Filipinos Called to Build Toy Libraries for River Children: Power of Social Media Reaching Out to Indigenous People

Published on 07/29/14

Zamboanga, Philippines – They are called as river people, where the name of the Subanon tribe comes from. They are natives to the Zamboanga Peninsula in the western part of the Mindanao island. However, they are now living in the mountains due to the migration of Muslim groups…

They are now asking for help from fellow Filipinos in the early childhood development of their children. PTL is partnering with the Ateneo de Zamboanga University and Youth Solidarity for Peace to build a toy center for their mission school.

“We are asking for help from those who have good hearts to help the indigenous children from the South,” Fr. Willy Samson, SJ appeals to the public. “We’d like to give an opportunity for all children to experience a meaningful and joyful childhood.”

“The IP sector usually receives little help due to their distance from cities,” PTL President Edsel Ramirez describes. “We welcome this partnership to show the Subanon tribe that they are not forgotten by their Filipino brothers and sisters.”

On a vacation abroad with the family, Ramirez, 38, was struck with the availability of parks and playgrounds for children in their communities. Thus, he posted a status on his social media site asking for donations of old toys, children’s books, and materials for building the first Philippine Toy Library in Loyola Heights, Quezon City.

The Philippine Toy Library is currently calling for donations of toys and children’s books. Clear out closets and start helping in the building toy centers in Porac and Sasmuan, Pampanga, Dapdap, Quezon, Cagayan de Oro and Zamboanga Peninsula.

Drop off points are in Quezon City (KIDS AHOY, PTL and Jesuit Volunteers Philippines offices), Pampanga (Orchid Bookstore), Baguio, Bacolod and Zamboanga City (ADZU, Tzu Chi Foundation and YSP offices).