A few nights ago, it was a fun filled night for 46 fathers in the village as they took part in a ‘fathers activity’. Not only was there a lot of laughter but they also said that they learnt a lot sharing their ideas, thoughts and reflections.
Alya, our social worker, told us that she did not expect the huge number of fathers that did turn up to the activity, to turn up, since most of them had had a hard day at work already, from working in the rice and corn fields, working on construction sites in the scorching sun and driving motorbike taxis around the community.
The activity was just a simple game, they had to make sure that the ball did not get into the hole, but if it did, for one of their team members to make sure they caught it. The objective of the game was to unite them as a group, to cooperate in one task and to let them control the situation (ball). The activity was a great way for the fathers to de-stress after their busy day of work.
During our reflections some fathers told Alya that this was the first time that they had experienced this kind of activity. They do not socialise except sometimes they may have a cold beer after work with neighbours.
They learnt that the game was very applicable to their daily lives, most of them as the head of the family, work hard to sustain the needs and daily expenses, as one father said ” Problems in the family can be solved easily if each member gives their fair share and helps”.
The fathers enjoyed their evening so much and said it felt like they had gone back to their childhood days. They temporarily forgot their hard days work, with everyone smiling, laughing and eager to win!
At the end of the activity, they even requested to extend a few minutes for them to dance.
Life maybe tough for these gentlemen but with hard work, dedication and dreams for their families, day by day they are surviving. Life must go on, and there’s always something to be thankful for. They have a wonderful home in the village with a great community around them and friendships have been made for life.
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New elected officers of School Governing Council …
We are pleased to announce that we have our new elected officers of our School Governing Council (compose of stakeholders from government and non government organisation). This board will oversee the Capinahan School.
From left to right:
Shello Garcia (Auditor, Teacher CPS)
Miralona Dondonayos (Treasurer, owner of Poultry)
Portia Soberano (Secretary, GSF beneficiary)
Felicidad Nalda (Vice Chairman, Barangay Council)
DR June Sanico (Chairman, GSF)
Emilio Bagonoc (Chief Executive Officer, Teacher in Charge CPS)
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Competition time at the Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State College.
All across the Philippines, August is the month to celebrate “Buwan ng Wika” (the month of the Filipino language).
At the NIPSC they held a day of competition in celebration of this, so four of our lovely ladies from the GSF Village attended the different categories. All of these ladies attend the Alternative Learning System every week in the village so decided to spend the day out celebrating their talents.
Gerlie Artes entered the singing competition:
And came 2nd place.
Ma Lina “Sabet” Villano entered the Oration:
And came 4th place.
Anabelle Barcelo entered the Essay Writing:
And came 3rd place.
And finally, Christine Pamplona entered the Poster & Logo competition:
And gained a consolation prize.
Well done to you all for entering and spending time together celebrating Buwan ng Wika.
One of our GSF Board of Directors, Amy Leverson-Gower visited the GSF Village in June to see how the families were doing since she last saw them in January.
As she walked around the village she noticed that their houses were immaculate and the gardens were flourishing. This community have really embraced their new homes and life in the village. There was a real sense of pride as she was shown around by some of the families. Livelihood programmes are in place with mushroom farming, Moringa plants being grown and their own produce outside each house; runner beans, tomatoes and more.
Before leaving she also made a visit to the Capinahan School to see the children happy in their new classrooms. It was a very rewarding visit to the village as you can see from the video:
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Two students in the GSF Village become the water meter readers…
Every house in the GSF Village has a water meter and at the end of each month the meters need reading. We have two students who work hard and to help them with the financial strain with college books, travel to college etc, we have employed them to read the water meters.
Ranie Olayon, 22 years old, is taking up a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology at Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State College and is in his 3rd year. His father Rolando, is our school service driver and his mother Rosalia, a housekeeper with five other siblings who are all in school.
Ranie is the eldest among his siblings and has a bit of pressure to finish his studies. Once graduated he hopes to get a good job so he is able to help his family in the future.
Being a water meter reader in the village earning P1,000 monthly is a huge help with his daily allowances in school. There are times that he knows that his parents are struggling with money so he would rather use his own and also share it amongst his other siblings.
He loves reading books during his free time and helps in any household chores during weekends. Ranie dreams to become successful in his chosen field and to help his parents to improve their economic status.
He is very grateful to the foundation for having this opportunity and especially for the employment of his father being a shuttle service driver.
Reden Pamplona, a 19 year old Alternative Learning System graduate and currently enrolled at Northern Iloilo Polytechnic State College taking up a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (1st year level).
His mother Famela, works in Manila as a housekeeper and his stepfather Robert is very supportive to Reden whilst his mother is away working. Reden is very responsible for his age and also looks after his younger brother whenever he can.
He is a real homebody person and loves to explore the world by surfing on the internet. The reasons he took up the course was for the love of his computer!
Earning P1,000 monthly lasts up to 2 weeks, and goes towards his allowance in school. His dream is to be a successful computer programmer and to improve the economic living condition of his family.
He is very thankful to the foundation not only for the job offered as a working student, but for having a stable house and a free shuttle service to Lemery.
He is looking forward to the day that his mother does not have to work away from home anymore. Alya, our social worker, tells us that Reden is one of the active youth in the village, with potential of leadership in the future.
On the 25th of every month, the two boys visit every house in the village and firstly read the meters. They then log all the readings into the computer and then give each house owner an invoice. On the 5th of the month, they collect the money, give every house owner a receipt and hand all money to the Treasurer of the Homeowners Association.
Well done boys – you have to be both trustworthy and responsible for this job, and you are an inspiration to what can be achieved with commitment and hard work.
