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'Moro kids need more public activities'

BULUAN, Maguindanao—Moro children and youth should be exposed more to public activities and given the right education to get them off the perils of extremism, Gov.  Esmael Mangudadatu said Friday.

Mangudadatu said education is the only long-term solution to increasing concerns on the massive recruitment of young individuals into terror groups—some purportedly offering big amounts in cash.

The governor held a series of dialogue with students, orphans, and young professionals on Aug. 15, which senior provincial staffer Eeman Aljani said was Mangudadatu’s birthday.

Gov.  Esmael Mangudadatu

Students spoke to Mangudadatu about their learning experiences and on how the Maguindanao Peace (MagPeace) Study Grant Program helped them overcome the challenge of poverty, and eventually became professionals.

A youthful Maguindanaoan said he had his own biases on politicians, until he learned it was Mangudadatu who established the MagPeace Study Grant Program to help poor-and-deserving students finish college education.

Ramina Pandian, a young teacher, said she almost grew hopeless in life after surviving a motorcycle mishap which crippled her for quite a time. She said the MagPeace lit her path with fresh motivation to finish college education, and become the young school teacher that she is now.

Mangudadatu said dozens more of Maguindanao children orphaned in armed conflict needed institutional guidance to get into the right track towards brighter future.

“These children should be exposed to the real world. Their only way through freedom from the perils of violence is education,” Mangudadatu said, as he and Maguindanao employees watched orphans enjoy the presence of the popular mascot of a fastfood chain.

Topics: Maguindanao , Moro children , public activities , Gov. Esmael Mangudadatu
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