October 15 is Global Handwashing Day, a global advocacy day dedicated to increasing awareness and understanding about the importance of handwashing with soap as an effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives. Responsible hygiene also teaches kids good habits that they will benefit from for life. Children come into contact with germs every day. Proper handwashing can help stop the spread of many illnesses – from the common cold to more serious illnesses like hepatitis A. Oral hygiene, for instance, sets kids up to have good oral health into adulthood. We know how important these two things are to the children in schools who like to play and eat sweets. We purchased antibacterial soap and toothpaste for the handwashing and tooth-brushing activities in schools. We contacted the teachers to ask their students to bring their toothbrush, and they said yes. We did these activities in Sigcay Elementary School, Lapnag Primary School, and Polo Elementary School. We plan of doing this activity before starting our regular Remedial Class Projects. We are thankful for the support of teachers to make these activities successful. They also took pictures and notes to include in their documentation.


We are delighted with the successful outcome of the recent Sign Language Webinar that we did. We are grateful for our participants who are eager to learn the language of the deaf. We want to recognize their efforts by presenting a simple gift of appreciation. The GFF HELPS Philippines purchased a few school supplies for the two active participants in our country. Other country teams also presented their active participants with gifts and certificates. We delivered our gifts and certificates to Atasha and Rojelique’s houses. Their parents were proud of their new learnings and thanked us for the gifts. This webinar is one of the most successful events that we hosted including the other country teams. We made a video and a special report to narrate the story of how we prepared for the event itself and the post-activities. We are looking forward the phase 2 of this webinar.


The students in Lapnag Primary and Polo Elementary Schools are our regular recipients and participants of Chess and Scrabble games after every Remedial Classes. Our regular students are Level 4, 5, and 6 students. And they are continuously learning the techniques and strategies on how to play chess strategically. Children also knew how to create longer English words as they play the Scrabbles. This games were played into groups of 3 or 4 so that everyone could participate and they will have the chance to support and think as a group.



This school is our first school partner this school year. They are also included in the previous school partners that we had last school year. The Remedial Classes continue for Grades 2 and 3. The teachers have been very supportive of our activities, and the students were very excited every time we went there. As usual, we focus on literacy and seldom on numbers because they are mostly “struggling readers”. They have difficulty reading and spelling words in English, so we use English flashcards with eye-catching pictures. We never forget to compliment and reward them if they do well in the activity.


This school is also very close to us because it has been our school partner ever since GFF HELPS started here in the Philippines. The teachers knew all of the previous representatives and volunteers and never failed to support us in every activity for their school. This year, they are still with us, and we have developed a strong relationship with their students. Our Remedial Classes usually focus on reading for lower levels and answering varied worksheets for higher levels. If there’s a global celebration to observe, we discuss and provide activities for them related to that celebration. The teachers always include our activities in their reports.


This school year, we had a new school partner, Polo Elementary School. This school is the farthest of all our school partners. This is located in the heart of Polo Village and has a cozy ambiance. We have to travel by bus or jeep to reach this town. Our schedule is also at noon after the lunch break of the students. The teachers and the students welcomed us warmly. We are conducting Remedial Classes for students in Grade 2 to Grade 6. They were all labeled as “struggling readers” by their teachers.

We use Filipino and English words for reading and spelling. We usually make a spelling drill and reward them with stamps. Students are eager to learn and motivated by the stamps. They are always excited when they see us enter their school. The teachers were grateful for our presence, and they always prepare some snacks for us.


As the Team embark to a new town, and find what is the best for them, we planned on visiting the Seafood Capital of Aklan Province, the New Washington town, which is 10 kilometers from the GFF HELPS Office in Kalibo Town. It is in the Eastern part of Panay Island, facing Sibuyan Sea, hence always prone to flood and red tide. It is approximately 5 kilometers from the Kalibo International Airport. Transportation are often tricycles and multicabs, and mostly are routing to the Kalibo Town. The residents in this town are used to walking to the nearest Town Center, Town Market, Town Church. Their Municipal Mayor is Hon. Jessica R. Panambo with 16 village leaders coming from the different sub-barangays.

New Washington is known for being the main producers of seafood, dried fish, shellfish, where many restaurants in Manila order shellfish and other seafood. Some areas are surrounded by human made fish tanks, oysters plantations and other shellfish, hence, it is an agricultural area, with the residents being either the owner or the fishermen/tenants of fishing boats while housewives tend to look for their children, they sell their husbands’ harvested fish, oysters, shellfish, and cooking fishball, barbecue, fried banana, cooked vegetables, and other street food for that could help them add for their daily needs.

The children are studying in a government-funded school, Mabilo and Tambak Elementary Schools, and New Washington Elementary School, and Comprehensive High School for middle school.

by Mr. JOHN BARRERA (Senior Hair Cutter/Hair Stylist)

Haircuttign seminar is the highlight this October. It was held last 23rd October and LP and Stef lead the program by introducing the GFF HELPS before the semianr started and giving of Certificates to John and the participants after the seminar.

The dropped out youth and adults was able to gain knowledge and ideas on haircutting for men and women through the help of John Barrera, a Senior Hairstylist in a Local Salon in Kalibo Town. He managed to talked about the trainings and seminars he had at the age of 18, he has been working in the field of haircutting and styling for 15 years now. He also talked about the different materials used in haircutting and the salary of every employee and part-timer. He also demonstrated how to cut male and female’ hair with the proper use of tools. The 19 participants really enjoyed and learnt at the same time. They are also askign about the next seminar that we would give them.