Here’s our story. Follow our progress over the years, from small beginnings.
Jo and I decided, on a whim to visit Jo’s old school, she hadn’t seen it for over 30 years. Jo said it hadn’t changed and, sad to say, I quite believed her. The facilities were appalling, yet the standard of teaching was excellent and the enthusiasm from the children, absolutely fabulous. You just knew straight away, that something had to be done.
We’ve never undertaken two builds on such a scale before, and it was bit close, but we managed to get them both finished and opened before we left.
Our new classroom is finished inside and out and the official opening by our trustees is always a big day for us. This is the first classroom to have two toilets! […] We now have over 80 high school students in receipt of our scholarship benefits!
All the students, now over 1,200 in total, get a selection of writing materials. The younger ones get soft toys and model cars, and of course Jo’s cousin once more very kindly made the 100+ bags that we filled with goodies to distribute.
We had the largest number of boxes ever to unload when we arrived in the Philippines early in January. […] When we arrived in the Philippines, we found they had been joined by the two boxes that hadn’t been delivered by the time we left the previous year!
Without too much effort or expenditure, we were able to utilise this space to make a new stockroom, a place to keep those essential items that are not used every day. At the same time, of course, we gained a clinic!
The other big event was in starting three, almost simultaneous building projects. We had to press on with these right from the off, but we did manage to get all three completed, with the final inauguration taking place only a couple of days before we returned home.
We provided the Barangay health workers with some more blood pressure monitors, a couple of two-seat chairs for their waiting room and a table to work from. For the feeding programme we purchased 48 bowls and replaced a couple of benches.
The High school asked for extension side wings to the main covered area, so we got the materials and the work started. The students showed their appreciation. We put some more funds into sporting equipment.
For this year, we decided to organise, plan and supervise the work ourselves. It kept us pretty busy but we were able to push forward and get more things done so that all our projects for this year were pretty much completed by the time we left.
By rearranging the room, we managed to squeeze 32 computer sets in, but that is now the limit! […] We put a couple of ceilings in last year. This year we are planning to do some more, and also replace some of the galvanised sheets on the roof.
We put security bars and gates on one of the new classrooms and rebuilt a wall. This proved to be very beneficial when the local area flooded and the wall held the water back, saving the school from damage. we put the rest of the funds towards building a new classroom.
As ever, we managed to supply some more computers to both the schools. This always involves more benches being made and electrical wiring etc. Installation always takes a few days but its always worth it when you see how well-received the gifts are.
Since we were last in the Philippines, a new mayor has been elected. Education is one of his main themes and, through the teachers, he had heard of our project and asked to meet us at the school.
Our original idea was to make two rooms available, one for the Elementary (junior) school, and one for the High (secondary) school. As the funds and resources materialised it became apparent that we could make a shared library in one of the new rooms.
First of all we bought some books. When we got home, we collected more and freighted them out. The project just got bigger, and our dreams for the schools with them. In January this year (2006) we decided to organise and fund a proper research/study facility for the kids.