Category Archives: HBI News

Read about the latest news about Haligi ng Bata, Incorporated – the organization and their development programs for their beneficiaries.

HBI’s First Crowdfunding Project: Improving Public Daycare Centers in La Union

HBI is proud to announce that they are one of the participants of the June 2018 Accelerator Program of GlobalGiving – the largest global crowdfunding community connecting nonprofits, donors, and companies in nearly every country.

As part of this program, HBI is seeking support for its first crowdfunding project centered on improving four (4) rural public daycare centers in the mountain communities of Balaoan, Santol, and Sudipen, La Union, Northern Philippines. The project entitled “Send 200 Filipino kids to better daycare centers” plans on implementing identified needed daycare improvements such as infrastructure repairs; providing educational toys and puzzles; creating a small library with story books and picture books; provision of audio-visual equipment such as a television, a sound system, and educational videos; and implementing teacher and volunteer trainings along the areas of children’s rights protection and awareness.

By doing these, at least 200 poor Filipino children age 3 to 5 years old, who hail from families earning less than 2 Dollars a day, will have free access and use of a variety of learning facilities that will ignite their interest and love for knowledge and learning. Apart from this, a potential long-term impact of making this project a reality is the fact that future daycare learners will stand to benefit from improved & sustained daycare facilities which will prepare them for primary schooling.

The project requires a total funding of US$ 5,000. Although there is a variety of giving options ranging from US$10 to US$250 available, any amount from you would contribute towards transforming needy public daycare centers into equipped & integral social institutions for children. If you cannot donate, we will appreciate if you can spread the word about this project.

Please feel free to contact us should you have any questions.

Thank you to all,

Your HBI Team

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The Hope in Crumbs Outreach Program by FCIC, Diocese of L.A.

For eight years now, the Filipino Cursillos in Christianity (FCIC), Diocese of Los Angeles (L.A.), has been implementing the Hope in Crumbs Outreach Program. Through this program, FCIC L.A. member donate in cash and in kind to implement a one-day mass feeding program for 300 to 400 children in their chosen depressed and urban poor community.

Apart from sharing delicious meals with the children, the Hope in Crumbs Program also donates 300 to 400 complete school supplies and grocery items to all children-participants and their respective families. As an added service, FCIC L.A. also donates refurbished sewing machines, laptops, and computers to be donated to poor community dressmakers and poor students to increase their income and improve their school grades, respectively.

You might be asking now, what does the name “Hope in Crumbs” mean?  The name Hope in Crumbs originated from the idea that if all FCIC L.A. members will be able to donate the “crumbs” in their daily lives – such as their loose change, extra money, unused appliances & computers, spare time, & leftover love – then these crumbs can be pooled together and can be transformed into a program that can help those in need.

The response from the FCIC L.A. members is overwhelming. It turns out that they are willing to give more than just their lives’ crumbs. Through the  The FCIC L.A. outreach program has reached eight (8) depressed, deprived, and underserved communities in Navotas and Quezon City. Recently, it was implemented in Payatas, Quezon City for the benefit of 300 children and their families. Check out this newsletter to know more about it:

Improving Public Daycare Centers and Youth Centers

At the crucial age of 0 to 6 years old, children require good quality care and early education to enhance their social, cognitive, linguistic, and emotional development. In touch with the reality that the first stage of a child’s life can shape their chances at a better future, the Philippines passed a law 28 years ago that required all communities to create public daycare centers for children.

Despite national legislation supporting early childhood care and development, Philippine public daycare centers are dealing with issues of poor facilities, scant teaching materials, & inadequately trained personnel. This happens because public daycares in the Philippines get their funds from their community governments, which means that poorer communities usually have the most underfunded and under-performing daycare centers. Families who cannot afford private daycare facilities are left with no choice but to either make do with the under-equipped community-operated daycare centers, or not enroll their children in any daycare facility at all.

Ill-equipped public daycare centers are the only option for early schooling for children such as these who are the daughters of poor fisherfolks
Ill-equipped public daycare centers are the only option for early schooling for children such as these who are the daughters of poor fisherfolks

Such is the case of the daycare centers in Barangay Paratong, Bangar, La Union, and the youth center of Barangay Tanza, Navotas, Metro Manila. The Paratong Community, a low-income and disaster-prone fishing village home to approximately 3,400 people, had two daycare centers that needed material support that the community government and the children’s parents cannot afford to provide.

