The two boxes of books and school supplies raised during the Ball O Fun event was turned over to Kipalkuda Elementary School in New La Union, Maitum, Sarangani Province last November 14, 2008. The turn over was facilitated by the Datu Wali Mission (http://www.datuwalimission.org/), the GFI’s partner in the project implementation for this school.
Dan Evans, DWM Director, shared that he was privileged to witness the joy of teachers and students during the turn over. “It was a wonderful experience to watch them sort through the items they received, some of which they have never seen before. This was an excellent variety of things for the students and teachers at Kipalkuda. Three of the teachers and about 100 tribal students gathered in and around the small room that serves as the school library and office to see the treasures received.”
Experiences prior to the turn-over were also expressed by Dan Evans in his e-mail for GFI. “Because of the weight and size of the boxes, and the challenge in delivering them to the mountain school, we transferred and sorted the contents before taking them to New La Union, the barangay in which Kipalkuda school resides. We withheld the clothing and toys that were sent, to assemble them along with toys and clothing received in a previous GFI shipment, for a separate distribution to children most in need around Christmas. But this shipment of books and school supplies was excellent and perfectly suited for the needs of the school.”
“Kipalkuda is one of the most disadvantaged schools in Sarangani Province, so the help they are receiving from Galing Foundation is very significant. Our organization, Datu Wali Mission, provides the school with writing paper, pencils, pens, crayons, scissors, glue, construction paper and other supplies for all six grades, plus the mayor's office delivers a limited amount of similar items for grade 1 pupils once or twice a year. Without this type of help, children would be reduced to writing with charcoal on banana leaves or tree bark. The school supplies GFI sent this time are very important and directly affect the ability of these children, neglected by society in this country, to learn to read, write and do basic math.”
Local partnerships are very important strategy for community development efforts. Dan Evans noted the significance of GFI’s intervention in this school along with the existing efforts done by their ministry and the local government in making a holistic impact. “The books received in this shipment represent an amazing and totally appropriate collection of references and reading materials to contribute to the learning experience at this school.
On behalf of the Kipalkuda Elementary School, the Datu Wali Mission also wishes to extend a big thank you and appreciation for GFI donors, the teachers, students and parents, and all partner organizations here in the US for their respective efforts in this great endeavor.