COTABATO CITY—The Japan Social Development Fund (JSDF) has earmarked a substantial sum of US$2.75 million to support the Bangsamoro Government’s initiative to ensure the comprehensive growth and well-being of children within the region.
This collaborative effort aims to address educational challenges and create a brighter future for the region’s youth.
Out-of-school children at Lanao del Sur and Maguindanao provinces shall benefit from the project entitled ‘No Bangsamoro Child Left Behind in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM)’ following its launching on Nov. 14, 2023.
Through collaboration between the Bangsamoro Government and the Japanese Government, this initiative, launched in partnership with the Consortium of Bangsamoro Civil Society, Inc. (CBCS), demonstrates their shared dedication to the well-being of youth in the two provinces.
Secretary Economic, Embassy of Japan in the Philippines, Asuka Ishizaka underscored that the Japanese government is committed to improving the education sector in BARMM.
“This special fund is intended for three years which we believe could help Bangsamoro communities to gradually minimize the number of dropped outs,” Ishizaka said.
She said the project will aid the education stakeholders such as parents and teachers in enhancing the education status in the region.
BARMM Chief Minister Ahod Ebrahim emphasized that the Bangsamoro Government has invested in terms of quality and balanced education for Bangsamoro children with the assistance of local and foreign partners.
“This underlines the importance of collaboration, partnerships, and collective duty in ensuring that our children, who are the future pillars of our homeland, are given the opportunities they rightfully deserve,” said Ebrahim.
“This project speaks volumes to the unwavering commitment of all our peace and development partners to leave no Bangsamoro child behind and ensure that each and every child in the Bangsamoro is provided with the necessary support, opportunities, and care,” he added.
The initiative will include 100 pilot schools in the mainland of BARMM, comprising 25 schools each from Maguindanao I and II, as well as Lanao del Sur I and II Divisions.
CBCS Chair Guiamel Alim encouraged the parents and teachers to work together to materialize this milestone, saying, “Let’s find a way to meet the needs of the children, with their parents ensuring that no Bangsamoro shall be left behind”.
He underscored that every aspect of this project also reflects the needs and aspirations of recipients.
One of the project recipients, Sumaya Mangoramas, School Principal of Kulimpang Elementary School in Buldon, Maguindanao del Norte, appreciated the initiative taken by the government to advance a brighter future for Bangsamoro learners.
“We are very thankful for this unwavering support coming from different stakeholders and the government,” Mangoramas said.
The BARMM leadership expressed gratitude to the Japanese government for supporting the project and commended the CBCS and stakeholders who played a crucial role in bringing this initiative to fruition. (Johaira Sahidala/BIO)