Finding Hope after the War-Stories of Youth IDPs in Cotabato City and Sultan Kudarat

“Through every dark night, there’s a bright day after that- there is always a hope after the storm.”

Related to the above quote are the stories of youth IDPs who after the nightmare of war and disaster have learned to rise and continue with their life. The destruction of war in their life especially their education is the biggest fall to consider for it has stopped them from reaching their dream to finish studies.

On December 28, 2011 one hundred thirty seven (137) youth IDPs from conflict affected communities have successfully completed the short-course scholarship program as they rise together in making their dreams possible.

All in uniformed shirts by color each course with the dress making learners wearing their finished products, the completers proudly received their certificate of completion.

Graced by partners from Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, TESDA Region XII and Region ARMM including the experts from each identified course, Local Social Welfare Development Office, local government units, partner NGOs, and the supportive parents and friends of the completers, the completion program held at Al-Nor Convention Center, Cotabato City marks the end yet the beginning  for the youth IDPs to continue their dream that was once taken away from them by the conflict and disaster.

“Hindi masusukat ang kagalakang aming nararamdaman ngayong araw sapagkat ngayon ang katuparan ng aming mga simpleng pangarap. Ito ang araw  ng aming pagbangon mula sa masamang karanasan dulot ng giyera” (Today, our happiness is immeasurable because this day is the realization of our simple dream. Today is the day that we stand and get up from the nightmare of war), shared by Norsida Macalunas, a food processing learner and Abdulnasser Datuwata, one of the house wiring completers during the program.

Grateful of the program and congratulating the completers, TESDA Region XII District Director Datu Osmenia Mabinay said to beneficiaries: “Gamitin nyo lahat ng mga natutunan nyo mula sa programang ito at wag nyo hayaang kalawangin” (Make use of all the learning and knowledge you gained from this program and do not let it be useless) while City Social Welfare Development Officer, CSWDO Ofelia C. Ibrahim encouraged beneficiaries saying:”Pagyamanin nyo ang lahat ng natutunan nyo” (Enrich all that you have learned). 

Upper left photo (Dress-making Completers); Upper right photo (Distribution of Certificates); TESDA Region XII District Director Osmenia Mabinay and Cotabato City Social Welfare Dev’t Office Ofelia C. Ibrahim in their inspirational message and two of the completers sharing their experience and gratefulness having benefited the short-course program.

Courses attended were T-Shirt printing availed by 56 students, dressmaking by 9 youth IDPs, food processing by 11 beneficiaries, house wiring for 43 students and cosmetology for 18 beneficiaries. Classes were simultaneously held from November 28- December 20, 2011 at Ittihadun Nisa Foundation Training Center for Sultan Kudarat beneficiaries and at UnYPhil-Women Training Center for Cotabato City beneficiaries.

Through the above course, completers will be able to land a job here and abroad or even create a job applying the skills they have learned. TESDA through vocational courses has been producing students who have become successful.

This scholarship program is under the ‘Early Recovery Program for the IDPs in Cotabato City and Sultan Kudarat municipality’ project of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, UNHCR through United Youth of the Philippines-Women, Inc., UnYPhil-Women.

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