October 15 is Global Handwashing Day. Although it’s already over, we continue to bring the antibacterial soap to schools. Before we started the Remedial Classes, we asked the students to fall in line at the sink and wash their hands. The students are always enthusiastic when it comes to this activity. We assist them to prevent wasting water. Students in Sigcay and Elementary School learned the importance of handwashing for a healthy body. They also like the smell of the antibacterial soap after every wash.


In the last week of October, we did an initial visit and survey to the town of New Washington to know the people’s source of living, the training that they need, and the things that they want to know. We visited some villages, and the Municipal Office, and went to the Department of Agriculture to know the list of seminars that they will have this November. Unfortunately, at that time, the election was about to happen, and the long holidays were coming. The staff in the Department of Agriculture told us that the government offices are busy and they don’t have a list of the seminars for the coming months. They told us that they would contact us if ever they have information. They advised that we should first give a Letter of Intent to the Mayor so she can approve our plan.

We did a follow-up visit to the town of New Washington in the second week of November. We brought the Letter of Intent to the Office of the Mayor, but unfortunately, she has a meeting with the newly elected officers of each village. The staff in the office told us that they would contact us if the Mayor approved the letter. We are looking forward to their reply. We are also excited to conduct our very first seminar in one of the villages.


Students are always excited and ready to start playing Chess and Scrabble. As usual, they are grouped by three or four, with five members in each group. Four members will play the game, and the remaining one from it will be the one to monitor the game and tally the scores of each player. Boys are often declared as the winners in playing Chess and Scrabble because they are quite talented in thinking logically and analyzing where to put their pieces at the advantage place for them to win the game. Girls often help one another which not only showcases their ability to understand the situation of the game but also builds their teamwork and cooperation which strengthens their bond and friendship towards one another. “Sports connect them closer and bind them together.”


Days go by, and it’s only a month before 2023 ends. Remedial classes are ongoing, and students are participative and creative during these sessions. Worksheets like fill in the missing letters for level 1 and CVC for level 2. Grades 1 and 2 students answered worksheets about filling in puzzles using words from the boxes, solving the puzzle about jobs, reading, spelling, writing, etc. They are given different kinds of worksheets to test their knowledge and skills in answering them orally or individually. They learn in many ways, and each one of them is listening attentively and coping to understand what the teacher teaches. Most of them can read well, although some are still having difficulties in reading, understanding, and answering. We are helping each one of them to do it in their own ways and apply what they have learned at the end of the discussion.


During the first week of November, we have a lot of holidays. We decided to visit some groups of kids in their houses because schools are closed. I visited a group of kids living in Ugsod Village in the Town of Banga. They go to school in Capitan Tazan Memorial Primary School. LP visited the group of kids in Laserna Village in the Town of Kalibo. They go to school in Kalibo Integrated School. We haven’t visited these kids for a while because we are always going to school. We had the opportunity during the long holidays to meet them again. The kids were very excited to see us. We also brought some snacks for them for doing a great job in our activities. The parents of these kids expressed their gratitude to us for visiting their homes and for the snacks that we brought. We are happy to know that they appreciate our simple acts.

“Applying what you have learned is a great matter of experience.”


The Department of Education (DepEd) marks the calendar with a significant yearly celebration – the National Reading Month (NRM). This month-long event observed every November, is part of the agency’s efforts to foster a culture of reading and enhance literacy skills among the youth. DepEd urged schools and learning institutions to conduct a month-long reading program to revive students’ interest in reading. The team also planned some activities in our partner schools. We introduced the Reading Workshop and Mobile Library. We brought 12 books to Sigcay Elementary School to let the children borrow, but we only distributed 10 books and used the remaining two books for the Reading Session. LP read the book about worms, and the students spelled the words from each page. The students were happy to get their books, and they will swap books with their classmates next week. We also read the same book about worms in Lapnag Primary School. The students spelled the words from each page, and after that, we had an outdoor activity of finding worms and their waste. The teachers were also happy that we already started to conduct activities related to Reading Month.


“Awakening the children’s love for reading.”

Since November is the Reading Month, we brought books to partner schools that are within in the student’s level. After the book rotation, securing their book title and names, we read a story to the kids in these two schools. We also let the children explain how important it is to read books and to love reading.

We did a storytelling about the Worms, prepared English Worksheets for the Level 3 and 4 students. We did outdoor activities regarding to the story heard by the children. We explore the school ground by finding worms and worm’s wastes. The children explained how the worms contribute to make the soil healthy. We did activities such as Spelling, Reading, Writing and Oral Recitation. Separate activities were given to the Level 1 and 2 students as they need a more simplified lessons to match their level. We were always accompanied by our Intern Erica when we do our projects in this school. We reminded the children that they have to take care all the books that they received because they are going to lend that book to the other student next week. We will continue this project even after the Reading Month pass by.


According to the Power Resource Center, there are several very powerful reasons why leadership training is important. The best reason of all. Leadership training and development is important because it works – if you do it the right way. Sure, there are many failed leadership development programs out there that give it a bad name. But we’ve seen it transform underperforming teams and inspire high-functioning teams to accomplish great things. But it takes patience, stamina and commitment because long-term behavioral change is hard. All the pieces must be in place – strategic clarity, alignment with goals and values, defined success criteria, detailed execution, a thorough and in-depth follow-up plan to ingrain the learning and reduce backslide. With real strategic commitment, leadership training and development is one of the most powerful paths to success for any business.

We at GFF HELPS Philippines is very grateful for allowing us to gain knowledge from this seminar. It was attended by Stifhany and I together with 60 participants form all over the Philippines. It will help us become effective and great leaders even more. And we are planning to create a 1-hour seminar for the International Country Teams in December as well.