The orphans have more faucets now, unlike before when water was supplied by a single water pipe tapped from a nearby spring.
The orphanage, located in Barangay Koronadal Proper, houses orphans from the provinces of Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao, Basilan, South Cotabato and Sarangani whose fathers were killed in battle or a crossfire between government and rebel forces.
Malaysian Lt. Col. Abdulrazak bin Husain urged the orphans to strive hard in their studies, optimistic that they could be an Ustadz, an engineer, “and even a mayor someday.”
Husain heads the IMT’s Team Site 4 which covers the provinces of Davao del Sur, Sarangani, South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and the cities of Koronadal and General Santos.
“May Allah reward you for the love and care you have shown to us,” the orphans said.
The IMT and the YMPC have been giving the orphans supplementary food, clothing and toiletries. As wards, they receive a P750 monthly allowance provided by sponsors from Kuwait.
The orphanage is administered by the South East Asia Development Committee, Inc. (SEADCI), chaired by Sheikh Abdullah Sindatok, who also expressed gratitude for the assistance of the two groups. SEADCI gave a counterpart for the reconstruction of the water system and the purchase of beddings for the orphans.
“Our group, the YMPC, has been intervening here, educating them (orphans) on etiquette, table manners, values, and livelihood skills,” Jocelyn Lambac, vice-president of the council, said.
“We want that once they leave this place, they can stand on their own feet and be ready to face the challenges of society,” she said, adding the council plans to provide the orphans hands-on training on organic farming.
YMPC member Norodin Piang remarked, “It is mandatory for every Muslim to look after the welfare of the needy, especially the orphans, and it is because of this mandate and passion to help others which push us to engage in this endeavor.”
Husain’s team will leave the country next month after their year-long stay of monitoring the ceasefire between the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the Philippine government while the peace negotiations, facilitated by Malaysia, are ongoing. (Gandhi C. Kinjiyo/MindaNews)