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Angels of the Zamboanga City
Teachers are able to use every little thing as a tool for an activity at any stage of the lesson in their classrooms. Imagine yourself bringing a lunch box or a lunch bag to the classroom and asking your students what it reminds them and encouraging them to predict what is inside. I’m sure the answers would vary according to the age, preference, culture, and even the weather.

Do you think the students would stare at the lunch bag with blank eyes as if they see the thing in your hand for the very first time in their lives? Do you think this question would remain unanswered in your own class not because of a language problem but because of some other reasons? What do you think these reasons could be?  Lack of food? Exactly!

We all know that there are millions of people starving in the world and we are worried about them. Some of us try to help them in a way, some prefer to pity while munching a big bowl of crisps in front of the TV but do nothing because sometimes we just focus on ourselves and our own problems and then putting ourselves into others’ shoes become hard.

However, as teachers we need to be more sensitive towards these kinds of situations and act as a person in need at the right time at the right place. Sometimes a caring mother, sometimes a nurse, sometimes a psychologist, sometimes a stand-up guy, sometimes the one at the top of the hierarchical triangle aaaaand sometimes an angel.

Here is one of these angels. Nemesia Tagud Chavez. She is a teacher at Lubigan Elementary School in Zamboanga City of the Philippines. I do want to mention about the feeding project she has been dealing with. I have met her with the help of my blog and then we became facebook friends and right after that I came across a photo album about this feeding project in her profile. I was so curious about it and with her permission I wanted to share this with you as well. Nemei kindly accepted to explain what she has done so far for this project and what she hopes for the future.

Students waiting to get their goods

How did the project start?

Apparently the related departments of the government have programmes on Health and Nutrition of students but unfortunately the school Nemie works at is not a recipient to any government projects. Most of her students are indigent and “puto”, a bread like food is the only thing they eat for an entire day. There are others who come to school with an empty stomach and who aren’t able to eat anything for breakfast or lunch. The ones who have rice with a little soy sauce are lucky. At lunch time, they do not go home where there isn’t any food either so they stay at school although it is very close to their homes.  This painful situation affects their learning performance very negatively. After Nemie found an old friend (thanks to Facebook) who works as a private nurse in Taiwan, things started to change. Nemie says “Somehow I can say God used her as a channel of blessing for my prayers.” She helped Nemie to find a sponsor, Mrs. Wu and the project started.

What have they done so far?

Mrs. Wu sent them noodles, old clothes, dry goods for the students twice as of November 2010 and January 2011. 270 students from 1st grade to 6th grade were all happy to enjoy the food and they felt energized by it. Not only Nemie but also the parents, the co-teachers and even the principal of the school were involved in the project, especially during the preparations of the food.

At last the food is ready:)

Tired but happy after all:)

Students enjoying their food

Hope their wishes come true…

Right now, they do not have a sponsor. Each day they pray to God to find sponsors who are willing to provide basically food, books and clothing for the students. It is a pity that ten students have to share one book. They need books especially in academic subjects such as Math, English and Science.

I hope God will response to the voice of the angels of the Zamboanga City and they will soon receive help. In my country, there are similar problems especially in the east part of Turkey. I know some people who really care and try to help in a way. The teachers working for some state schools in Turkey face the same problems and they usually try to find solutions on their own.

I believe being a teacher is being everything. It requires so many skills and characteristic features at the same time. Eventually the inevitable ones are love, sympathy, patience and kindness. Just like an angel…

Whether you are a teacher or not, you can hold a child’s hand for help. Who knows? Maybe you are the next angel to make their wishes come true and the next light to shine in the darkness.

  1. “ANGELS OF THE ZAMBOANGA CITY” To the author Miss Merve Oflaz from Istanbul, Turkey. I would like to say thank you for posting a blog about the status or the real situation of our Pupils/Students here in Lubigan Elementary School Zamboanga City Philippines. My only purpose is to help our indigent students in order for them to be more effective in their studies through proper nutrition and exposed them to the real world of education by giving them educational materials like books, activity books,audio visual materials..As of this school year we have the total population of 325 students.To all angels heart out here I ask your support to Like this blog of Merve Oflaz ” Angels of Zamboanga City”. Excellent job ma’am Merve thank you for being a bridge of blessings..


    1. Dearest Nemie,

      Thank you for your sincere comment. I hope the post will at least help some people to be aware of the situation. As I mentioned in my post, there are lots who need some support in terms of school materials, clothes or food including Turkey, my own country. Wish we could do more but I am happy to mention that a lot of people around showed a great interest to that. I have a strong feeling in my heart telling me good things will happen:)


      Merve OFLAZ

  2. The videoclip works not in Europe. Unfortunately, this video which includes music from UMG is not available in Germany since the PRS has not given the publishing rights…
    I think it`s a good idea to create a blog. 80% from the world population live in poorness. It`s a great problem.
    I think people learn together so I have made also a blog for kids
    and a little videoclip on my Vimeo Channel

  3. Dear Alois,

    Thank you very much for sharing these links. I had a look at the videoclip and it seems to be great. I appreciate what you did.

    Keep in touch,


    Merve OFLAZ

    1. My Dearest Merve Oflaz,

      I am very happy even though we did not meet our needs but i am still praying for the best of everything that our wishes and prayers will be granted..My heart still telling me that best of good things will happen in our school..Advance merry Christmas to you and to your family.

      1. Hi Nemie,

        Thank you for the good wishes. It is a pity that we couldn’t find any help, but I am so happy to get to know you and the enthusiastic colleagues at your institution. Blessings from Turkey:)

        Merve OFLAZ

        1. To my Friend Madam Merve Oflaz:

          Again I just want to say thank you to you for the blog that you have made about “Angels of Zamboanga City”..I shared it into my wall at facebook because I wanted the concerned Sponsor for that Feeding Program Ms. Bevelyn Ayento and Mrs. Wu will read about that blog…Ms. Bevelyn Ayento ( Private Nurse) my former classmates, where ever you are now hope God will continue to used you as a channels of blessings…Madam Merves Thank you so much, I do hope we can get some sponsor for that feeding program..

          1. Always a pleasure dear Namie. I appreciate what you and your colleagues are doing there. Hope you will receive the help you have been seeking for. All my prays are with you.
            With love and light…
            Merve Oflaz

  4. That is exactly what we teachers need! to be able to be a part of the society we live in! To understand the needs of the members of the society!( esp. Of the pupils)
    l read your writing and really liked it.l have so many things to do! l live in Bursa. Thanks God that there is no food problems but we must take the students attention to the ones without food and water esp. İn Kenya Somali.l also intend to take the students and their families’ attention to the extravagant usage of plastic bags. When l have projects in my mind, l feel
    and consider myself A TEACHER. Otherwise we are nothing.
    l hope we can meet in other useful activities!

  5. Dear Hatice,

    Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts and feelings.

    I agree with you about taking students’ attention to the problems all around the world and help them gain or develop their sensibility towards these real situations.

    I appreciate what you do as a teacher and hope to meet in further projects.


    Merve OFLAZ