Philippine AHAN Mindanao Report #2

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New Life Centre’s Meals Support for the Badjao Tribe on a regular basis

~ Mindanao AHAN Education Centre’s Volunteers ~

Support for the Badjao Tribe, known as the Sea Gypsies, goes back more than 10 years, and today humanitarian support for the Tribe is offered on a regular basis with continued support from volunteers from Mindanao AHAN Education Centre (aka Mindanao Aikido Nippon Kan Iligan Dojo led by Dojocho & Mindanao AHAN Coordinator AVA YANCHA) and other volunteers from local communities.

Although there are various historical and tribal perspectives surrounding the Sea Gypsies, AHAN Nippon Kan Headquarters continues to operate by its credo: “To provide support for the people in need irrespective of their history, religion beliefs or tribal heritages”.  Readers are encouraged to do one’s own research on the Sea Gypsies, if interested.

The tie between Mindanao AHAN and the Badjao Tribe has grown stronger over the years, and Mindanao AHAN has also been providing humanitarian support for the Tribe’s medical and educational needs as well as to protect their traditional cultures and heritage, in addition to meals service on a regular basis.

Volunteers who regularly work with me in support of the cause come from diverse backgrounds; their occupations include the region’s administrative staffs, current members of Military, Police and Civil Security and Safety organizations and retirees from these organizations, doctors, journalists and educators.  They all get involved with the cause to help the people in need while transcending any political or religious differences.  Moreover, it’s also worthy to mention that we have many high school and university students among our volunteers.

On the day of meals service, Homma Sensei, the Founder and Kancho of AHAN Nippon Kan World Headquarters, joined us after having visited on the previous day areas of the city of Marawi battered from the Battle of Marawi.  We had procured all the ingredients and foodstuffs needed in the days before, and we started to cook at around 4:00AM in the morning in front of the Dojo before we had to leave around 9:00AM for the site to serve meals for over 150 people.

The number of Badjao tribe in the area, especially the number of children, has been on the rise in the recent years, partly because of the lack of education on birth control.  We have been discussing better ways to continue providing free meals with renewed focus on enhancing safety for all.

I’ve also been requested by Homma Kancho to explore ways to train young Badjao people to form a group of vigilantes to promote and ensure public safety in the community and the region.

In addition to these humanitarian activities, Mindanao AHAN regularly works and collaborates with other local humanitarian support organizations toward minimizing and eventually eradicating religious and tribal conflicts in the region.

Homma Kancho often says, “We must not get mesmerized by our own touting in a Dojo that Aikido is about Love and Peace.  We must get out to the world to face the reality, then think about what we can do, and carry out what we need to do.  It’s only these action-oriented people who can teach on the mat of a Dojo Aikido’s philosophy of Love and Peace.”  His words of advice sink in more deeply and heavily in my soul as we continue our humanitarian activities in an area where regional conflicts still continue.

Thank you again Homma Kancho for your visit, leadership and guidance!  Otsukare-sama-deshita!

Mindanao AHAN Education Centre

Coordinator AVA YANCHA sensei

NOTE: Please follow the links below to learn more about AHAN’s past activities in Philippines and Mindanao, including the activities for the Badjao Tribe.

http://www.nippon-kan.org/?s=philip…

http://www.nippon-kan.org/?s=mindan…

http://www.nippon-kan.org/?s=badjao