Sewing Training Program Graduation For The Marawi - Lanao Mission

LEAD Story 369

PHILIPPINES - A total of 26 Maranaw women, in 5 batches, underwent the 8-week Sewing Training Program held in Iligan City from 16 June to 5 August 2021. Education in Emergencies (EIE) partnered with La Salle Green Hills Alternative Education, and was supported by the La Salle Academy and Holy Infancy Brother’s Community. Duyog Marawi, a partner of EIE in the Marawi-Lanao Consortium, chose the recipients for the program based on the needs of the communities they work with. Most of the Maranaws are still coping from the impact of the 2017 Marawi siege.

The trainees were taught practical skills in sewing bedsheets, curtains, abayas, and hijabs to augment their livelihood. Mr. Christian Dacoron, the very dedicated volunteer trainer from LSGH led the Graduation of the trainees held last 6 August at Butig, Lanao Del Sur. Duyog Marawi, as a partner in the Marawi-Lanao Consortium will carry on with the next step of livelihood development by organizing the sewers into a cooperative.

The training program was a “One La Salle” experience with various Lasallian schools and communities taking part. EIE wishes to acknowledge the valuable support of the LSGH Community: Br. Edmundo Fernandez FSC, Br. Normandy Dujunco FSC, Ms. Maria Carmela Bongcaron, Mr. Rey Ducay, and Ms. Marie Katipunan. La Salle Academy, Holy Infancy Brothers’ Community, and LSA Alumni Association also made valuable contributions by providing security, transportation, administrative services, lodging, and inspirational support.

Special acknowledgment also goes to the local government of Butig, Lanao Del Sur through Vice Mayor Sittie Aisah Pansar, who happens to be an LSA alumna. EIE expresses its sincerest gratitude to Mr. Jay A. Velez, Br. Dan Sanding FSC, Br. Ivan Carlo Umali FSC, Br. Henry Gyi, Ms. Beverly Widmaeir, Ms. Bev Tuba, Mr. Edgar Chua, Br, Felipe Belleza FSC and Br. Armin Luistro FSC. The Lasallian Animo is so alive!

We also extend our sincerest appreciation to the young, vibrant and committed staff of Duyog Marawi for their unconditional love and dedication to the work that they do.

After the graduation in Butig, the whole contingent paid a quick visit to Ground Zero in Marawi, away t o remember Marawi, and re-commit not to give up in spite of the challenges.

Truly, this is God’s work. (Text: Ms. Evangeline de Peralta; Photos: Br. Dan Sanding FSC)

"Salamat sa inyo dahil nakita nyo ang kakayahan ng bawat isa sa amin. Ang mga tinuro ay napakalaking tulong dahil pwede itong magamit sa aming kabuhayan. Ilan sa aming nag-training ang nagpaplanong bumili ng sariling makina para sa pangkabuhayan. InshaAllah (Kung nais ni Allah). Isa din si Janna na nagpaplano para makatulong sa kanyang pamilya. Nagpapasalamat kami Sir sa lahat ng tinuro mo. Magsisikap kami na mas madagdagan pa ang kaalaman namin sa pananahi. Ipagpapatuloy naming maging modelo at mahikayat ang iba na magsikap din sila. (Thank you also (referring to Christian) for affirming our capacities and talents. The input you taught is of great help to each of us, since we can use this for our livelihoods.” I’ve heard, some of my batch mates in this training are planning to purchase their own sewing machines for their livelihood. God willing, I will also do that to add sustenance for our family. I am thankful to all the learnings, I will persevere to increase my knowledge in sewing, and will continue doing that to be a model for others and to encourage others to also be industrious.)

Nong unang araw sa training, natatakot ako dahil first time kong makahawak ng makina. Sa tuwing may iuutos si Sir, lalo na sa pagpuputol ng tela, natatakot ako baka masira ito, pero si Sir, lagi niyang sinasabi na ok lang magkamali ang importante ay natututo ka. Alhamdulillah (Sa ngalan ni Allah) dahil sa loob ng 2 weeks, natuto kaming gumawa ng Bed Sheets, Kumbong, Kurtina at Abaya.” (On the first day of the training, I was frightened because it is the first time I’ll be using a sewing machine. Whenever there are directions, for instance, cutting the fabric and sewing, I was afraid that I will ruin my work. But our instructor is always understanding, he always encourages us, saying, that we learn when we make mistakes. Praise the Lord, since within the two weeks training, we learned how to manufacture bed sheets, head scarves, curtains, and Muslim dress (abaya).)

