Gawad Kalinga

Archive for October, 2009


by admin on Oct.25, 2009, under CYD SIBOL Program

henmarJust one school year ago, I realized that if you really want to not just see but effect change in the lives of our poor brethren, it takes only our hearts to start and make that difference.  With passion for service and heart for the kids as their only source of inspiration, the volunteer teachers were able to not just run three SIBOL schools, including Henmar SIBOL School, but along the way overcome overwhelming obstacles as they take on the objectives of being able to impart learnings and wisdom to the kids under their care.

 After a year of personal sacrifices, it paid off.  SFC Singapore, thru word of mouth and documentary requirements, informed the program that our new school year will be completely under their care in terms of financial requirements, not just for the program to run good but to run in excellence.  And after a month after opening the school year, the teachers are but up in the challenge of being able to provide excellent mentoring to the kids and providing the necessary program and activities for the kids to enhance nut just their intellectual capabilities but their social and emotional capabilities as well.  With these in mind, allow me to share to you Maam Carolyn’s narrative report for the month ended July 2009.

 The Month of July for Henmar SIBOL School…By: Maam Carolyn C. Gibertas

 In the month of July, we tackled in class three different topics, namely; Body Parts, Talents and Skills.  As a process, pictures of body parts are shown to the Sibol kids for them to identify and indeed it was easy for them to tell the part.  And to allow them to internalize how these parts are taken care of, various activities are made such as the proper brushing of the teeth, combing hair, washing the hands and the feet.  It was also introduced to them as well the senses like, tasting, touching, hearing and smelling.  I noted that the most attractive for the kids was the counting of the heartbeats or pulse because there were questions that were raised like, “Is there something in our wrist why it seems like something is beating in there?”  I realized how curious they are so I need to be able to satisfy them by giving those detailed answers for them to be satisfied.  Aside from the activities, values were also taught with topics like “God made us special” through a story telling sessions that would allow them to appreciate how special they are in the eyes of our Creator.  At the end of the month, various talents like singing, dancing and poetry reading were shown during the Culmination Activity for the Nutrition Month and observed that slowly the kids developed their own talents.

 As per student assessment for the month, I observed that there are only a few days in which all thirteen of my pupils are present.  Along the few reasons are health problems and when parents brought with them the kids when they go out of the GK site.  I also observed that most of them are playful that’s why I think of ways to incorporate learning in there playtime to greatly motivate them.  As the days passed I saw kids having group of friends already in the class and during group activities, I observed that each of them participates in whatever task that they are assigned to do.  Some of the learning they already absorbed are the identification of letters, the primary and secondary colors, big and small objects and various things in opposites.  As to reading capability, though some are still coping, but I also see others who are fast learners.

 As per my personal assessment, I believe that the delicate task of imparting learning to the kids is a challenging one, I need to be able to adjust quickly to address the kids different behaviors and abilities and especially their interests.  Their having a high level of energy inside and outside of class enables me to stretch my patience to the fullest so that I will be able to handle them well.  My most important challenge is to be able to grasp their attention each day as I introduce new topics and to overcome that, relevant and attractive ways are done with the materials for them to be curious.

 Maam Carolyn will have to go through two rides each day from their home to the SIBOL School just to be with the kids for their class.  As I personally talk to here about how she was able to appreciate such an obstacle, she said that all difficulties that she undergoes completely vanish every time she would see her pupils learned something at the end of each class.

 To all SIBOL volunteer teachers, you are all living heroes indeed.

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by admin on Oct.25, 2009, under CYD SIBOL Program

ester trinidadestertrinidadEster Trinidad SIBOL school will always be a reminder and a source of inspiration that if only we will be present in GK sites, we will see changes in the lives of the people that we are helping.  A year ago, a daughter of a kapitbahayan member volunteered to be a SIBOL teacher in the school.  With her is a heart that believes that blessings are to be shared and her way of sharing that blessing is to be a mentor of the very GK Village that she and her family is living in.  Despite her personal wants to be completely compensated, she believes that the fulfillment she felt for being able to mentor the young is completely enough compensation for her service in the program. 

 And this school year, with Ester Trinidad SIBOL school as one of the recipients of the financial support extended by SFC Singapore, she believes she would be able to bring out in her the full potential knowing that more time will be spent knowing the ways for the kids to develop their full potential as well and that activities due to them will not be hampered anymore by mere reason that monetary considerations are absent. And helping her this time as a volunteer teacher as well is another homegrown volunteer, Maam Glayza, together they synergize so that more and effective learning will be available to the kids they loved and mentor.  Below is their narrative report for the month of July 2009.

 Ester Trinidad SIBOL School in July…

By: Maam Janeflor Bonite & Maam Glayza Galgao

  Ester Trinidad SIBOL school has two class schedules, in the morning from 8:30am to 10:30am and in the afternoon from 1:30pm to 4:00pm with a total of 26 learners enrolled.  During the month of July, we tackled in our classes the parts of the body and the different senses.  Different activities were done and appreciated, like the functions of the masks and the gloves, collage making as well was done, finger printing, food tasting and proper ways of brushing the teeth, identifying objects or things through smelling and tasting.  We also tackled identifying colors, shapes and sizes of things, counting and writing numbers and letters as well as the marungko approach.  These are important so that they would be able to identify and appreciate each part of the body as well as its different functions.  The process as well hope to allow them to realize that everything was God given and by taking care of them expresses their appreciation to the Creator.