A few months ago we talked about the graduation of some of the students from the village. One young man who graduated with a Cum Laude in AB Economics, was John Kenneth Valencia.
John Kenneth has a deep understanding of the GSF Village and the livelihood programmes now in place; the Talipapa market, the Cooperative Store and most recently, the Bakery. All of these require a bookkeeper to properly list, encode and keep the financial records up to date. The GSF team decided to employ a bookkeeper and John Kenneth was hired for not only having graduated in Economics but for also having a good knowledge in computing.
Alya, our social worker tells us that he is now taking three more units in Education to be able to teach and later on will take a Licensure Examination to be a fully fledged teacher.
Money is short in John Kenneth’s family. His father Benjie, works as a Tricycle driver in Metro Manila and only comes home for special occasions. His mother, Analyn, is a Barangay Officer and his brother, James who is 14 years old, is a Grade 9 student at school in Lemery. Since Benjie is currently the sole bread winner in the family, John Kenneth wanted to help find ways to provide more income for the family and pay for his further education. Now with his job as the GSF bookkeeper, he earns enough money to pay for this and help his brother through education too.
John Kenneth’s dream is not only for the family to live comfortably but for his father to be able to come home and for them to live together. He has really stood out in the village as being a good son to his family, has a great personality and as we have seen has great academic records.
He said to Alya that his is so thankful to the Foundation for providing his family with not only a home but the opportunity to start a new life after the Typhoon.
We too, are so proud of you and your passion to go further. You are a great inspiration to the younger generation in the village. Well done.
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Central Philippines University Elementary Department visit the GSF Village
Every Saturday, the team from Central Philippines University drive to the village from Iloilo City, and this week they turned up with lots of donated books and other school materials for the children. This is so generous and thoughtful of CPU who have done so much for the children already. The children are very fortunate to have access to so many wonderful learning books and we are very grateful.
Once they had handed out all the books, and the children had a good look through them, it was then time for a short seminar on Dengue Fever. It is now the raining season in the Philippines so Dengue Fever is rife. They taught them how best to try and protect themselves against being bitten and what signs to look out for should they have it.
Dengue fever is a mosquito-borne tropical disease caused by the dengue virus. Symptoms typically begin three to fourteen days after infection. This may include a high fever, headache, vomiting, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic skin rash.
Thank you CPU for your continued support and advice to the families in the village.
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The CPU team start Saturday classes again in the village.
We are thrilled that term time has started which means that our lovely Central Philippine University Students are back in the village. Their commitment to the children is outstanding – making a two hour journey every Saturday from Iloilo City which is a 2 hour drive away.
When they were last in the village, (last term), they realised that a lot of the children in the village have difficulties in English Literacy, including spelling and basic numeracy. The College outreach programme have now designed a curriculum tailor-made for the children to help them progress.
The children were all profiled and assessed to determine which learning areas they needed help in, and which class would best suit them depending on their ages.
Thank you to CPU for your continued commitment and support in helping the GSF children get the possible start in life.
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The Waste Disposal truck does it’s first collection.
You may remember in July, we mentioned that at the end of every month a waste disposal truck would come to the village to collect the rubbish. One of our homeowner officers has arranged with a government official in Lemery to borrow a dump truck free of charge on the last Friday of every month to collect any rubbish that is “Hindi Madunot” (will not decompose). Thank you very much to Divan Doplayna for making this possible.
And here they are … the first collection of rubbish! All other rubbish is either recycled or put into compost bins for the gardens.
During the month, the families have been separating their rubbish into different bins, so it is all ready when the truck arrives.
We are so proud that this small community are keeping their village environmentally clean and tidy and setting a good example for the future generations. The children are already following in their parents footsteps and take part in the weekly tidy up.
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“India Rose Bread and Pastry Bakery” opens in the GSF Village.
Huge excitement as the “India Rose Bread and Pastry Bakery” opens in the village. Over the last few days, the bakers and their wives joined forces to make sure that the Bakery was ready for baking and the grand opening.
The men were busy welding their bread plain sheets rack, setting up the ovens, cooling racks, buying ingredients and setting up the bakery.
Once all set up it was time to start baking, they spent the afternoon preparing the ingredients making sure that the standard of bread was perfect and to scale.
There will be three Bakers and three Delivery men. The Bakers bake batches of bread the day and night before, and then bake the hot bread ready for the 5am delivery.
The Delivery men will deliver the bread – one route will be around the GSF Village and the second and third routes around Lemery. The hot Pandesal/Buns bread will be sold around the village from 5am – straight to the door steps! The other selection of bread rolls (up to 3,000 daily) will be delivered into the Talipapa and the Grocery store for sale and then into Lemery. To help keep up with the huge amount of bread being baked the wives have stepped in to help pack the bread too.
To make sure we had the right calibre of Bakers we asked the Northern Iloilo Polytechnic College to send two professionals from the department of community and extension, an owner of a bakery and a full time baker, Dzen Patricia, DR Sanico and Roberto Nonato (our village president) to assist us with the interviews. The Bakers were chosen because of their skills, experience, attitude and commitment to the project.
NIPC will help and advise us in the running of the Bakery to ensure that it is set to the highest standard possible and becomes well known in the Barangay. In the future, with their help, we hope to market our own bread that is the GSF signature loaf, made with our own ‘signature ingredients’. We are so proud of our families – yet another livelihood and sustainable project that will ensure that these families are not only earning money but feeding good nourishing food to their community too. Watch this space, one day the bread could be seen on the supermarket shelves worldwide.
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