I’m reaching out to the global community on behalf of a small organization in our nation, known as the Yes Pinoy Foundation(or “Yes, Filipino” — “pinoy” is a colloquialism). I am sharing a video about Justin, one of the children of a 30 year-old public school in the small town of Casili, and how much effort he takes to get to school.
Some months ago, a small public school was featured on local television. The town, known as Casili, is located in one of the most treacherous landscapes in Luzon, our country’s northern province. Casili is actually a government-protected watershed northeast of Metro Manila, in the province of Rizal. Because of this, no structures are allowed to be built.
Every day, the children of Casili Elementary School risk their lives crossing a river to attend class, riding a salbabida (rubber inner tube) or bamboo balsa (raft). Their lives are especially at risk during the rainy season when the river becomes a fifty-feet deep raging waterway.
Building a mobile school, one that is decent enough to be accredited by our Department of Education will take a lot of bureaucracy and red tape maneuvering. Building a school under the foundation’s initiative also requires more teachers, which Casili is already undermanned for. (The school principals who are assigned to these far-flung schools are only there months at a time.) Building a mobile classroom alone was en effort that the foundation tried to do with MySchool, another non-government organization. It was a circuitous experience, as mobile classrooms that are approved by the building code are rare.
The school in Casili is a 30 year old school. This means that the locals’ system of crossing the river has been there for close to that number as well: Kids here know how to swim from toddlerhood, even younger. What the Yes Pinoy Foundation aims to do — using the best capacities and available resources — is to fortify learning systems by providing better access to education as efficiently and as quickly as possible, whenever funds become available.
As a young foundation, Yes Pinoy is concerned with helping the children immediately. All the benefits that the kids of Casili will receive are aimed to increase their graduation capabilities since they will be less absent from school. Quality of learning also increases as we provide solar powered study lamps, dry books and notebooks, all of which go a long way.
Currently, we are working with Yes Pinoy and a partner benefactor, Sueno de Espadrilles, in providing boats with life-preservers, waterproof shoes and bags with school supplies, solar-powered study lamps, as well as a year-long values formation program with practical life skills training through YesPinoy Foundation’s flagship program PARA PAARALAN, which loosely translates to “so that they may study.”
(In return, Sueño de Espadrilles is giving a thank-you pair of classic esapdrilles for every donor’s offering, as a token of appreciation for supporting the cause. If you would like to make an international donation, you may contact Yes Pinoy Foundation via their website, or on Facebook. Thank you.)
This is an original post by Martine de Luna for World Moms Blog. Photo credit to Ivan Guerrero, shot on location in Casili, Rizal province of the Philippines.
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Martine is a work-at-home Mom and passionate blogger. A former expat kid, she has a soft spot for international efforts, like WMB. While she's not blogging, she's busy making words awesome for her clients, who avail of her marketing writing, website writing, and blog consulting services. Martine now resides in busy, sunny Manila, the Philippines, with her husband, Ton, and toddler son, Vito Sebastian. You can find her blogging at DaintyMom.com.