One of the newest development programs that HBI is currently implementing is the Adopt-a-School Project. The school-based project, first implemented in the Rissing Elementary School, focuses on the total improvement of the school and the improvement of the schooling children’s parents’ capacity to earn a more sufficient income.
The Adopt-a-School Project is shorter in terms of number of implementation years (4-6 years) compared to the Child Sponsorship Program (10 years per child). Because it has a shorter implementation period, funding an adopt-a-school project is easier since it needs less funds. This is one of HBI’s way of staying relevant in the world of development work since it is no secret that child sponsorships are harder to fund nowadays due to the global economic crisis we are all experiencing.
The Adopt-a-School Project focuses on the improvement of the school – its facilities, materials, amenities and teaching practices – during the first half of its implementation (first and second year for a 4-year project; first to third year for a 6-year project). On the second half of its implementation, the project will focus on empowering and providing livelihood aid to parents.
Livelihood projects implemented through the Adopt-a-School Program not only benefits the family-beneficiary but also the school since the school has a share in the livelihood’s income. The school’s income can be used to fund improvement projects once HBI exits the project area. The family-beneficiaries, represented by an organized and empowered HBI Area Leaders, have the final say as to how project income will be used by the school.
The Rissing Elementary School Adopt-a-School Project started in the year 2008 and ended on August 2012.
On the other hand, the newest HBI Adopt-a-School Project area is the Pitpitac Elementary School. Like Rissing prior to the implementation of this developmental project, the Pitpitac School is a poor public elementary school which is lagging in terms of educational facilities and materials. As a result, the school’s academic record is abysmal as it is the second worst school in the Luna, La Union region. The school is the second home of 113 schooling children (Kindergarten – Grade 6) who are the sons and daughters of impoverished fisherfolks and farmers.
The Pitpitac Adopt-a-School Project started its implementation on January 2013 and is slated to end on December 2016. So far, a new 3-classroom building has been created in the school to replace a 46-year-old classroom building that has been severely damaged by soil erosion. Additional support such as complete school supplies to all students, and instructional materials to teachers were also provided. Future projects include sustainable school programs such as enrichment/tutorial classes, supplemental feeding program, school-community livelihood projects, and further improvements of school facilities.
Below are some of the photos of the Adopt-a-School Project in Rissing Elementary School, Bangar, La Union, and in Pitpitac Elementary School, Luna, La Union.