22 March 2010
it is with great honor and humility that i share with you one of my biggest dreams that came true. i was recently appointed unicef child rights supporter!!!! waaaaaaaah! i loooove unicef.
i cannot even put into words how inspired i am right now and how thankful i am to unicef for the trust and for believing in me. and hopefully through this blog, i can share with you my amazing first official unicef site visit!
hello, CAMARINES NORTE!
first stop: day care center!
meet joriek! the bored-looking kid in the photo, the most makulit little boy in his class. his teacher nida was reading a book about circles, and he was there making faces. pero mabait naman daw at okay sa klase, his teacher said, makulit lang talaga. :p
joriek is one of 21 students in little angel day care center, in barangay san roque, mercedes. he is one of the kids who use the early child care development package given by unicef!!!! it includes different story books, toys, musical instruments, building blocks, that the kids use everyday. sobra sobrang importante ng day care, sobra talaga! a lot of people think unnecessary gastos lang yan at dapat derecho na lang sa grade one ang anak nila, but what they don't know is, kailangan talaga ito kasi this is what prepares the child for the school environment. a lot of kids drop out of all levels of grade school dahil hindi handa, and early child care development helps solve exactly that! i hope to see joriek and his classmates make it through grade school, high school, and hopefully even college!
meet aldrin! a cute and quiet little boy who finished his seatwork first among all his classmates! i drew a smiley face on his paper to say "very good" and he colored it right away. i ended up drawing a flower, tree, sun, cloud, and he had so much fun coloring them all!
aldrin one of many kids who live along this beautiful, beautiful river and lush green land at his home-based learning center in purok 5, barangay san isidro, daet. the idea of home-based centers are just genius to me! because naturally, if the barangay can't afford to put up a day care center, does that mean the kids have no chance to start learning early? of course not!! so home-based centers find a family willing to lend their home as a site to hold classes. a tarpaulin is set up as a roof, tables and chairs are given, mothers bring their kids to school every morning, and unicef has also provided this center with early child care development materials. nothing can get in the way of those who really want to learn. :) thanks to the generosity of unicef donors, aldrin and his friends have a chance for a better future for themselves and their families!
their safe, new home.
(for purposes of safety and security, no photos of the girls will be posted.)
meet R! when i asked all the girls who was the best in cooking, they answered R. best in arts and crafts? R. best in chores? R. haha! she is really the "ate" of the group! and looks like she's doing a great job setting an example, as she is graduating from grade six this year. :)
R is one of the girls in this halfway home in daet. halfway home because as you might guess, yes, they were taken away from their homes to avoid a life of being a victim of violence. and i am proud to say all of them are doing very, very well! they laugh and play a lot, they watch a lot of tv too! J, a newbie in the home, is so kilig when talking about piolo; K, the bunso, proudly showcased the bracelets they made for sale; and L, the first girl i met, always took the initiative to answer my questions. unicef strongly goes against violence against women and children and supports homes like these that give these girls a new outlook on life! the girls happily showed me the learning materials donated to them through the generous donors of unicef. its so great to hear all their goals and aspirations, and know that the way has been paved for them to reach their dreams.
future site for handwashing facilities.
meet ren! beside me in the upper left photo. he's the mayor of his school! mayor meaning student council president. when i asked what his biggest accomplishment was as president, he said it was clean up drives, and pointed out na kasi dito niya nakita tulong tulong ang lahat for a common good goal.
ren is one of our future leaders and movers, isn't he? he is one of the students of parang elementary school, in jose panganiban. they were one of the schools badly, badly hit by bagyong santi. bagyong santi isn't as known to us here in manila because we were more affected by ondoy and pepeng, but santi hit the bicol region hard. their nursery building collapsed, their books in the library soaked and now not useable, and classrooms damaged. unicef emergency funds were able to provide a few relief materials, but its also great to see the effort of the students and school itself to take care of the environment! they segregate trash and re use school materials. they however need more facilities for handwashing, to take care of their health and sanitation, which is equally important. with the help of unicef donors, they can have more handwashing stations soon! :)
wash and brush daily!
meet jonalyn! she's the little girl beside me on that bench in the photo. one of the early birds for her afternoon class, she shared na favorite tv show niya ang 'agua bendita', and between the two, she would be 'agua'. good girl! :) oh, and her favorite subject is english, so we did talk in english. :p
jonalyn, along with her fun-loving friends angeline and evelyn, are all from pag-asa learning center, also in jose panganiban. i asked if i can be their friend even if my name doesn't end in "lyn", and they said yes. haha! their school is on top of this mountain, and has the most amazing view of mountains and lakes from their classroom window! how inspiring to study in a place like this! this is one of the schools with the linis-lusog kids program. it basically means the kids have a regular schedule to wash their hands and brush their teeth. mas malinis, mas malusog right? and they can focus on school better! :) with the help of unicef donors, a proper handwashing facility was built in pag-asa last year, and the kids now religiously wash and brush! they are now more aware of good hygiene habits, and the good thing is they get to teach their family at home too!
meet joseph! a kid i call pogi because he was really so cute and he had funky highlights on his hair! you'd think he's pasaway in school cause of his "look", but he's the group leader tasked to put toothpaste on his classmates toothbrushes during brushing time.
joseph goes to school at ginacutan elementary school in vinzons, where the linis-lusog kids program is being implemented, but in a unique way! they may not have pipes with running water, but they do have tippy tap! cute name! :p that's what they call their strategy of tying string to the top and bottom of a softdrink litro bottle, hanging it on a nail, they when they need to wash or brush, they tip it down and the water trickles down! galing no? ang pinoy talaga wais! so even with their make-shift washing station, the students can still stick to their regular washing and brushing schedule! the students even made a special song to sing to mark the start and end of washing time! so cute! did you know that you must wash your hands the length of two happy birthday songs? :p also, thank you ginacutan for your sweet cards of appreciation. unicef appreciates it and we are inspired to raise more funds for your materials!
meet the unicef team who went around different areas in camarines norte with me!!!! thank you sooo much!!!! i learned SO much and i am SO inspired. :)
from left to right, that is ate ellen of the provincial planning and development office, then that's me, then that's pam, communications officer of unicef, then tin, fundraising officer of unicef, and then marge, communications officer of unicef.
i hope i was able to persuade you to want to help with this simple blog post of mine. :p i am hoping that you now REALLY want to join us in becoming a champion for children!!!! please click on the link below to find out how you can help.
with your minimum monthly donation, you can help make a difference in the lives of children around the country by joining unicef in taking care of their education, health and sanitaion projects!!!! please do click the icon above if you haven't!! thank you!! :))
with that, i leave you with one of my coolest travel tumbling shots ever. this was taken in barangay san isidro, daet, camarines norte. story is i took a tumbling shot. then this kid, ryan, said "kaya ko din yan!" sabi ko, "sige nga!" all of a sudden, he runs and does this amazing flip in the air and everyone claps! basic ang tumbling ko kumpara sa kanya but he agreed to do a tumbling shot together. tadaaaa! :p