Last May 28th, the third Hulas training batch had their graduation in Bendum. Pedro Walpole, ESSC Executive Director, gave the following remarks:
“The youth are encouraged to bring forth their knowledge and learnings into their own personal vision and mission in life, thus having the confidence and skills that would help sustain their own families as well as to the broader community in Upper Pulangi.”
“Over the last year, I have worked with you on the concepts of gaup (ancestral domain), kalandang (peace), kagena (culture), and pulang (process of resolution through dialogue). These and many others are concepts of deep value and experience in our way of life in the Upper Pulangi.”
“Today, we are celebrating your graduation on the level of skills – skills that we need to sustain our activities, to help others and also to remain flexible so that our learning is not simply academic. We hope that in having these experiences, it will also strengthen your high school engagement.”
“On this basis, as you start your new term in high school, we need to give thanks for having this opportunity. First, we give thanks to Magbabaya, our creator who has given us life and resources to live by. Second, we ask that we have the strength to engage in the studies and other work that we need to undertake as students. And third, we must go out from these experiences and share with others our resources and our talents.”
“On a further level, we also thank our parents, who are with us today, for their support to this effort; for our forests and environment that has provided all the resources needed; and for the peace that has been sustained over the summer – peace that has allowed you to continue your studies without disruption.”
“You have produced many products, including metal cooking grills, shorts, mats and even pulala (bamboo flute). We have also noticed in your singing a much greater coordination. We trust that this gives you a greater preparation for the future, and most of all, a greater basis to your hopes and visions of where we are going.”
Photo: A young Hulas participant is learning to sew his own shorts with Nay Nene assisting.