Brother International Philippines Corporation and the Philippine Business for Social Progress’ (PBSP) have forged a partnership to support the education of school children in a remote village at the Iñigan Elementary School (ES).
For the past five years, Brother Philippines has been going to Iñigan to bring joy to the children of the school through PBSP’s Ready for School Campaign (RFS), a volunteerism campaign of PBSP in support to the Department of Education’s Brigada Eskwela, aimed to prepare schools for the opening of classes.
“Our very first project in Iñigan happened in 2012. We gave gifts to the students but we thought that to make more impact to the pupils, it should not only be a one-time activity, which is why we looked at it from a five-year plan perspective,” Brother Philippines’ President Glenn Hocson said.
The employee-volunteers conducted interactive learning sessions with their assigned grade level. Some volunteers played games with the pupils, others were taught tips and tricks on mathematics while a group of volunteers told folklores to entertain the students such as the story of the Alamat ng Makahiya (Legend of the Pudica or Touch-Me-Not Plant).
The company’s employees get to choose how many students they want to adopt. The associate will then give a portion of his or her earnings to buy the much-needed school supplies of their adopted student. The volunteers will then distribute the bags with school supplies such as notebooks, pencils, and crayons.
“That’s the beauty of this activity because we don’t just get to donate, but we get to go here and personally see the improvement of the school and the students we adopt. It’s really heartwarming to see them grow. Actually, the first batch of students I adopted has already graduated, they’re already in high school,” Hocson said.
Being a consistent donor to the school, Brother Philippines provided a grant this year for additional solar panel lighting systems, transparent fiberglass roofing sheets, painting of galvanized iron sheets roofing and indoor and outdoor walls, and completion of the school’s perimeter fence.
In the past, the company donated a generator set, a portable audio system, three laptop units and a hundred chairs including solar electrification and six new blackboards. Last year, the company funded the refurbishment of its learning resource center through the provision of at least 300 story and reading books and other reference materials, 6 kiddie tables, 24 chairs and mats, 20 storage boxes, and repainting of walls and bookshelves.
The assistance proved to be a big help to the school, not only for its physical appearance but also in contributing to the overall performance of its students. For the past two years, Iñigan elementary school grabbed the top spot in the National Achievement Test in the Municipality of Montalban. In the school year 2013-2014, the school also topped in the Division of Rizal and belongs to the top three in the province up till now.