Surrounded by panoramic views of rice paddies, banana trees, and sprawling mountain scenery sits Tugop Elementary School. Located near the recently devastated town of Tanauan, the school provides education to 205 children in and around the small village.
Newly arrived VFV volunteers Tom and Kat were a welcome addition to the small group of teachers that keep the remote school running. “The children and the staff are just amazing” said Tom. Despite the enormous challenges caused by Typhoon Yolanda, the school continues to provide an essential service to the community. “The school does have major issues including a lack of school supplies. The school has one science textbook which is heavily water damaged,” said Tom.
Aside from a need for basic school supplies there is also a need to repair some of the schools critical infrastructure. “Following Typhoon Yolanda the school’s only mechanical pump and filter were completely destroyed. Now we draw water from a dirty hole in the ground” said Principal Jason Gaduena. As a result of the poor conditions many children regularly suffer from diarrhea and other illnesses.
Aside from a need for clean water, an ongoing nutrition program is critical to ensure the continued development and health of the students. “Most of the children come from farming families, so the poverty faced here is seasonal. During non-harvesting periods children often eat very little. Families have little money to buy enough food let alone school supplies such as stationery and uniforms,” Principal Gaduena explains.
With the assistance of the Adopt-a-School program, Volunteer for Visayans hopes to improve the conditions at Tugop Elementary School. To join the program and improve the lives of 205 children in need, please click here and let us know!
*Written by Robin White, media intern from Australia