The Save Our Schools (SOS) campaign reached out to students at the Howest Hogeschool in Kortijk and Brugge, Belgium as the International Coalition for Human Rights in the Philippines (ICHRP) and the Peoples' Solidarity Education Tours (PSET) told the stories of the Lumad people - both their victories in setting-up and maintaining alternative schools within their communities, and the still unabated attacks against these heroic efforts.
In the morning of 27 April, information tables were set-up in the two campuses of the Howest Hogeschool, where more than 1,000 students explored possibilities for their eventual internships outside of Belgium. Aside from the Philippines, Howest have been sending students to countries like India and Africa, only to name a few. There are currently three interns from Howest, doing their internships in the Philippines through the mentorship of PSET.
A presentation by Atty. Czarina Golda Musni of the RMP-NMR-established ‘Higala sa Lumad’ (Friends of the Lumad) Network was attended by 48 students in the afternoon. Students were encouraged to come and visit the Philippines to experience for themselves the daily life and struggles of the Filipino people. However, if they are not able to come, they can still contribute a lot by re-telling the stories they have heard that day to their friends and families then gather both moral and concrete support for the Filipino people. At the end of the session, a concrete call to sign the petition against the Mining Act of 1995 and landgrabbing in the Philippines was announced and warmly accepted.
The ICHRP has led the implementation of the SOS campaign internationally, in Europe in particular, from the latter part of 2015 as they launched the campaign in August and implemented the Global weeks of action for Mindanao in November. Members and friends of the coalition around the continent (Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Poland, Luxemburg and Denmark) hosted speakers from RMP-NMR, Panalipdan, ALCADEV, MISFI, KARAPATAN-National and Karapatan-Caraga, bringing the stories of the Lumad and the Filipino people to the attention of the international community.###
Atty. Czarina Golda Musni of the 'Higala sa Lumad' Network during the presentation.
Students of the Howest Hogeschool in Kortijk and Brugge during the presentation.