To overhaul their learning activities and make it more fun and engaging for children, the Paratong daycare centers, which caters to 112 children between the ages of 3 to 5 years old, needed educational toys, story books, classroom materials like coloring pens and other school supplies, and audio-visual equipment.

Through the support of the concluded Heed and Thrive Development Project, these materials and equipment were provided and are now being used by all enrolled students. Through these, the daycare centers in Paratong were able to extend their teaching hours because they have more activities in store for the learners.  The local elementary school, the Paratong Elementary School also noted that there has been an improvement in the reading, writing, drawing, and social skills of incoming Grade 1 students who were products of the Paratong Daycare Centers. On their part, the daycare centers hope that more children will be reached so that they can also use their improved materials and facilities.

Game days in the Tanza Youth Library are fun and educational
Game days in the Tanza Youth Library are fun and educational

In the urban village of Tanza in Navotas, Metro Manila, the Heed and Thrive Development Project also improved the materials and infrastructure of the Tanza Youth Library. Although not a full-fledged daycare center, the Tanza Youth Library provides after-school and tutorial services to all interested community children – and for a community with over 30,000 residents, such services are considered very important.

According to the Tanza Youth Librarian, “some parents leave their children here as if we are a daycare center. Of course, I cannot turn them away so we have activities for them such as spelling, reading hour, English lessons, and Values Education.” The children who regularly go to the Youth Center were very excited to have new toys to play with and learn from. “This is where I learned how to play chess,” said 8-year-old Joshua who attends the local elementary school as a 2nd Grader. “We play scrabble so we can practice spelling and math at the same time,”  said Althea who is a special-needs person and who volunteers as a library assistant.

Although small in scope and in budget, the effects and support made possible by improving these under-equipped daycare centers and youth libraries are immense.  By empowering and improving these humble establishments,  the most indigent and needy children now have free access and use of a variety of learning facilities that ignite their interest and love for knowledge and learning, which would go a long way in their quest to break free from the shackles of debilitating poverty.


Sponsor a Child Through HBI

Education statistics in the Philippines show that for every 100 Filipino children enrolling in elementary school, only 69 will reach Grade 6. From the 69 kids who continue their elementary schooling, only 48 will complete their high school education. And from the 48 who will finish high school, only 18 will finish their education.

All in all, 812 students are benefitting from education, health, and sanitation services. (Photo taken by EXPOSURE PH)
It is difficult to accept that these children – brimming with hope & zest for life – will never reach their full potential through education. (Photo taken by EXPOSURE PH)

There are varied reasons why such dire statistics have become realities in the Philippines: some children live in far-flung areas where public schools remain inaccessible; some children are not healthy enough for school; some children grow up in households that do not give an importance or value to schooling.

School supplies include notebooks, pens, papers, and pencils (Photo taken by EXPOSURE PH)
A schooling child aided by HBI along the lines of education, health, and livelihood support for his parents                              (Photo taken by EXPOSURE PH)

The reasons may be plenty, but if you look closely, what fuels all the possible reasons why children stop schooling is poverty. Poverty dictates whether a child will have complete school supplies once the school year starts. It dictates whether a student would have food for school. Poverty dictates whether a student can join extracurricular activities that they are interested in. It dictates whether or not a student can submit their assignments or projects on time.  Poverty continues to play a strong role in quashing whatever enthusiasm a poor child has for continued education and schooling.

Let us help in fostering the poor Filipino children dreams’ of having a better and more productive life through education. Let us help them break free from the debilitating shackles of poverty.  It only takes 30 pesos a day to transform a child from a potential school drop-out to a successful person who has beaten the odds dealt by being poor. Fill out the form below to sponsor a poor child today:

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San Agustin School & Community Project: What has been achieved so far?

(Article’s featured photo taken by Exposure PH) 

At the start of 2014, we reported that the Haligi ng Bata in partnership with the Trafigura Foundation has started a 3-Year development project in the school and port community of San Agustin in San Fernando, La Union.

The project which started last January 2014 aims to improve the  health, education, and livelihood status of 600 marginalized and underserved community members and 805 schooling children in San Agustin. To achieve this aim, the project will improve access to functional & clean toilets, increase health & hygiene awareness, implement school improvement programs, improve the parents’ skills and capacity to earn income, and empower and unite the school (its teachers and volunteers) and community (its members and leaders).

