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Dialogue in action with an open heart

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Without meaning to neglect the other areas of dialogue, the Silsilah Dialogue Movement focuses its efforts and resources in the promotion of Muslim-Christian dialogue, considering that Mindanao is home to the biggest population of Muslims in the Philippines and they live with Christians who have also known Mindanao as home for several generations.

Without meaning to neglect the other areas of dialogue, the Silsilah Dialogue Movement focuses its efforts and resources in the promotion of Muslim-Christian dialogue, considering that Mindanao is home to the biggest population of Muslims in the Philippines and they live with Christians who have also known Mindanao as home for several generations.

Last June 30, 2012 Fr. Sebastiano together with some Muslim and Christian regular members of Silsilah inaugurated and launched the Bukas Puso (Open Heart), this is a special program for the children where Muslims and Christians lived together in a community. On this day, it was a momentous occasion celebrating the 46th Priesthood Anniversary of Fr. Sebastiano D’Ambra PIME founder of Silsilah which was held at the Kindergarten School-Padayon Extension, Paniran Resettlement Area, Sta. Catalina Zamboanga City,Philippines.

This event gave a significant meaning to the people in the community as they remember a frightful event in the year 2005 when a fire hit their community near the port area. A lot of families were displaced for a period of time. Later local government transferred the affected families at Sta. Catalina, Zamboanga City and called it as Paniran Resettlement Area. The Silsilah have always wanting to assist the people in their basic needs, as a result in 2007 a Kindergarten School was built and was named Tulay Bata for Dialogue and Peace Padayon Extension Kindergarten School.

The buildings, teachers, community leaders and the parents are the signs of hope that their children and the youth will be inculcated with the spirit of harmony, peace, cooperation and solidarity and so in 2010 it was declared as “Harmony Zone” area of Silsilah.

The occasion also launched the Bukas Puso (Open Heart) Program, a meal for a cause for the children and also a session to teach good personal hygiene and right conduct. The expression of the open heart is a way to be with the children and experience the affirmation and appreciation from their smiles and laughter because of the  time and simple gesture of assistance one provided.

Forty six years ago Fr. Sebastiano D’Ambra became a priest, a time when he consecrated his life to the Lord and to serve the people. Fr. Sebastiano shared his thought during the program and said, “All people is my family, each member thinks for the goodness of the family and together we built friendship and at the same time built our community.”

The Movement pursues its mission of promoting inter-religious dialogue by means of programs directed towards the youth, people in their work places in government and non-government institutions, and residents in their communities

A new building was also inaugurated beside the Kindergarten School. This edifice will serve as a health center and a formation center for the women, youth and leaders of the community. This is to help recognize and develop their own potentials and enhance their quality of life through education, health and community development facilities. The vision of Silsilah is to build a community that is based on the real values of life and to ensure that the disadvantage will be empowered with equal opportunities for a better life in the mainstream of society.

This development in the community of Barangay Sta. Catalina is a sign of hope that peace is indispensible and possible when handled with care, love and sincerity. This change in this community may also cause a similar change nearby, and so on with other communities. An inspiration for others to do the same and create better living conditions for the people.

Without meaning to neglect the other areas of dialogue, the Silsilah Dialogue Movement focuses its efforts and resources in the promotion of Muslim-Christian dialogue, considering that Mindanao is home to the biggest population of Muslims in the Philippines and they live with Christians who have also known Mindanao as home for several generations.




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