Philippines

GFF Helps India Celebrates Achievers

FELICITATION OF OUTSTANDING STUDENTS OF SOGG LEARNING CENTRES

I am really happy that I got 83% in my board examination. Had it not been for the teacher’s guidance and dedication, I would not have scored well.’
Smriti Rai,
Bong.

‘It is important to hold such felicitation programs, because it will encourage not only the students but also parents. They will know the value of education and in this way, there will be zero drop-out rates. Thank you for recognizing the hard work of children and teachers.’

Yugen Lepcha, coordinator, SOGG Learning Centre, Bong

GFF Helps India has been working in tandem with the SOGG Open Learning and Information centres of Bong, Chibbo and Pudung since the past two years. The areas of collaboration have been in the field of education, health, sports, livelihood, providing awareness among many others. In the field of education, the SOGG Learning centres provide free tuition classes to students with the aim of reducing drop-out rates in the villages.

Every year, the students of class 10 and 12 appear for board examinations- The scores achieved in these exams are considered very important for getting into universities, professional courses or training programs and other occupations. The teachers of the respective centres guide the students in preparing for the examination for a minimum period of one year.

This year, the students who had appeared for the board examination from SOGG Learning centres of Bong, Chibbo and Pudung did excellently well. Most of the students are first generation learners. Despite the challenges of attending classes online; their hard work, teacher’s dedication and parent’s support have reaped good fruits. Thus, to acknowledge and honour the students for their outstanding academic performance, GFF Helps Representative in collaboration with the staff of SOGG centres felicitated the students in the presence of the parents as well as executive members of managing committee of their respective villages.

As a follow up of the felicitation program and based on need assessment, GFF Helps representatives- Melissa & Nikita will thus be organizing a career guidance program/ career counseling session for the students in the forthcoming days.

Joe FisherGFF Helps India Celebrates Achievers
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Outreach, connect, learn and grow – PHILIPPINES

OUTREACH PROGRAM FOR THE ATI VILLAGE IN MALAY, AKLAN

The level of sanitation and good hygiene practices among indigenous people is low. They survive through the old ways of living that may not be effective today. Red Cross Philippines in coordination with the Aklan Trekkers spearheaded a program about hygiene that will help the indigenous people of Aklan called Atis or Aetas. GFF HELPS PH Team was invited to join the program. We travelled for four hours from Kalibo town to reach the headquarters of Aklan Trekkers in Malay town. We met more volunteers from other groups and helped them prepare the groceries and hygiene kits. The Aetas of Malay, Aklan is thriving in its mountainous part, so we have to trek for almost three hours back and forth. These hardworking people helped us with our loads. They listened intently to the lecture of Red Cross Representatives and received hygiene kits after. They also ate the foods that the volunteers prepared for them. We are so happy to see the smiling faces of the Aetas. Their gratitude and warm welcome were enough for us. These programs made them feel that they are not forgotten.

“Improving the well-being of indigenous people by teaching good hygiene  practices.”
 

 

 

GFF HELPS PH Team with the volunteers and some members of the Aklan Trekkers and Red Cross Philippines.
Some Aeta youths in the village.
GFF HELPS PH Team with Aeta youths in the village.

Online Storytelling

“Gives students the power to express themselves through
multi- literacy modes.”

“Oh no! There are two monsters already!” one of the kids gasped after reading the passage. They enthusiastically participated in the alternate reading of passages. They are also fascinated with the pictures. They learned that usual fights with siblings will always be resolve with empathy and good conversation. It is not the first time that they relate with the story. Our stories were carefully chosen to suit the age of the kids. We always make sure that it is relatable and fun. At the end of each session, we always have a recap of the story and reiterate the good values portrayed.

The kids relate to the story “How to Tame a Monster?” which talked about a usual fight between siblings and how it was resolved.

Reading Workshop & Mobile Library

Stifhany and LP together with Barrera siblings and their cousins holding their worksheets.

We started the first session of the Reading Workshop with Barrera siblings and their cousins. This small group of kids was gathered by Mrs. Karen De Juan, an association member. Two of these kids were her sons. All of them are preschoolers and need an ample amount of guidance and patience. During our next visit, we prepared printed worksheets from educational websites. The worksheets target the writing and artistic skills of the kids while learning about numbers and counting. Mrs. Karen and other mothers were grateful for the regular visit that we do for their kids. She said that it is a good break for the kids instead of playing outside the whole day.

