Whenever I sit down and start counting one by one the blessings God has given me this year, one of them is the grace of spending time at Community Technical College of Southeastern Mindanao Inc. (CTCSM). I came to CTCSM on February 3, 2016 for a six month community immersion for seven months, after a month extension.
I am glad and filled with divine excitement that I was given the opportunity to share my experience at Community Technical College of Southeastern Mindanao, how it has impacted my life and how God has used me to do His mission with the community at CTCSM. I have spent a very amazing and wonderful time at CTCSM. I have learnt and witnessed how the administration is hard-working in providing quality transformative education to all 18 tribal groups of indigenous people in Mindanao through their tireless work in sourcing the school materials, food, accommodation, teachers, and all other necessities of a human being. I have learnt that CTCSM does not only teach the children academics, but also some very important skills such as agricultural activities, building, carpentry, leadership, organizing, and community mobilization to singing, dancing, and all other necessary skills which are very rare among the non-indigenous schools in the Philippines. Students at Community Technical College of Southeastern Mindanao are equipped with so many skills and I have been very amazed how even a preschool student knows how to effectively participate in activities such as cooking, farming, and workshops.
Integrating with more than 500 students has taught me lot of things. I have a lot of success stories with me by students at CTCSM. I believe that I have been part of the community and the community has been part of me. The administration, teachers, non-teaching staff, and all students have been nice and a great blessing to my life. Their smiling faces and their sense of humor motivated me to keep going with the mission of God.
CTCSM has the most passionate teachers willing to share their knowledge with students. Being one of the teachers at this amazing institution has helped to be humble, passionate, plan my work well, and having great techniques on how I can teach students for them to understand. My bisaya language has been exponentially improved; I have come to know deeply the culture of various tribes which has also helped me to know how I can handle every student in the process of working with the community to provide quality transformative education. It is at this great institution where my dream of performing the ministry of presence has come true. I have come to realize that providing materials to students and the community is very important but the most important thing is to have a big (kind) heart willing to serve wholeheartedly with love, care, faith, and great passion to create the community of faith, hope, and love. I believe and have hope that working with this community, the love of God has been put into action.
I have also witnessed and discovered ways in which God is already at work at the CTCSM community. CTCSM is doing a great job in helping LUMAD children to have quality and transformative education which can help them to contribute to the development of their immediate communities. LUMAD children have seen God through the passionate people and teachers, free accommodation, free food, tuition fee, school materials, health facilities, and all other great benefits students are earning from this great institution. Through the effective leadership of IRIKA MAY A. Rosello, a lot of effort is made to source needed materials from non-governmental organizations such as UNI FRUITTI, SAGIP, CRC, EILER, and SUNBLEST AND MISSIINARIS OF ASSUMPTION. The school administrator is very humble, efficient and effective to the community, willing to work hard connecting with other supporters all over the world for the goodness of CTCSM beneficiaries.
“In all the challenges and problems you are passing through, I want you all to know that I am in solidarity with you. You will be in my mind always, praying and offering support as much as I can.”
Finally, I would like to thank God for all the learnings, inspirations, motivations, connections, friendships, partnerships, experiences, joys, excitements, and knowledge I have attained during my stay at Community Technical College of Southeastern Mindanao.
CTCSM has been home away from home! Thank you so much Administration, faculty staff including teachers, non-teaching staff, students and the surrounding community for making my stay here at Community Technical College of Southeastern Mindanao amazing, outstanding, educating, inspirational, and fulfilling.
Initiatives for Peace in Mindanao (InPeace)
GMF International, Class of 2015-2017