The Department of Teacher Education (TED) and the Department of Arts and Sciences (DAS), collaborated with the Department of Education (DepEd), the Hope for the Nations and the Rotary Club of Zamboanga –North in implementing the Progressive Learning Space for Kids (PLS) Project at the transitory site in Masepla, Mampang, Zamboanga City.

As a transitory site, Masepla is a place where internally displaced persons (IDPs), usually families, are provided with dwelling for the meantime while their permanent relocation site is being prepared by the city government. The families have been displaced by the Zamboanga siege.

The PLS project intended to respond to the literacy needs of the kids of Masepla who have been deprived of education services for a while due to their displacement.

At least 60 teachers from ZCSPC and other schools in the city volunteered to teach the grade school children of Masepla reading, writing and arithmetic on April 1-3, 2015 and on April 13-17, 2015. Some 400 kids were benefitted by the project.

The kids were not only given a physical learning space but an emotional and spiritual space as well where they were accepted, loved and nurtured by the volunteer teachers who handled them with care. But it was not only the children who were benefitted, the volunteers too. They were spiritually enriched by the experience. Indeed, “The quality of mercy is not strained. It blesses him who gives and him who receives”(from The Merchant of Venice). (Evelyn C. Luceño)

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The beautiful serene picture of the Masepla transitory site belies an IDP life that is full of struggles and uncertainties. But is also a strange reminder that hope springs eternal. The women-friendly space served as the learning space for the kids. Kids singing the Pambansang Awit while and a pupil taking care of her younger sibling while attending a class.

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