Stifhany and LP together with Kalibo Bikers Rally doing the School Clean-up Drive and Vegetable Planting on June 13, 2022 in Sigcay Elementary School, Sigcay, Banga, Aklan

School Clean-up Drive and Vegetable Planting

The Brigada Eskwela (helping one another) is an activity led by the Department of Education (DepEd) where everyone in the school community works together to prepare schools for the opening of classes. This led the GFF HELPS Philippines Team to initiate this Community Project: School Clean-up Drive and Vegetable Planting Program in Sigcay Elementary School, prepared all the necessary documents and other materials and collaborated with the officers and members of the Kalibo Bikers Rally (KBR) to maximize the work and cleaning activity. The said activity will later benefit the pupils of Sigcay Elementary School since the leafy vegetables called Sweet Potato Vines are rich in iron and fiber and will later bear nutritious root crops. This will later harvested by the pupils for the opening of school year. Our gratitude to Kalibo Bikers Rally (KBR) for joining the GFF HELPS Philippine Team’s Community Project in Sigcay Elementary School, Sigcay, Banga, Aklan, Philippines. As known to all, the Kalibo Bikers Rally (KBR) is a group of youth, government employees, government officials, professional and private individuals headed by the group’s President, Hon. Kobe Abet Magsisi, and Vice President, Mr. Phil Melgarejo, followed by the rest of the officers and members, who bike around the Panay Island - where Aklan is located - for physical health awareness, bike-touring, volunteering in charities and doing ride-for-a-cause programs and community projects. It is good and advantageous in our part to communicate, gather different organizations, and involving them in these kinds of works to improve camaraderie and networks between the GFF HELPS Team and different organizations in Aklan.


“Doing charity works to schools to help the future Filipino children.”
Lady Peace
GFF Helps Representative

“Helping the community through networks and connections to organizations”

GFF Helps Philippines
Joe FisherOutreach, connect, learn and grow – PHILIPPINES
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Mental Health needs to be addressed

ADDRESSING PARENT CHILD RELATIONSHIP & MENTAL HEALTH

BONG, CHIBBO & PUDUNG

KALIMPONG

The pandemic that lasted for more than 24 months has had dramatic changes in the lives of families- parents and children alike. GFF Helps representatives felt the need for a session that would help promote healthy socialization as well as support effective behavior of children and families. Ms. Dechen Y. Bhutia, a psychologist at Army Public School Kalimpong facilitated the session. The main aim of the session was: 

  • to help parents understand their own roles and responsibilities
  • to maximize positive outcome for children and their families
  • to help parents understand their children’s individual needs and development

The target group for the session were parents of Bong, Chibbo and Pudung villages, that was held on the 13th of May, 19th of May and 20th of May respectively. The session was rewarding as many doubts were cleared and clarifications made. 

‘I thought I could control my child in every way possible, but this session opened my eye. I am truly grateful for attending this session.’

Prisca Rai
Bong Village.
Joe FisherMental Health needs to be addressed
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INTER CENTRE QUIZ COMPETITION IN CHIBBO

Inter Quiz Competition

 

“I really enjoyed guiding the students well and they have done well. We had a good exposure. Thank you for organizing the event.” Milan Bardewa, Coordinator and teacher, Team Chibbo.

An inter centre quiz competition was held in Chibbo for the students of Bong, Chibbo, Kameshi and Pudung in the month of March 2022. The aim of hosting the quiz competition was to evaluate the knowledge of the students- academic as well as beyond academics. Students from class 7, 8 and 9 took part in the competition- and their knowledge was tested from 4 fields namely- general knowledge, sports, history and geography.

Ms. Lisa and Mr. Anthony Thocker attended the event as Chief Guests

The participants had well prepared as they had been guided well by their respective centre teachers. The event was moderated by GFF Helps Representative Ms. Melissa Namchu and made the session interactive, so that the students are not intimidated but to further build their confidence. Questions about Kalimpong were also asked for the students know about their community and society. The first place was grabbed by Team Pudung, followed by Chibbo, while Bong and Kameshi were the second runner’s up. Ms. Lisa and Mr. Anthony Thocker attended the event as Chief Guests and were impressed by the knowledge that the students possessed. They also shared message to the students. This one day event was rewarding to the students as well as their mentors.

