Children of Siayan
The municipality of Siayan in Zamboanga del Norte holds a lot of promise. In 2009, the town was the country’s poorest municipality, with 97.5 percent poverty incidence, according to the National Statistics Coordination Board (NSCB). This meant that for every 10 persons, 10 were also living below the poverty line. But the town, which is mostly inhabited by people from the Subanen tribe, is consistently rising above poverty. In 2016, its poverty incidence significantly dropped to 77 percent.
“We want our children to live in a place where a dream will not end up in just that – a dream. We are grateful to everyone who makes this possible for them, including World Vision,” said Judith, one of the Subanen leaders and the chieftain of one of Siayan’s village captains.
World Vision has been in the municipality since 2012, working closely with the local government, schools and most especially, the community members. Through the years, this partnership has resulted to different initiatives (construction of reading hubs, water systems that cater to both the school and community, toilet and handwashing facilities and life skills training among others) that empower and allow children like Mary Grace, Crystal, Ronalyn and Aimee to reach their full potential, to dream not just for themselves but also for their families and their community.
Mary Grace, 10
I want to be a celebrity and be seen on TV but I want to finish my studies first. I want to ride an airplane one day so maybe I can also be a stewardess.
Some children in our school still find it hard to read. I want to help them like how my teacher is helping us now. I want to teach when I grow older so that no child in our community will be unable to read.
Ronalyn, 11 and Aimee, 12
We have health centre in our village but the hospital is very far. I’ve always dreamt of being a nurse so I can immediately help people who are sick.– Ronalyn
One day, I will be an English or Math teacher. These are my two favourite subjects so I am not yet sure which one I will focus on when I go to college. But I know I will be a teacher.