Nutrition Programme at the Capinahan School.
As part of our commitment to The Capinahan School, we are delighted to announce that we now have a Nutrition Programme in place.
The parents firstly built a ‘Canteen’ in the traditional Bayanihan way. The community spirit is as strong as ever and it is so heart warming to see everyone joining forces to get this building ready for the children.
Whilst the children are in lessons, some of the mothers will get behind the scenes and start cooking the nutritious food, which will be available every day.
Sadly, we learnt that the reason some children did not attend school in the past, was because the parents had no food to send to school with them (packed lunch). With this Nutrition programme now in place – every child can attend school and will receive a delicious lunch too.
However, preparing the food is not a simple task – the school currently has no water system in place so every morning the parents fetch water from the nearby water pump and carry it to school. This water is then used for the food preparation and also to teach the children to wash their hands before eating. Hygiene seminars have been held in the village so it is important that is taught to the children at school.
Ms. Annabel Roca, who is the parents representative expressed her heartfelt thanks to Greg and the Foundation for helping the children not only receive a proper education but good nutritious food too. The future is looking bright, and with this delicious ‘brain food’ the GSF children could well be the brightest!
The GSF Village maintains being “Environmentally Friendly”.
The families are so proud of their village and make a huge effort to keep it clean – recycling their waste and creating their own compost too. Another seminar from PENRO (Provincial Environmental and Natural Resources Office) was held in the village to reiterate the importance of keeping the village eco-friendly.
Before the village opened, a Material Recover Facility was made by the fathers and mothers, and it has been a huge success. Every family splits their rubbish into plastic, glass, and cans and once full it is then taken away and exchanged for money. Already in a year, the recycling area is surrounded by well established plants which hide it well.
It was agreed in the last General Assembly that every block leader (every block of houses has a leader) will have their own tasks assigned to them. They will be responsible for their houses rubbish disposal and cleanliness around the block. Regular meetings are held between the GSF Homeowner Officers and the Block Leaders for updates and concerns and making sure that everyone does their fair share of work.
Last weekend, Blocks 6, 7 and 8 spent the day cleaning up their area. It is great to see all working together – mothers, fathers and children. Ornamental plants were planted, any litter was collected and a general tidy up was done. These blocks have agreed that this will now be a weekly activity to maintain the tidiness.
A compost area has also been made by the fathers, which will be fantastic for the gardens in the future! This is located behind the MRF so all recycling, rubbish collection and composting is kept to one area. The new compost site is split into two – “Madunot” which means decompose and “Hindi Madunot”, will not decompose. One of the homeowner officers has arranged with a government official in Lemery, to borrow a dump truck, which will be free of charge and on the last Friday of every month will collect any rubbish that is “Hindi Madunot” to keep the area clean and tidy.
We are so pleased that we have a clean, environmentally friendly village. Everyone is making a huge effort to keep it that way and they are a true sign of a close community – all working together.
16 Chairs delivered to Capinahan School.
Yesterday, 16 chairs were delivered to the children at Capinahan School for the second graders who are seven years old. They were so excited and wasted no time in helping to unload the truck.
These chairs were handmade by the local furniture store in Lemery and paid for with the money that two people have kindly donated: Maria Anna Patricia Rueda and Gabriella Tilbury. The classrooms are small so these are fantastic in saving space as each chair has its own writing desk.
Thank you to both, Maria Anna and Gabriella for the very generous donations, which enabled us to buy the chairs for the children’s school.
Cherwin Pamplona weaves “Nito” baskets and food covers.
We wanted to share with you, one of our fathers in the village who has been busy weaving baskets and food covers. He has been gathering the “Nito Vine” which is a native wild vine found in the mountains and been weaving it into different products. He was telling us that you can make furniture out of the vines too – tables and chairs and in fact anything is possible! He has been selling his products at the market as an extra source of income. Cherwin learnt to weave from his father when he was young and would like to teach others this skill.
Nito vine (Lygodium circinatum) is a plant belonging to the fern family that grows abundantly in Mindanao in Southern Philippines. It is a vine growing as a secondary forest cover clinging to trees and rocks. This climbing fern is very common in the Philippines at low and medium altitudes.
The nito vine must firstly be gathered, then exposed to sunlight to dry. It does not need treatment like soaking or scraping to enhance its natural colour.
The strip is taken from the innermost core of the stem, which is about the diameter of a pencil. The outermost layer of the stem has to be removed to get the strips. The raw strips are cleaned manually with a sharp improvised knife, taking at least two hours to clean a small bundle.
Nito weaving has traditionally been a source of community livelihood in the rural areas so it is great that one of our fathers is now doing this in the village.
The ‘Deploma Family’ have embraced village life.
Before Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines in 2013, Analyn and Allan Deploma, and their two young boys were living a normal hardworking life in Barangay Capinahan, near the primary school. Allan was a construction labourer and Analyn a full time housewife.
