The revered Korean Dharma master and Buddhist activist Venerable Pomnyun Sunim (법륜스님) accompanied a team of volunteers from the Buddhist humanitarian relief organization JTS Korea to the Philippines from 15–19 December to officially open new schools established by JTS over the past year in Mindanao, and to bring much-need school supplies to children there.
Joined by local activists, Ven. Pomnyun Sunim and the JTS volunteers, led by JTS Korea secretary-general Park Young Sook and the representative of JTS Korea, Park Ji-na, attended formal completion and opening ceremonies for four new schools in the presence of local officials from Mindanao, the second-largest island in the Philippines.
The first completion ceremony of the visit—for San Miguel National High School in the village of Talagak—marked a new chapter in JTS’s remarkable ongoing work in Mindanao:
“For the past 20 years, JTS has been building elementary schools in Mindanao to eradicate illiteracy and provide basic education in underprivileged areas,” JTS Philippines chief executive Lee Won Joo explained at the opening ceremony. “However, this project is a special case as it is a high school. There are many children who have been unable to continue their education because they lacked access to a high school. There was also the problem of young girls becoming pregnant at a young age as a result of the lack of education opportunities, and marrying early. As such, JTS decided to build a high school. Thanks to our cooperative relationship with the county office and the Philippine Army Corps of Engineers, JTS provided construction materials, the Army Corps of Engineers took responsibility for the actual construction, and the county office supported basic expenses, including food. After 20 years of humanitarian work, this is the 60th school built by JTS in Mindanao, Philippines.”
▶️ Published by BDG on January 18, 2024