 

 

Prizes ready for distribution

“Our team thoroughly enjoyed the competition. Our teacher guided us well. Next time we will stand first!” Lyang Ong, Participant, Team Pudung.

 

 

 

 

Quiz competition preparation

With the finalists

Joe FisherINTER CENTRE QUIZ COMPETITION IN CHIBBO
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English for Village Programme

English for Village Manager and Assistant Manager of the society

As the second phase of the English for Village
project we plan to conduct classes for school
children in Akiririyagala village. In 2019, the first
phase of the project, the classes were conducted by
undergraduates of SANASA campus. However, in the
first level of the second phase project, we are
planning to get support from a third person because
the face to face lectures are not started in the
SANASA campus yet. In the second level of the
project we plan to let undergraduates involved with
the project. It is beneficial for undergraduates as well
to improve their teaching and learning skills.
Classes can be held in the SANASA Cooperative
society building and they will help to find a resource
person to conduct the classes.

 

With Dr. W. Jayasundera, GFF Sri Lanka Representative Hasini Athauda visited Akiriyagala Sanasa Society and met the manager of the society to further discuss the project.

Joe FisherEnglish for Village Programme
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International Women’s Day Celebration with GFF Helps India

Paarticipants and GFF Helps India team in Kamshi, Kalimpong

 

On the 8th of March 2022, GFF Helps India organized International Women’s Day celebration in Bong, Kamshi, Pudung and Chibbo villages. The programs were held in collaboration with the SOGG L&I Centres in their premises. Women of the respective villages were felicitated by the staff of SOGG and GFF Helps. Cakes, sweets and snacks were provided to the participants. 

GFF Helps India team took part in the Bong and Kamshi village’s celebration. Apart from the informative session on International Women’s Day, a fun session for the women was organized where they sang and danced. The women were dressed up in saree (traditional outfit) especially for the occasion. Women of these four villages are mostly homemakers and engage in farm based activities. Their lives revolve around their children and family. They rarely have time to go out for their houses for leisure. Therefore this program provided them time and space to celebrate and rejuvenate themselves.  

The main aim of the program was to create a platform for women of the village to come together and celebrate womanhood and their contribution towards their society.  

 

Women of Chibbo interacting with each other during the Women’s Day Celebration

Women in Bong enjoying their dance session

One of the women participants in Bong village said that “Thank you so much for organizing the program and making this day special for us”.

Joe FisherInternational Women’s Day Celebration with GFF Helps India
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SUPPORT TO BOURGANDI CHILDREN HOME

GFF Representative Mei Quie Sherpa interacts with children

Children homes in Kathmandu are filled with children with emotionally painful histories. Although their basic needs are met such as – food, water shelter,
clothing and education. A psychosocial support mechanism is seen to be missing in these helping homes. GFF Helps Nepal team Ms. Sulochana Thapa and Ms. Mei Quie Sherpa have been supporting the children from the child home in terms of their emotional development and upgrading them in terms of the character
development and educational sessions that help enhance their wellbeing.

KEY HIGHLIGHTS
Educational
Nurturing young minds
Learning with fun
Freedom of expression

Joe FisherSUPPORT TO BOURGANDI CHILDREN HOME
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SUPPORT TO SRIJANSHIL SCHOOL (FOR SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN)

 

 

 

An online meeting, with Mr. Rampukar (Clinical Psychologist ( M.Phil.)Trained in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (NIMHANS, India) Consultant at Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Kanti Children Hospital). A step into planning and disussion for the psychosocial support and intervention and referral mechanisms mobilization for children with special needs.

Nepal is a sovereign nation that respects and promotes the rights of all, especially for individuals with special needs. This maybe true, however, the government of Nepal has not been able to identify and provide effective assistance and cost benefits to children in specific. The budget allocated for mental health under the health budget is said to be less than 1%. While, children in schools such as Srijanshil with both mental and physical disabilities are in dying need of interventions that can be a sustainable gateway in learning to become independent for children for years to come. Similarly, interventions that can help train both teachers and parents in learning to self-care.
A meeting was held virtually due to the increasing Covid cases in the same week. Mr. Rampukar (Clinical Psychologist) Shah from Nepal an expert in this field along with the school principal (Mr. Krishna) of Srijanshil School (for children with special needs) was held to consult the necessary interventions that can mend the lack of
awareness, skills and connections for the wellbeing of children with special needs.

