2009 Quota Cares Month Winners

Quota International of Manila

Honorable Mention Winner

News stories about kidnappings, hate demonstrations, and suicide bombings have become commonplace today. It seems there is no end to the terrorism, hatred, and violence around the world. This is especially true on Mindanao, the second largest island in the Philippines. In addition to kidnapping for ransom, Muslim rebel groups have been training young boys in their teens to be soldiers, and there have been many reported violations against children in armed conflict.

Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi’s words, “If we are to teach real peace in this world, and if we are to carry on a real war against war, we will have to begin with children,” the Quota club of Manila turned its concern about the children in Mindanao into a Quota Cares Month project. First Manila Quotarians partnered with a Christian Muslim couple ( Mr. Armand and Ms. Annora Nocum) to launch a book drive that would provide books that would allow poor Christian and Muslim children in Mindanao to choose books over guns and education over banditry and terrorism. They advertised the book drive by placing posters in schools, churches, recreational facilities, beauty shops, and in the lobbies of their condominiums. They also wrote letters to publishing companies, foundations, and friends requesting support.

On March 24, 2009, the Manila Quota club also held a Forum for the Children of Mindanao—Transforming Lives and Promoting Peace through Reading. The program included two guest speakers who shared their views on the impact of terrorism and the value of education in fighting terrorism, including a personal account from a priest who had experienced kidnapping firsthand.

All of these efforts resulted in the donation of 3,500 books that will be housed in the first Kristiyano-Islam library to be constructed in Barangay Manicahan, Zamboanga City. It will be a place where both Christian and Muslim children can come together to read and learn basic living skills as well as how to use a computer. Due to previous fund-raising efforts, Manila Quotarians were able to donate 30,000 pesos for the construction of the library.

The Manila Quota club also benefited greatly from the experience, not only from the knowledge that they were helping the children of Mindanao, but also by gaining a new member. Ms. Annora Nocum, the club’s partner in the book drive, joined the club upon seeing the service dedication of Quota club members.

To read or print the club’s winning application, click here*.

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