Teacher in indigenous Davao communities among RM awardees
Patricia Esteves (The Philippine Star) - July 31, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - A 31-year-old Filipino teacher in a remote and isolated mountain village in Davao is among this year’s recipients of the Ramon Magsaysay Awards.

The Ramon Magsaysay Awards Foundation announced yesterday that it selected five individuals and one organization as this year’s awardees, including a Chinese journalist, an anthropologist from Indonesia, a museum director in Afghanistan, an environmental lawyer in China and a non-profit organization in Pakistan that provides quality education to the less privileged.

Randy Halasan has been teaching at the Pegalongan Elementary School in Davao for the past seven years under harsh conditions, serving the indigenous Matigsalug tribe living in one of the remotest villages in Davao City.

To reach Pegalongan from his family’s home in the city takes Halasan seven hours of travel – two hours by bus, an hour over extremely rough roads by habal-habal motorcycle, four hours of walking
and crossing the waters of two treacherous rivers, the foundation said.

Halasan was chosen for his “dedication in nurturing his Matigsalug students and their community, helping them transform their lives through quality education and sustainable livelihoods.”

Wang Canfa was selected for defending and protecting the rights of victims of environmental abuses in China.

Also being honored is Omara Khan Masoudi for his courage, labor and leadership in protecting and preserving the Afghan cultural heritage.

Another awardee, Saur Marlina Manurung, 42, has dedicated her life to protecting and uplifting the lives of Indonesia’s forest people.

Sixty-one-year-old journalist Hu Shuli is being recognized for changing China’s media landscape through her truthful, relevant and unassailable journalism, her fearless promotion of transparency and accountability in business and governance.

Pakistan’s The Citizens Foundation won for its advocacy in providing quality education for all – irrespective of religion, gender, or economic status.

This year’s Magsaysay Award winners will each receive a certificate, a medal and a cash prize. They will be formally conferred the Magsaysay Award during formal presentation ceremonies on Aug. 31 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

CITIZENS FOUNDATION CULTURAL CENTER OF THE PHILIPPINES DAVAO DAVAO CITY HALASAN HU SHULI MAGSAYSAY AWARD MATIGSALUG OMARA KHAN MASOUDI PEGALONGAN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
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