Nine months in and these are just some of what has been achieved by the project:

As of September 2014, the project continues to be of service to 812 enrolled elementary students and at least 200 community members and parents.  Future projects include school improvement projects (school canteen construction, school clinic development, major school repairs), capacity building activities (seminars on carpentry, plumbing and basic electricity for community parents so they can repair created toilets), and livelihood training for mothers.

Haligi ng Bata, Inc. (HBI) and The Trafigura Foundation Partners for 3-Year Development Project in San Fernando, La Union

On January 17, 2014, the partnership between Switzerland’s Trafigura Foundation and Philippine non-government organization Haligi ng Bata, Inc. (HBI) became official. Through this newly-forged partnership, a 3-Year Development Project, dubbed The San Agustin School and Community Development Project, will soon become a reality in the San Agustin Poro Point area in San Fernando, La Union, Northern Philippines.

The aforementioned project, which will begin on January 2014, aims to improve the health, sanitation, education, and livelihood status of 805 schooling children and 600 coastal residents. The project sites would be the San Agustin Elementary School and the San Agustin coastal community. The project was planned and designed to have a school & community-based approach. It will help the school improve their infrastructure and school services, while helping the community with their sanitation and livelihood problems. This will be different from dole-out projects because sustainability will be ensured by school-community livelihood projects that would provide additional income to community participants, and a source of improvement funds for the school.

The San Agustin School and Community Development Project marks HBI’s first foray into implementing a sustainable development project in La Union’s capital city.  Haligi ng Bata, Inc. or HBI is a non-stock, non-profit, non-sectarian, and non-government organization in the Philippines.  HBI is a duly-registered non-profit entity with the Securities and Exchange Commission and is licensed, registered, and accredited by the Department of Social Welfare and Development. Established in the year 1984, HBI operates their various development projects in Metro Manila, La Union, and Negros Occidental where over 2,500 children, families, and schools benefit.

Mrs. Leticia L. Magaan, HBI’s Executive Director, is leading the HBI Team in the implementation of the San Agustin School and Community Development Project. “It is a great honor and privilege to be partners-in-service with The Trafigura Foundation. Rest assured that we will give our very best work for the project so that together we can help improve the state of the San Agustin School – its students and teachers, and the San Agustin Community.

On the other hand, project funding partner Trafigura Foundation is the corporate social responsibility arm of global commodities trader Trafigura.  The Trafigura Foundation was launched in November 2007 in response to a widely held desire amongst those who work for Trafigura to make a real and lasting difference in the world. The Foundation supports sustainable development programs along the lines of sustainable development, education & integration, and health in more than 30 different countries and has funded 35 programs in 2013 alone while granting US$ 32 Million in program funds between November 2007 and December 2013.

At the core of the Trafigura Foundation is an indefatigable desire to make the world a better place by having a genuine impact on the projects they support. Certainly, Trafigura Foundation has found another partner in HBI, geared toward achieving their goals.

*Know more about the San Agustin School and Community Development Project in our future posts.

DSWD Region 6 Unit Head visits Bayanihan-Habitat

The HBI CSP Center during Madam Haro's visit
The HBI CSP Center during Madam Haro’s visit

Recently, the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s Region 6 Unit Head – Madam Perla Haro, conducted a Field Visit to the Bayanihan-Habitat Village in Talisay City, Negros Occidental. Madam Haro’s visit is in line with the Haligi ng Bata, Incorporated’s application for renewal of their DSWD License to Operate, Registration, and Accreditation.


Madam Haro was welcomed in Bacolod City by the HBI Community Worker, Mr. Elizande Gonzales, and the HBI Area Leaders headed by its president, Mrs. Ninfa Rivera. The purpose of Madam Haro’s visit is to personally inspect and check the reported HBI programs and activities in the Bayanihan-Habitat Village. The village has been supported by HBI since the year 2005, first through the Child Sponsorship Program (2005-2009), and now through its Group Sponsorship Program (2010-present). More than 100 families are supported with education, health, capacity-building, and other auxiliary services. Lately, a TESDA scholarship program was implemented for out-of-school youths and high school graduates who wish to know practical skills so that they can be gainfully employed. All these development programs were made possible by the Dutch Help-Parents –  a group of Dutch sponsors who have helped in building the families’ houses through Habitat for Humanity, Negros Occidental.


