The underfunded Guintigui-An Elementary School now has a club of 120 American high school students fund raising for it thanks to VFV’s Adopt-A-School Project.
The remote Guintigui-An, about an hour north of Tacloban, has struggled to teach its 203 pupils with few materials since Typhoon Yolanda washed out the school a year ago.
The club, The Philippines Project, is the brainchild of 16-year-old Califonians Tatum Contreras and Hannah Glazer.
After reading The Promise of a Pencil by Adam Braun — the story of a man who helped schools in need across the world — Tatum was inspired to reach out to a Filipino school ravaged by the typhoon. She contacted VFV who assigned her with Guintigui-An.
“I thought it was a great opportunity to start a club at my school, so I asked my friend Hannah if she wanted to help me out,” explained Tatum.
“She loved the idea, so we began brainstorming fundraising ideas and club names.”
The girls recruited 120 students to Project Philippines during ‘Club Rush’ — an event at their Palos Verdes High School that allows students to promote their club ideas.
“We decided to start the club at our school because we thought it was the perfect platform to bring the generosity of our community to Guintigui-An,” said Tatum.
The girls have big plans for Guintigui-An.
“We want to collect school supplies from members of the club and any other students through a school-wide donation drive,” said Tatum.
“At the moment, we are designing T-shirts to sell and we are setting up fundraisers at various restaurants.
“In addition, we are planning a meeting in order to inform our members about upcoming events.”
*Written by volunteer Emma Bailie, journalist from Australia