Laying the groundwork for further learning
An offshoot of the last year’s Strategic Plan for 2017 to 2021, the alumni and current scholars’ involvement in TPEF’s three programs, or the scholarship grant, scholars’ development and social development initiatives is already in force. As their knowledge, skills and attitude are sharpened from participating in annual learning summits under the Scholars’ Development program, now, they are provided also with other platforms for continuous learning as volunteers, co-trainers, facilitators, and speakers for TPEF’s assistance in rural areas, in orientations to new scholars, and even in trainings and workshops in their communities or schools.
Seven Scholars Join Outreach in the Mountain Schools in Besao
Together with two TPEF personnel, and a volunteer from Torm Shipping Philippines management, seven scholars participated in Social Development Initiatives (SDI) at Besao rural schools. On June 23, four scholars, with TPEF personnel went to Ambagiw Elementary School (ES). Another three scholars joined the team in the SDI in Dandanac ES on June 24.
Children at Dandanac ES are excited with their new school shirts.
For two consecutive days, the TPEF team walked several hours along a diverse landscape—steep mountains, grasslands, high hills, falls, rivers, and terraces of rice farms— and crossed hanging bridges to reach the two remote communities.
It takes at least three hours of climbing up and down the mountains trails to reach Ambagiw school located at the top of the other mountain shown in the photo.
They distributed school kits, shirts, shorts, and goodies to 100 children, donated learning materials to both schools, and handed over an overhead projector and lap top to Dandanac ES. Some games were conducted spontaneously for Dandanac students. The children’s parents from both schools were very grateful, saying that those items are a big help to them. Community members said that the foundation is the first group to do outreach in Ambagiw school, the farthest school in Besao not accessible by road.
Some Thoughts from Scholar-Volunteers
“I went to this school to give and share my time, but I think I’m also here to learn, experience joy and know how blessed I am. I finally realized that an ordinary student like me can be someone to be proud of, someone that offers a simple care to lit a little flame of hope to others.” — Remy Takchangen, 4th year college scholar
“All the hardships, climbing those rocky mountains, crossing hanging bridges, walking for hours, rain or shine, were nothing the moment we saw the smile of the children and the gratitude of the teachers and parents.” — Rhealy Fadchao, 4th year college scholar
“A truly memorable experience. Despite everything, we ended up successfully. Every smile from the children and the community who appreciated our efforts bestowed joy and relief into our hearts.” — Jackson Sarmiento, engine cadet
“The feeling when you give something or help someone is unforgettable. The SDI is an inspiration for me to do my best so that I can have the power to help not only my family but also in the education of the children.”— Maribel Atiwen, 4th year college scholar
“The social development initiatives in Ambagiw and Dandanac schools made me realize that volunteering is a very noble way of helping.” — John Kent Noya, engine cadet
“This was the first time in my life that I’d seen such real situation in our neighborhood…, I hope that these school kits would make the children feel inspired to pursue their studies.” — Gladys Marok, 4th year college scholar
“Looking at the children as they receive the bags of school supplies, I felt so glad that I have been part of a company with so much passion in helping indigent young people like me.” — Allyson Agustin, 4th engineer, TPEF scholar graduate