Bless the Schoolchildren

September 02, 2009 in Newsletters, Events

Schoolchildren scampering for cover or running fast to the nearest possible shade,  and yet still unable to avoid getting wet from the rain. This is a disheartening sight to behold. This scene reminded Peter and Levi their experiences sometime in their lifetime…

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the hardships of walking under the direct heat of the sun or getting drenched by a sudden rain. Both Levi and Peter came from poor families too. They know and felt what these children feel when its noontime or when the skies darken. Using a banana leaf for protection, using the school books and notebooks to shade the head…getting stranded in school until dark by the rain and in the end forced to ran wet home. It is an unnecessary hardship imposed on the children just because they wanted to go to school and get a good education and a better future perhaps someday.
Last April during their vacation in the Philippines, PSSP-MER officers Levi S. Alejo and Peter Q. Panganiban personally noticed and reminded of the negative effect of the constantly changing weather to the school attendance of children. Whether it is the exposure to the dizzying heat of the sun or to the chilling effect of the cold rain, schoolchildren’s health is severely affected.

The concerned teachers of Barangay Carolina in Naga City lament the fact that children miss their classes just because they are sick or plainly they could not come to school because of the rain. They manage to voice out in a subdued manner a common motherly wish they thought was improbable or impossible to come true….. If only each of the school children has his/her own umbrella… attendance would be more constant and better.  This wish seems so plain and simple but for these simple folks living in the remote barangays of the Philippines, assuring one umbrella for each family remains as it is….just a wish.

With these thoughts accompanying them to their return in Saudi Arabia to resume their work, the two officers of Philippine Society of Safety Practitioners Middle East Region (PSSP-MER) recommended to the society’s other officers and members of the Board of Directors the giving of umbrellas to indigent schoolchildren of the society’s adopted barangay. Engr. Melvin V.  Cunanan, committee chair for Community Relations, endorsed the approval of this community service project. With the nod from Prex Greg Crisosto and SecGen Renato Barraca, the “Schoolchildren Umbrella Project” was approved and budgeted for implementation on the same BOD meeting.

By August 13, 2009, the Barangay Committee on Education chaired by Kagawad Editha Banda and the Barangay Carolina Council distributed 420+ bright blue and yellow colored umbrellas to the schoolchildren of the barangay. It was a happy event attended by the City Mayor Jesse Robredo, Department of Education local officials, and school faculty    members.

The PSSP-MER is proud to be instrumental in making the simple wish of barangay teachers and students alike a reality.

For the folks of Barangay Carolina, “An umbrella for each family of a schoolchild” is no longer just a wish but a reality.               

Levi s. Alejo


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