- Excerpt from Ms. Norjanna S. Ismael’s (one of the trainees from Butig, Lanao Del Sur) graduation speech. Translated by Mr. Godfrey Mordeno

CHALLENGE, 100% ACCEPTED!
Christian D. Dacoron
Volunteer Trainer / Faculty
La Salle Green Hills Alternative Education

The Sewing Training Program is an 8 - week session organized by De La Salle Philippines Education In Emergencies in partnership with La Salle Green Hills and supported by La Salle Academy and Holy Infancy Brother’s Community

Looking back that afternoon when Miss Marie called me and asked, “Sir Chris, are you willing to do the Mission?” and with God’s grace I said, “Yes Miss! More than willing for the love of training!”. Though it was still on the initial stage, no concrete plans and clear view yet, but I knew that St. La Salle will help us pave the way and through him, something great will happen with this mission.

I also thought of saying no, because of some considerations; first, the security in Marawi City, second, the danger of pandemic, and the availability of the vaccine and lastly, my mother’s condition, since she was still recovering from her recent health misfortune, but my eagerness to do the mission burns these thoughts.

It is hard to hold an all-Muslim class due to the unique culture and language. It was all new to me! But thanks to their warm acceptance, I never felt that I'm different. Our 8-week training became easy because of their perseverance and willingness to learn. It is true “no poverty can hinder if the student is willing to learn”, that’s why I pushed myself to become more determined to be the best for them. Some days are focused and serious, but more often they would tease and make fun just to break the ice. At the end of the two-week training, they would cry and bid emotional goodbyes.

To my 22 students and 4 DM staff who joined the training, Congratulations! Face life with new hope. Use all that I have taught you correctly and PAY IT FORWARD. (Mabrouk! Pakabolosn tano so pakatalingoma a gawii a adn a panginam tanu ron. Osar anga sa mapya langon o myaswa ka a kamapiyaan ago ogopn ka ko kikinanglan ron.) To Lynette, Omilhayah, Janimah and Jamina, Thank you for all the help, for all the early time and overtime, and for all the memories along the way. May you use the acquired knowledge and skills for good and help others who are in need.

I am HOME AWAY FROM HOME! Many thanks to the kindness and generosity of the people around me while doing the mission. I never felt that I was alone and away from my home. “Maraming Salamat po sa maalab na pagtanggap sa akin, sa mga cheer na “kaya mo yan” at “laban lang”, sa bawat good morning at good night at sa bawat hello and goodbyes”. (Thank you for the warm welcome, the “you can do it” and “keep on fighting” cheers, the good morning, good night, hello, and goodbye greetings.

Thank you for all the love and care that you all showed me for the past two months that I stayed in Iligan City. I found a new HOME, a new FAMILY, and new FRIENDS for keeps.

Thanks to La Salle Academy President Sir Jay Velez who is always there for us, taking care and providing our needs especially during the training. To the LSA staff, Ms. Bev (for taking care of me during the quarantine days), Sir Castor (for helping us with the purchasing) , Kuya Arnold (for the flash service), Kuya Jobert (for helping us in our daily needs), Kuya Nestor (the reason why we always have delicious meals in our plate) and Nanay Inday (my second mother who has never failed to take care of me during my stay).

I’ll be forever grateful to The Holy Infancy Brothers Community thru Brother Director Br. Dan Sanding FSC, and Brs. Ivan Karlo Umali FSC and Henry Gyi FSC. I am one of the few lucky Lasallian educators who has been given the chance to live with you and share great memories for the past two months. I will surely miss our dinner together, the socials, and movie nights! I will never forget the kindness, generosity, love, care and concern you showed me and the best treatment as if I am one of the brothers. Br. Dan, Br. Ivan and Br. Henry - maraming salamat po sa inyo! Mamimiss ko and Brothers House kasama kayo. (Thank you very much! I’ll miss living in the Brothers House with you)

To Duyog Marawi Director Bro. Rey Barnido, maraming salamat po! To Duyog Marawi Admin, Heads and Staff, Drivers and Cooks, maraming salamat po sa lahat ng tulong at serbisyo. (Thank you very much for all the assistance and service) May God bless you all!

And lastly, thanks to La Salle Green Hills and De La Salle Philippines Education In Emergencies thru Miss Rosemarie Katipunan and Miss Evangeline De Peralta for entrusting me with the mission.

The bond and all the great memories will be engraved in my mind.

This wonderful journey, my Lasallian Mission with St. La Salle will live forever in my heart.

Animo La Salle!!!