During her visit, the HBI team headed by Mr. Gonzales went and checked the Bayanihan-Habitat community where the HBI supported families reside; the Bayanihan-Habitat Elementary School where majority of supported children study; the HBI Bayanihan-Habitat CSP Center where HBI holds office and where major activities like the Supplemental Feeding Program are implemented; and the Concepcion Elementary School which is also supported by HBI through provision of books and educational supplies for non-supported children. According to the HBI Team, Madam Perla Haro is impressed with the Group Sponsorship Project and with the active involvement of all project stakeholders – the children’s parents, the children’s teachers, and the community members and leaders. As far as she is concerned, HBI and the Dutch Help-Parents have done a good job at improving their beneficiaries’ lives and at the same time empowering and uniting the children’s parents and teachers, and the Bayanihan-Habitat community. Lastly, she was impressed as to how much development work was done in spite of the relatively menial program budget available.


Below are some photos of the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s visit to the Bayanihan-Habitat Village in Talisay City, Negros Occidental.


Mr. Perlito Coloma – An Inspiring Beneficiary

Mrs. Monnette Zaragosa, HBI Operations Manager
Mrs. Monnette Zaragosa, HBI Operations Manager

*Every month, the Haligi ng Bata, Incorporated (HBI) will run a short post highlighting key project participants who have made a good and lasting impression to HBI’s various activities and beneficiaries. This post is written by none other than HBI’s Operations Manager, Mrs. Monnette Zaragosa.

I have been with HBI for 20 years, first as a Social Worker & now as Operations Manager. In this time, I’ve worked not only with other development workers but also with normal folks– mothers, laborers, and teachers.  I think a reason for our success is that wherever we go– be it in a cramp slum area or a remote farming or fishing community, there are school & community members who participate in projects even if they have to do more than their share & not get anything in return. Working with these everyday people, these everyday heroes, inspires me to do my very best work so that their schools will improve & poor children will be ensured of a good education & a fighting chance at better lives.


Mr. Coloma and the Luzong Norte Rice Bank Project
Mr. Coloma and the Luzong Norte Rice Bank Project
Mr. Perlito Coloma (man in pink shirt) rides a "kuliglig" during project monitoring activities with the HBI team
Mr. Perlito Coloma (man in pink shirt) rides a “kuliglig” during project monitoring activities with the HBI team

Recently though, one of the everyday heroes I had the honor of working with is Mr. Perlito Coloma – Principal of Luzong Norte School, a public school in a farming area of Bangar, La Union, Northern Philippines. Through CO-OPERAID’s Rural Reconstruction Project, the school’s typhoon-damaged 3-classroom building with canteen was repaired & is now used by 200 students & teachers. Parents were also provided with livelihood support: hog-raising & rice bank projects that will not only help them, but also the school in repairing & maintaining classrooms. Mr. Coloma’s story is one for the books: he lost his wife to cancer at an early age leaving him alone to raise their child. Shortly after, he developed cataracts which impair his vision. In spite of these, here is a man who is a dedicated school principal, a loving father & an active project stakeholder. Being a single parent myself, I know how hard it is to balance family & work, yet Mr. Coloma seems to have found the right formula to a happy family life & work success. As he continues with his role as a father of a school & of a young girl, he gains the respect of teachers & parents.


With these said, it is no surprise that I’m now one of the many who see him as a living reminder that integrity, resilience & kindness still exist in our world.

For the first time, the Pitpitac Elementary School meets Mr. Philipp Lenhard and his family

Philipp Lenhard's visit to Pitpitac
Philipp Lenhard’s visit to Pitpitac

Roughly a month after the inauguration of the Ylenia Building in Pitpitac Elementary School, one of Ylenia Foundation’s founders, Mr. Philipp Lenhard, visited the school on July 19, 2013. HBI’s Executive Director, Mrs. Letty Magaan, and Operations Manager, Mrs. Monnette Zaragosa accompanied Mr. Philipp during his short visit to Pitpitac. Mr. Philipp Lenhard visited the school with his family – his lovely wife, Lamjai, and his two adorable children, Sabrina and Kevin.

