YES, WE CAN all make a difference! #helpingmountainschools
Tambubong, Mindanao, South Philippines. After visiting a community and mountain school two hours away from big city live, western world standards and digital networks, I realized through simple ways, making a difference in the society is always possible.
I started to help a mountain community directly. How? My friend Harlene is from the Philippines asked me if I’d like to donate school material to mountain school kids. After our first visit, I couldn’t how happy the little 3- to 5- years-old pre-school kids looked when they received the presents. The majority of families can’t afford to buy school material for them and the community doesn’t have any budget for the pre-school. Despite the fact that their father has a full-time job, many Philippinos are poor because the salaries and minimum wages are too low, also called “in-work poverty”.
During our second visit at Tambubong, we interviewed the teacher, parents, a family as well as the healthcare worker and midwife. As a result, we found out that the people don’t have regular access to clean water, electricity or medicine. Every burakei/village is receiving a budget from the Philippino government, but the teacher and healthcare team told us that whenever they ask for budget to buy medicine or school material, they don’t receive any.
Based on this experiences, I really wanted to do more and help the people in Tambubong to tackle their challenges. Together with Harlene, we decided to not stop helping the community and start a private project to embrace the mountain school and community. We call it Gakus which means I hug, support and embrace you in their native language Bisaja.
Our first challenge is to enable them access to basic medicine and work together with a healthcare organization to establish basic medicine resources. In the long-term, our vision is to make Tambubong a self-sustainable community where everyone who works has access to water, education, electricity, healthcare and wi-fi.
This artcile is a first draft to tell everyone who has the ears to listen about how the idea of Gakus started. We are working to write down our projectideas and more stoires from the people in Tambubong. All this will be publish soon on the gakus website. In the meantime, we would love to hear your thoughts on this. Please don’t hesitate to share your experience with us if we worked on similar projects or know someone in your network who does. All help is very much appreciated!
Thank you for reading about Gakus and Tambubong. We are looking forward to hearing from you via facebook our this blog article.
Harlene & Vanessa