Madaris Volunteer Program (MVP)
The Madaris Volunteer Program is a program based in Davao City, Philippines that sends volunteers to teach DepEd-mandated subjects like English, Math, and Science, in selected privately-run Islamic schools in selected Bangsamoro areas for a long-term, immersive program dedicated to an active “apostolate of presence.”
Volunteers stay with host families in the Bangsamoro for the duration of an entire school year to teach school-aged children in madaris, engage in interreligious and intercultural dialogue with Bangsamoro communities, and advocate peacebuilding through education and friendship.
The Madaris Volunteer Program is open to people from all faith traditions. Applicants only need to be at least 21 years old, and have ANY college degree to apply. It is an initiative of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP), and is implemented by Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU) through its partnerships with National Association of Bangsamoro Education, Inc (NABEI), the Bureau of Madaris Education (BME), and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
Madaris Volunteer Program: An Apostolate of Presence, A Shared Engagement for Transformative Education
by: Aivy Rose N. Villarba, Ateneo de Davao University
Around 40 to 60 students sit in wooden chairs inside a classroom. Five little learners share a reading textbook. Two other kids share a broken pencil while the whole class shares a box of crayons. This is but a common scenario in some madaris (Islamic schools) especially in most conflict-affected areas of Muslim Mindanao. It was way back in the 1980s when some researchers asked the madrasa officials what their main problems were. They said they need an updated library, improved physical facilities, and most of all more qualified and competent faculty. Over the years, not much has changed, but small ripples of improvement slowly comes to the madrasah shores. <read more>
Changing the Odds through Madaris Volunteers
By Fr. Joel E. Tabora, S.J. for Pakighinabi, Manila Times, 29 June 2015
The National Association of Bangsamoro Education, Inc. (NABEI) was launched on March 9, 2014 in the joy and optimism of the signed Framework Agreement Bangsamoro. In the rejoicing that the armed struggle may finally have been over, Al Hajj Murad Ebrahim, Chairman of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, was quick to say, “Our jihad, our struggle, is not yet finished. We are elevated to another jihad that is more difficult.… The difficult path is now passed from freedom fighters to the educators. You educators are now on the frontline.” It was a stirring call to genuine education in a packed gathering that mixed madrassah educators with armed revolutionary warriors assenting to the insights of Ebrahim with the oft-repeated chant, Allahu akbar! Allah is great! <read more>
The Madaris Volunteer Program
Dialogue through Action
There are places in Maguindanao that embody unheard narratives of peace and prosperity among its people. Stories unheard and usually unwelcomed by those who are fettered and discouraged by talk of unrest and prejudice; it is indeed regretful, because the stories of the Moro are nothing short of inspiring and honest. The tales of Maguindanao are worth listening to and learning from. And this is something the Madaris Volunteer Program (MVP) would like to empower and represent through the discourse of education and dialogue through a 10-month service program. Madrasah/Madrasa (or its plural madaris) is the general term for schools foregrounded by Islamic studies and Arabic literacy all over Mindanao. Ever since its formal establishment and recognition by the government in 1954, the madaris have played a very important role in the preservation of the Islamic faith and traditions. By 2005, an Undersecretary for Muslim Education was appointed to be part of the Department of Education (DepEd). This was alongside the formation of the Standard Madrasa Curriculum (under DepEd Order No. 51, s. 2004) and was adopted by the ARMM RG Executive Order No. 13-A, s. 2004. Little by little, the madaris gained support and acknowledgement from the government and various other institutions. However, in light of the poverty and hostilities that plague Mindanao, the madaris struggles to be in its best state to offer quality education to its students. Hence, as a response, the initiation of a joint project between the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) and the National Bangsamoro Education Inc. (NABEi)—which is the MVP. <read more>