Welcoming the Lenhards and HBI are the Pitpitac Elementary School teachers, students, and Department of Education Supervisor Mr. Mario Pascua. Other principals from other schools were also present during the Lenhards’ visit.

The schooling children prepared a short program for their guests complete with singing, dancing, and inspirational messages. Mr. Philipp Lenhard said that he is very delighted to be in Pitpitac and to meet the school’s teachers, its students and their parents. He hopes that the Pitpitact Adopt-a-School Project will be as successful as the Rissing Elementary School Project in the sense that all projects have become sustainable and maintained. Mr. Philipp urges the parents of the children to actively participate and cooperate in all project activities so that the support provided to them will not be squandered. He mentioned that the Ylenia Foundation will do everything they can to provide the schooling children of Pitpitac with all their needed books, classrooms, and educational materials. He hopes that the school and its children will have a better educational experience through their support.

Lastly, he thanks HBI for giving the Ylenia Foundation an opportunity to help a poor school like Pitpitac. He concluded by saying that in behalf of Ylenia’s mother, Charlotte, he is extending his thanks to the teachers, parents and students, and that hopefully the next time he visits, Charlotte would be with him to see the school.

Mr. Philipp Lenhard gives additional gifts to the Pitpitac students
Mr. Philipp Lenhard gives additional gifts to the Pitpitac students

Aside from having a short program, the Ylenia Foundation also distributed additional gifts to the schooling children in the form of additional notebooks, pens, papers, and pencils. Sweet treats like candies and chocolates were also given to all 113 schooling children of the Pitpitac Elementary School. Mr. Philipp, Madam Lamjai, Sabrina, and Kevin did not pass up on the chance to personally give these gifts to the children who were very excited and thankful as this was a surprise to them. “Thank you Ylenia. Thank you HBI,” said a Grade 3 student after receiving her gifts. Another kindergarten student said “Naimas [which means delicious in the local dialect]” when asked how the sweets taste like.

An ocular inspection of the school and the Ylenia Building also occurred. Mr. Philipp is impressed with the construction of the Ylenia Building in Pitpitac. He also noted that the rooms are spacious, well-lit, and well-ventilated. He also commended the fact that the toilets are well-built and has working water supplies. The building’s riprap was also praised by Mr. Lenhard as he can see how much work was put in it to ensure that soil erosion and damage to the building will be prevented.

The Lenhards’ visit to Pitpitac Elementary School may have been short and sweet, but HBI is one with the Pitpitac Elementary School’s hopes that the Lenhards will once again visit the school soon. In the meantime, the Pitpitac school teachers, community members, parents, and students are hard at work to prove that they too can attain the success that the Rissing Elementary School got during and after the Ylenia Foundation’s Adopt-a-School Project implementation.

The Lenhard Family in Pitpitac Elementary School's Ylenia Building
The Lenhard Family in Pitpitac Elementary School’s Ylenia Building

The Inauguration of the Ylenia Building in Pitpitac Elementary School, Luna, La Union

The Ylenia Building in Pitpitac marker
The Ylenia Building in Pitpitac marker

The memory of young Ylenia Lenhard continues to live on as another Ylenia School Building was inaugurated on June 20, 2013 – this time in the Pitpitac Public Elementary School in Luna, La Union. The school is the newest HBI and Ylenia Foundation project beneficiary of the Adopt-a-School Project.

The Ylenia School Building in Pitpitac Elementary School was funded by the Ylenia Foundation headed by its founders, Madam Charlotte Lenhard and Mr. Philipp Lenhard. The new school building is a sprawling 9 meters by 7 meters infrastructure which has three spacious classrooms with toilets, and a strengthened riprap and school park that would protect it from soil erosion. The Ylenia Building replaces the Pitpitac Elementary School’s New Society Building – the school’s oldest building which in December 2012, had troubling floor and wall cracks due to soil erosion, dilapidated roofing due to age and weather conditions, falling and dilapidated ceilings due to massive termite infestation, and old and clogged toilets and sinks.

Ylenia Building inauguration
Ylenia Building inauguration

Present during the inauguration is the Haligi ng Bata, Incorporated’s Executive Director Mrs. Leticia L. Magaan, and Chairman of the Board Atty. Hector Macariola. The Pitpitac Elementary School was represented by its happy and excited students and teachers headed by its Principal, Mrs. Marissa Noveloso. The Department of Education in Luna, La Union was represented by Supervisor Mario Pascua and the other principals of nearby Luna, La Union public schools. The project’s contractor, the SIRTE Construction Group, was also present during this event.