On November 8th, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda) changed direction and was now heading towards them, they had no time or choice but to evacuate out of their house. Analyn’s elderly mother also lived next door and they had to get to safety. Sadly that night, the Typhoon destroyed everything in it’s path – including their home. The noise of the wind and debris flying around them was terrifying. They didn’t think they would survive huddled in the shelter that they had gone to.
In the months that followed, they slowly began to rebuild their home made of wood and tin materials that were scattered as far as the eye could see. Eventually Allan returned to work, life was really hard – roads were destroyed by the fallen trees and mudslides, so getting anywhere was difficult. Analyn and her two young boys stayed at home until the roads were finally reopened and they could return to school.
And Now, nearly five years later – Life couldn’t be better for them. They are all so happy living in the village and have made their new home so beautiful. Inside is just immaculate, and outside there are flowers and vegetables growing everywhere. The plant pots are recycled bottles, car tyres and in fact anything that can hold water!
Analyn is very active in the village – she helps in any way she can. She was the president of the PTA (last school year) 2017-2018 and is now the secretary of the GSF Homeowners Association. She also runs a stall at the Talipapa market selling houseware, beauty products and cosmetics.
Allan is one of the Block Leaders in the village so he oversees all the houses that fall into his area. During construction of the village he was the warehouseman overseeing the materials coming into the site. He has now returned to being a labourer.
And… the two boys are now 13 and 8, and both doing so well at school attending every day. The students from CPU that come to the village every week, to give extra tuition to all the children have taken a shining to the youngest little boy. He is an entertainer and loves to dance!
It has taken five years to turn many of these families lives around but we are getting there. The homes are built – and the families are living happily in them. Now we want to make sure that every family is sustainable, is part of a livelihood programme, and that every child in the village has a full time education.
The future of this village lies with them.
Amy visits the House of Refuge Orphanage in Manila.
Last week Amy spent the afternoon catching up with the children from the House of Refuge Orphanage, in Manila.
The House of Refuge is a special place to Greg and the team, because in December 2015, Greg and the Foundation were visiting, delivering hampers and gifts to the children, and whilst there, learnt that a medical clinic was needed. He instantly decided to help and sponsored the build of this clinic, which was completed in July 2016 and called the ‘Maud Clinic’. The Maud Clinic is named after Greg’s grandmother who herself was an orphan.
Amy had a lovely lunch followed by some singing and dance performances from the children. She then handed out a few books and toys and read some stories. The children were so happy with lots of giggling and laughter amongst them.
Well done to the House of Refuge team for giving these children a second chance in happiness.
The Children love their new tables at Capinahan School.
Yesterday we told you about the generous donation from Gabriella Tilbury to the Kindergarten School, and today we can show you pictures of the children sitting at the tables that were made because of this donation!
The classrooms looks fantastic with the different colours and shaped tables that can be put together to make rounds, squares and rectangles!
It’s so rewarding to see the children happy in their newly refurbished classrooms. We will keep you updated as things happen here!
Gabriella Tilbury donates her birthday money to the Capinahan School.
Amy’s daughter, Gabriella has very kindly donated her birthday money to the Capinahan School where we now have 82 children enrolled from the village.
The money has already been put to good use, with the parents buying the provisions to build tables for the classrooms. In just a day, they had made a variety of shapes and painted them in different colours to brighten up the classrooms. Such quick work – well done team.
The blackboard was also re-furbished with a new layer of blackboard paint.
A donation like Gabriella’s goes a long way. Thank you Gabriella – a huge inspiration for others to do the same. If you would like to help in some way, please do – every bit really does make a difference.
Three new teachers to join our Capinahan School.
We are delighted to announce that due to a huge rise in enrolment figures from 20 to 80 children, at our newly refurbished Capinahan School, we have secured an additional 3 teachers with the Department of Education.
Amy and the GSF team met with Celisa Beriong – OIC Division Chief Superintendant who oversees all 900 Iloilo Junior schools and 115 Secondary Schools, Gilbert Solidum – Division Head for School Governance and Operations and Juan Tamano – Supervisor in School Operations. They discussed the needs of GSF village and Capinahan Barangay in general in respect of the school and agreed that more than one teacher was now needed. Both GSF and the Department of Education will enter into a partnership to improve the school in the future. Norma Palmejar (on behalf of GSF) will sit on the school council to ensure input and will have an oversight on the school governance.
This is such a fantastic step in the right direction for the children. The longer they are able to stay in full time education the better and having 3 extra teachers will now ensure this happens. Thank you to the Department of Education for your time and helping us give the children the best start in life.
We must finally say a huge thank you to Gabriella Tilbury who kindly donated her birthday money towards the tables and chairs in the school.
If you would like to help the future of the GSF children by donating please do. Every bit helps. Thank you.