and Masepla 3 had 65 children. The ceremony were divided into 1st Batch in the morning for MASEPLA 2&3 and 2nd Batch for MASEPLA 1 in the afternoon, conducted at MASEPLA Covered Court.
During the ceremony, chosen children recited the Rights of the Child and the Responsibility of the Child. It was attended by the CSWDO Division Field Office IV Ms. Amelita Lachica who gave the inspirational message in the morning while, the WMSU President Chief of Staff, Dr. Ma. Socorro Yvonne H. Ramos gave the inspirational message in the afternoon. The awarding of certificates was headed by Dr. Marcelina Carpizo, Director of Peace and Human Security Institute and Hon. Elinor Tura, Chairman, Education Committee Chairperson of Brgy. Talon talon in the morning, while in the afternoon Over-all Camp Manager for MTS Ms. Fedelita Dejuma and CCCM 1 Camp Manager Ms Juila Jailani were in tandem.
The activity ended with a communal action song performed by the children who expressed thanksgiving and tribute to the parents. For the parents, no greater joy there is to see their wonderful children went up stage to received certificate of accomplishment for the first time in the promising stage of their children’s lives.