 

Srijanshil School Intervention
Support to Srijanshil School (for special needs children)
1) Assessment
2) Tests of each child
3) Training to teachers &
parents
4) Self Care Training
5)Advocacy& Lobbying
6) Follow-up sessions

Joe FisherSUPPORT TO SRIJANSHIL SCHOOL (FOR SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN)
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EMPOWERING YOUTH HOLISTICALLY – AWARENESS PROGRAMME IN DABLING, KALIMPONG

An awareness and motivation programme was held for the students of Dabling village on 12th February. The purpose of the programme was to inform the students about different postal schemes, vocational training programmes, information on health during emergencies and a motivation talk. The resource persons came from
different departments including Indian Postal Service, ILFS, Dr. Robin Rai representing Red Cross Association and Ms. Minket Lepcha. 34 students took active part in the session and thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the activities that were conducted as a part of the programme. The session ended by providing certificates to the
participants followed by lunch as some of the students had come from far off villages.

“Thank you for a lovely
session! We thoroughly
enjoyed. It was very
informative and just what
we needed.”
-Seath Lepcha, Dabling

Interactive session with Miss Minket Lepcha

Dr. Rai conducting sessions

Joe FisherEMPOWERING YOUTH HOLISTICALLY – AWARENESS PROGRAMME IN DABLING, KALIMPONG
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Webinar on “Financial Literacy: The Need for a Retirement Fund”

“Educating people on how to use their hard-earned money.”

Financial Literacy webinar bannerThe GFF HELPS Philippines Team had successfully hosted and aired its fifth free webinar about Financial Literacy: The Need For A Retirement Fund which was beautifully presented by Mrs. Remedios Saldivia-Macabate, a Licensed Financial Planner whose one of the managers in an International Life Insurance Company in the Philippines. The webinar was held on 29th of October, Friday at 1 o’clock in the afternoon, via ZOOM application and it was attended by more than 20 individuals together with their families who came from different parts of Aklan Province, Philippines.

During and until the end of the webinar proper, different ideas from the speaker, participants and the PH Team were shared to everyone. During the open forum, financial-related questions were also thrown by the participants and were professionally answered by our beloved speaker. As quoted from Mrs. Macabate, “The best time to start saving and investing your hard-earned money is NOW.”

The webinar had been livelier as ever as Mr. Saom Namchu, the GFF HELPS Asia Coordinator along with the other GFF HELPS Representatives and Volunteers were also there. This 2-hour webinar includes the introduction to the GFF HELPS founder, Sir Owen Glenn, and the International and Philippines Programmes which were hosted by the Philippine Team Representative, Lady Peace and the Philippine Team Volunteer, Stifhany Salvador.

Sewing Project 

“Making good use of what they have.”

The GFF Sewing Machines have been a great support to the five (5) Sewing Project Women since they have been using those in sewing and marketing their outputs to make a living. The PH Team  has been receiving their monthly payments for these machines since August 2021 with the receipts given to them as proof of payments. They had given them those machines 30% less from the original price to continue their livelihood and make good use of their sewing skills since most of them became Licensed Dressmakers through our Sewing Project Phase 1. They are hoping to embark with Sewing Project Phase 2 by next year to make another group of Licensed Dressmakers through this skill-sharing project.

 

Vegetable Garden Project – Phase II

“Continuing the “Healthy Meals: Healthy Bodies and Minds” aim

The Vegetable Garden Project beneficiaries from the different parts of Banga had finally able to plant almost all of the seeds that we had provided for them this summer year – for countless times, they were able to plant by batches considering the weather and all natural phenomenon – the planting and harvesting became continuous activity since most of the keen farmers were able to replant seeds out from the matured fruits that they had dried under the sun. The nutrients from the soil from the previous harvest was still there that’s why the replanting became possible due to the fertile soil/land. Since they have sold produce to their neighbors and local markets, they were able to save few money for their children’s schooling.

The ongoing projects were a year long projects and the participants for the webinar were from these projects. The webinar enhanced the participants to equip themselves with the financial literacy, an often not addressed topic for marginalized communities.

Joe FisherWebinar on “Financial Literacy: The Need for a Retirement Fund”
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