Really in the mood of blogging so let me share you a memorable experience today.
Just a quick background, I’m currently part of a committee that will organize this year’s CSR and Christmas Party for The Lighthouse Marina Resort. This is a yearly event where instead of exchanging gifts to co-employees, we will sponsor 1 or more indigent students and grant their wishes for Christmas. We will also do a feeding program for them. And as a committee, our job is to look for a school where we will conduct the said event.
Earlier today, we went to 2 different schools to assess their situation. My co-organizers did an ocular to 3 schools last week but due to the nature of my job, I wasn’t able to join them. Going back, the first one we visited was Sibul Elementary School located inside the SBMA area. According to my personal time calculation, it’s about 30-40 minutes drive from the business district. The location was at the top of the mountains and the road was too narrow that it can’t fit 2 cars at a time.
We were welcomed by their principal who happens to be the head of the other school we will visit as well. Upon arrival, I immediately saw this empty lot that’s prone to landslide. We asked if there are any plans to use it for additional rooms for students but she said it depends if there will be a sponsor. As of today, there are 4 classrooms that hold classes for Kinder to Grade 3 pupils only. The principal told us that the teachers are fresh graduates and still on training. I deem the size of the rooms still convenient given the number of 100+ students. We were also informed that the 2 classrooms were donated by the former senator Dick Gordon.
After taking pictures and checking the area, we were accompanied by the principal to our next destination, Amelia Heights Elementary School. Travelling there was rough since it’s outside the Olongapo City proper and roads are not fully developed yet. Good thing she was there to give directions to our driver. While on the road, we got the chance to interview her since we have questions we were dying to ask.
For a summary of the short interview, she goes there every MWF to check on the students and teachers. They have a transportation provided by the barangay however, once the service is not available, they need to walk an hour just to get there. Imagine the heat, sweat and how tiring that can be. It must be her passion and love for teaching that she can endure that kind of situation.
When we arrived at the school, my heart was torn apart seeing how students can fit into their small classrooms. The building was too damaged and doesn’t have a good ceiling. I felt the heat circulating in that area. My heart was in awe because the students greeted us with all smiles despite the situation of their school. It’s suppose to be conducive to learning, not making you want to go home. We checked the area and saw this classroom still in cement and hollow blocks and occupied by Grade 3 or 4 students. They’re enduring a few fluorescent lighting and 1 electric fan. Again, that broke my heart. I also noticed that the people who work on improving the school’s facilities are also the teachers there. I really salute them for not giving up on their jobs even if there are other opportunities that await them.
We got the chance to also talk more with the principal regarding the school. All I did was to listen on her experiences and huge plans for the kids. At that moment, I knew I wanted to help. We bid our goodbyes and went back to the hotel with clear photos of their situation.
We have 1 more school to visit before we make our decision. I was informed by our head that we need to walk for an hour because the road is still not passable there. I was advised to wear shorts and slippers because we’ll walk on areas with waters.
So basically, that’s the summary of my memorable experience and I’m glad to be a part of this CSR.