The simple inauguration started with a short program. Mrs. Marissa Noveloso, the principal of Pitpitac Elementary School said in her speech that “never in a million years did I expect this kind of support for the Pitpitac Elementary School and its students. We are overwhelmed by all of HBI and Ylenia Foundation’s help that all we can is Thank You and We Love You.” To this, HBI’s Executive Director, Mrs. Letty Magaan replied that “this classroom building is built in loving memory of Ylenia Lenhard. The best way to honor and commemorate her is to take very good care of this building and to give your 100% in all project activities.” To this, the teachers and the parents said that they would give their very best in all Adopt-a-School Project activities. In closing, the Department of Education Luna District Supervisor, Mr. Mario Pascua said thank you to HBI and the Ylenia Foundation, and he also said that he will help in ensuring that the new school building will be sustainable and functional for many years to come.

The Ylenia Building at Pitpitac Elementary School
The Ylenia Building at Pitpitac Elementary School

After the short program, the ribbon-cutting ceremony in the Ylenia Building commenced, and the other school principals and Mr. Pascua were impressed with the building’s design and workmanship. On the other hand, a Grade 5 student of Pitpitac Elementary School mentioned that he and his classmates are “already very excited to transfer to our new classroom. I heard that there is a big reading area inside our classroom, I like books so I’m very excited about that.”

As all these were happening a group of Grade 3 and Grade 4 students were busy playing near the Ylenia Building. “We like playing here because there are many trees and the grounds are spacious,” exclaimed one child. “We never play here before because the soil can just erode at any time, but now that it is fixed, we found a new playing spot where we can play and even study during school break.”

Indeed, the inauguration of the Ylenia Building in Pitpitac Elementary School is just the beginning. In the coming months and years, more improvements and positive developments are in store for the school – its teachers, students, and parents. As in Rissing Elementary School – the first project beneficiary of the Ylenia Foundation, young Ylenia Lenhard continues to be a symbol of hope and of the fact that education is a child’s ticket to a better and more fruitful life.

Phase 3: Rural Reconstruction Project (October 2011-December 2012)

Children of Agna Elementary School now have a working library through the repairs of the Phase 3: Rural Reconstruction Project
Children of Agna Elementary School now have a working library through the repairs of the Phase 3: Rural Reconstruction Project

Since November 2009, the Haligi ng Bata, Incorporated (HBI) through the support of CO-OPERAID Switzerland and Swiss Solidarity (SWS) has been implementing relief and development projects for people, communities and schools affected by Typhoons Ketsana and Parma which hit the Philippines on the last week of September 2009 and first week of October 2009. Through CO-OPERAID and Swiss Solidarity, three typhoon-related projects were implemented. The first was the Phase 1 Relief and Rehabilitation Project (November 2009 – October 2010) which provided relief goods (food, house materials, school needs), medical support, livelihood support and minor repair of houses and schools. Project areas include nine (9) Metro Manila and La Union communities and 12 Metro Manila and La Union public schools. In total, a total of 3,619 typhoon-affected students and 2,162 parents, children and community members were reached.

After the Phase 1 Project, HBI implemented the Phase 2: Rural Reconstruction Project (April 2010 – April 2012) which reconstructed eight (8) of the most typhoon-damaged schools in the coastal and mountain-side La Union towns of Bangar and Luna. In total, 1,691 students, eight communities and approximately 90 teachers benefitted from the 20 classrooms, canteens, libraries and school facilities reconstructed by the project. 212 community and school-group members were organized to be members of the Building Maintenance Committees who were trained in plumbing, carpentry, electricity, disaster management and termites-control.

During the identification of schools for the Phase 2 Project, HBI also visited and evaluated numerous La Union school buildings which were not in need of major reconstruction but are in need of major repairs for it to be fully-functional for all students, teachers and school-community groups. The said school buildings were also seen by CO-OPERAID’s then executive director, Dr. Rao Satapati, and it was suggested that they be aided with a major repair project. With these, HBI through the support of SWS and CO-OPERAID implemented the Phase 3: Rural Reconstruction Project on October 2011 to December 2012.

