Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Zamboanga City – Hundreds of Muslim students whose studies were disrupted by the kidnappings in Zamboanga City are coping up with their lessons by reading and meeting up with their teachers in a library built for them this summer.

Following the soft opening of the Kristiyano-Islam (Kris) Peace Library in Barangay Manicahan here last April 6, kids from Manicahan and Sacol Island have been converging at the library to read up and learn basic computer lessons.

Teachers in Sacol Island have refused to return to the island after three of their colleagues were abducted by suspected Abu Sayyaf men on January 23. The three public school teachers remain in captivity.

“We miss school and we miss our teachers but we are happy to see them and catch up with schooling in the Kris library,” said Sitti Abdulwahid, 8.

The Kris Library was put up by a Christian and Muslim couple, Armand and Annora Sahi Nocum, through the A-Book-Saya Group (ABSG) book-donation project. The ABSG advocacy is aimed at flooding Mindanao with books to counter the gun culture; and to give Muslim children in perceived Abu Sayyaf lairs the option to pursue peaceful career over kidnappings and banditry.

To entice poor Muslims and Christian students to visit the library regularly, ABSG had offered free computer lessons; the free use of its computers; and dangled scholarships to 50 students who will visit the library at least 25 times this summer. Those visiting less frequently will receive old used books, school supplies, and other educational materials.

But the enticement was so effective that over 200 students have signed up to take computer lessons and who visit the library regularly to read up, play with educational materials and meet up with their teachers, some of whom are themselves regular patrons of the library.

With the increasing number of poor students visiting the Kris Library, the Nocums have appealed to people in Metro Manila to donate more books, school supplies, toys, and old but usable computers and printers.

Donors may drop donations at the Satti Grill House in SM Fairview or call 7992745, 3393732, 09175208013, 09195897879, or check out their blog at: www.sattisfaction.blogspot.com.


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