The Madaris Volunteer Program (MVP), a program that sends volunteers to teach DepEd-mandated subjects in selected pilot madaris (Islamic schools) in Cotabato City and Maguindanao for a long-term, immersive volunteer service dedicated to an active “apostolate of presence, has deployed its volunteers to Maguindanao, Cotabato City, and Lamitan City last 13 June 2017.

In the program’s third iteration, ten (10) volunteers from all over the Philippines has joined the mission of improving the quality of education in the Bangsamoro through the creation of a new environment of shared learning, respect, and cooperation between and among Islamic schools and Catholic schools. This year, the program has recruited Dr. Cecilia R. Garcia, a doctor of Medicine from Manila; Regin Ruis Oliveros, a Masters candidate of Theology from Taguig City; Alfon John Pato, a Communications graduate from Naga City; Ericko Jay Alciso, a Political Science graduate from Bukidnon; Tarhata K. Abas, an Education graduate from Cotabato City, Pyraleen Awang, an Education graduate from Jolo; Samantha Dairo, an International Studies graduate from Davao City, Princess Tupas, a Development Communications graduate from Kabacan; Huda Aldanie, an Education graduate from Basilan; and Leo Santander, a Community Development graduate from Davao City.

The current batch of volunteers were deployed to the program’s various partner-madaris in Cotabato City and Maguindanao, where they will stay with host families in the Bangsamoro for the duration of an entire school year, engage in interreligious dialogue with Bangsamoro communities, and advocate peacebuilding through education.

This year’s participating partners are the IQRA Academy in Cotabato City, Gani L. Abpi College, Inc. and Markaz Al-Husaim in Datu Piang, Madrasatul Al-Shellawe in Sultan Kudarat, Hadji Ali Baganian Memorial School in Talayan, Mohammad Bin Al-Dahirie Islamic Academy in Guindulungan, Mahad Saada Al Arabie Integrated School in Datu Salibo, and Datu Ibrahim Pendatun Paglas III Foundation in Datu Paglas.

This year also marks the inaugural volunteer deployment to Markaz Zehra, a pilot-madrasah in Lamitan City in the province of Basilan. Markaz Zehra is the MVP’s first partner-madrasah in the Bangsamoro island-provinces.

The Madaris Volunteer Program hosted a missioning ceremony to usher the volunteers to their year of service, interreligious dialogue, and peacebuilding last June 13, 2017, 4:00PM, at Al Nor Hotel and Convention Center, Cotabato City. Partners in peacebuilding, whose linkages with, and commitment to, the MVP were strengthened during the social preparation phase of the program last March-May 2017, also joined the missioning ceremony of the volunteers.

The Madaris Volunteer Program is an initiative of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP), and is implemented by Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU) through its partnerships with National Association of Bangsamoro Education, Inc (NABEI), the Bureau of Madaris Education (BME), and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

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