In total, 17 school infrastructures (11 classrooms, 3 libraries, 2 canteens and 1 school clinic) from the La Union towns of Sudipen, Bangar and Luna were repaired and now being fully-used by 2,072 students, at least 80 teachers and various school-community groups. Two construction companies – the Alfredo S. Sison Construction Company and the SIRTE Construction Group, were tapped for the repairs. The Phase 3 Project also provided the schools with school materials and teachers’ materials to ensure the continued use of the school buildings repaired.

While major repairs were on-going, a group of 150 community members were organized to form Building Maintenance Committees (BMCs) which will repair and maintain all buildings provided with major repair. Following the advice of SWS and CO-OPERAID, to ensure that the schools and their respective BMCs will have the needed funds maintain and repair buildings, HBI provided school-participants with a livelihood project that will be implemented by community members.

The livelihood projects were Livestock Raising Projects (either goat-raising or hog-raising) and Rice Bank Projects. The schools and community members themselves picked which project they would implement taking into consideration the technical, physical and financial capacity of members, the productive capacity of the farming communities, topography and economic activities in the areas. Through a developed income-sharing scheme, the 254 community members implementing the livelihood projects will share agreed upon number of rice grains, piglets or goats to the schools who can then disperse it to other community families or use it to fund school repairs. As per advice of CO-OPERAID, the Phase 3 Project also provided Phase 2 school-beneficiaries with livestock raising projects. At the tail-end of program implementation, a Community Score Card Process was implemented to evaluate all program activities and to exact accountability from project implementers. The average of the eight schools’ rating on the Phase 3 activities is a high grade of 4.85 out of 5.


The Adopt-a-School Project in Rissing Elementary School (2008-2012)

In the year 2008, the Rissing Elementary School is everything a public school shouldn’t be – underequipped, underfunded and unmaintained. Before the Ylenia Foundation, CO-OPERAID and HBI started their four year Adopt-a-School Project, the school had limited to no facilities: five school buildings in need of major repairs (one of which was condemned and infested with snakes); insufficient number of classrooms for the schooling children; no working water system; no sanitary toilets; no canteen; no clinic; no library; no computers, and a severe lack of textbooks and classroom materials & equipments that affect the children’s education.

When the Ylenia Foundation, CO-OPERAID and HBI began their adopt-a-school project in the Rissing Elementary School on 2008, they all knew that it will take a lot of time and resources (both material and technical) for all the needs of the school, its students and their families to be implemented and put in place. With so many problems hounding the school, it was quite a challenge to figure out where to start improvements and how to implement them.

But after four years of implementing the project, the Rissing Elementary School of the year 2012 is now the public school other schools in the La Union province aspire to be: a school with complete sets of instructional materials for their students; a well-equipped school with a classroom for each grade level and with a working school water system, library, canteen, and toilets; a school that provides additional services like tutorial classes, drum and lyre skills and computer classes to their students; a school with an active Parents and Teachers Association; a school that is home to students who are consistent high scorers in aptitude tests and academic meets; and most important of all, a school that students enjoy being in. The students go to school daily with all their school needs taken care of and their parents continue to strive harder to expand the livelihood support provided by the Adopt-a-School Project. On the other hand, the teachers continue to give their very best efforts in teaching their students and helping them become productive Filipino citizens.

In summation, if not for the valuable support of foreign implementing partner, CO-OPERAID Switzerland, and more importantly the project’s funding partner, the Ylenia Foundation, HBI and the Rissing Elementary School’s teachers, parents and students would not have gotten the chance to accomplish any of the steps of the adopt-a-school project. The project may have only lasted for four years but the improvements and the changes in the school, and in the lives of the students and their families will last for many years to come.  It has to be said that indeed, something good can come out from something terrible. The untimely passing of young Ylenia Lenhard led to the creation of the Ylenia Foundation which quickly worked on providing the Rissing Elementary School, Bangar, La Union with needed school support and the Rissing parents with the means to improve their capacity to earn more income – all these for the benefit of the Rissing Elementary School children who, after 4 years of being aided by the project, now have a chance at brighter futures.

The table on this gallery will show the various program statistics of the HBI, CO-OPERAID Switzerland and Ylenia Foundation’s Adopt-a-School Project implemented in the Rissing Elementary School from September 2008 to August 2012.