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.”
“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.
Reading Workshop & Mobile Library
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.
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.