Wednesday, October 22, 2008
A-Book-Saya Group To Meet Abu Sayyaf Kids
Thanks to your support, we are heading to our hometown Zamboanga City tomorrow to bring our first set of books to a remote island where the Abu Sayyaf Group is known to bring their hapless kidnap victims. The A-Book-Saya Group (ASG) will finally get to meet the children of real Abu Sayyaf members.
Your column and e-mail-brigade have convinced lots of people here and abroad to donate about 400 used books, magazines and encyclopedias which we will distribute to Muslim children in Sacol Island, Zamboanga City on October 27.
Your support to our dream of flooding Mindanao with books had shown us that there is hope in the country because there are still many good and caring Filipinos. You did not only help us get books; you helped us recover our faith in the innate goodness of ordinary Filipinos like all of us.
But please help us even more because a lot remains to be done to convince poor Muslim and Christian kids that there is better hope in picking up a book than a gun. Recent news reports from there show that not only are Mindanao children being recruited to join the ASG, the MILF and the NPA, local warlords and politicians now also tap children as young as 12 years old to be their bodyguards.
Obviously, children are not only cheap, but their romantic notion of war and recklessness make them more than willing to kill and die for their patrons. And when they do get out of job, where do you think they will go? Armed and gullible, they are easy prey to rebel or extremist groups. Manila is just a boat ticket away from the next bomb explosion.
So, let’s help stop this vicious cycle of poverty and violence and give them a better view of a peaceful and happier world. Nothing can deliver this message to them better than books. Let your books reach their hearts and minds while they are young.
Considering the poverty level and the high illiteracy rate in Mindanao, the books that now may appear discarded trash to us here in Manila are glistening gold to them. It may well be the first and last book that they will receive in their lifetime.
When you do give books, give us those with lots of pictures because while we take it for granted that our kids can read before reaching Grade 1, most Mindanao kids can hardly read well even in Grade VI. Picture books will surely entice them to read.
Please drop your books at our Satti Grill House outlets at the SM Fairview Food Court, Quezon City or at the Corner of M.H. del Pilar, Ermita, Manila. Donors may contact Ann through Nos. 7992745/3393732 or 09175208013/ 09195897879. For more information, please log on at www.sattisfaction.blogspot.com.
Again, please help us disseminate our message of peace through your column, blog or through email for us to reach more people who care for the future of Muslims and Christians in the country.
Concerned Christian-Muslim Couple,
Armand and Annora Nocum
October 23, 2008