 Per student assessment, at the start of the school year, most of them cannot properly read or write, does not know the proper way of handling the pencils and coloring tools.  Most of them are not that interested to participate in the class discussions.  But along the way as we patiently and consistently teach them, we observed that there are changes that are visible.  Reading as well is one of the challenging things that we continuously hope for them to master as we go on with our daily classes.  We observed as well that some are asking a lot of questions related to the topics given.  Some as well have so much level of energy during our playtime that we must adjust to be able to appreciate their need for intervention.  At the end of the first month, it is heart warming to observed that kids’ social, physical, mental and spiritual aspects have improved.

As teachers as well, indeed it is a challenging work, we need to be able to look into the students as a whole so as not to allow them to think of biases within the classroom.  We realized that it’s not easy to deal with kids given their different and unique abilities, so we need to be patient and adjust to such behaviors and understand.  We need to be completely open minded in dealing with them and to know beforehand the instructional materials that we are to prepare so that it will be suited for them and in the process enable them to absorb the ideas behind the topics.

 The Ester Trinidad SIBOL School had gone through tough times even at the point of not being able to open because of funding constraints but because of having volunteers like Maam Bing and Maam Glayza who has the heart too great for discouragements to overwhelm, the School will be opened as a bastion of learning for the kids in the GK Site.  More power teachers and GK Butuan is very proud of you both.

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GK Abilan SIBOL Program

by admin on Oct.21, 2009, under CYD SIBOL Program

Maam Ishell with SIBOL kids

Maam Ishell with SIBOL kids

Abilan GK Village started out its SIBOL School a year ago with a daughter of a homeowner, Maam Rochelle Barbac, as a volunteer teacher giving out classes, whole day on Sundays despite being a working student on weekdays.  In that whole school year teacher Rochelle has to undergo so many struggles to be able to impart knowledge & wisdom to the young knowing that in the first place, she isn’t even formally schooled as a teacher.  What she believes she has proves to be the very reason for being able to overcome such hurdles, which is her having that big heart for the kids.  All that sacrifices proves to be very important because after that very grueling year of running the program purely with the heart, people with so many blessings acknowledge that sacrifice and in return committed to fund the upcoming school year with whatever is needed to be able to optimize the presence of SIBOL School in the village.

And now, after a few months since the new school year opened up, allow me the honor to share to you what transpired within the SIBOL program of Abilan GK Village starting up with this monthly report submitted by Maam Ishell Barbac, the sister of the previous volunteer because she has to focus on her schooling.  As I draw inspiration from these teachers who are in the ground having relationships with the community, I am hoping that you will as well be inspired by these pure hearted persons who will stop at nothing just to be able to inspire the young to dream.

 My Life as a SIBOL teacher…by: Maam Ishell Barbac

 For the whole month of July, we tackled the parts of the body as our area of discussion.  How do we call each part, how to take good care of those parts and most important of all, the functions of each part.  A lot of activities were done in order to allow the pupils to fully comprehend the lessons.  To emphasize the function of the ears, we simulated animal sounds and other sounds that give loud and soft sounds.  As to the function of the nose, things around us become a tool for us as the kids were asked to identify if it’s a good smell or a bad one.  The class as well undergone food tasting to identify the different taste of the foods prepared before them, if it’s sweet, sour, salty & bitter.  The proper brushing of the teeth and hand washing was emphasized as well.  As to the hands, the pupils were asked to trace with their pencils the right & left hands and at the same time a fingernail inspection was conducted.  I believe the most attractive activity for the kids that we had was when we conducted dancing and singing sessions and when rhymes and poems were recited.

            At the end of the month, we celebrated the culmination of the nutrition month.  The program hopes to impart to the kids the importance of health and the very nutrients that our bodies needed and as to what kind of food where these nutrients are found. 

            Per my observation of the SIBOL kids, I found out that they are curious, imaginative, observant, self reliant, attention seeker, sensitive and sweet.  During class discussions, fast learners tend to be cooperative while others seem to be frustrated, unstable and egocentric but all of them actively cooperate during story telling time.

            As I slowly absorbed my being a school teacher, my patience & understanding is put to the test, as I guide the kids and iron out their differences so that order will be observed in the class.  I need to be able to try acting and do imaginative things just for them to follow and listen to my instructions.  More importantly, I need to make sure that every single word I say will not make a negative impression on them since they are retaining in mind everything I say.  I need to always remind them of the class rules so that it will be inculcated in their young minds at the same time encouraging them to participate in whatever activities we will be doing especially the slow learners.  I always ask them questions that will attract their attention so that they can take part in the activity.  Most of all, I realize that by continually praising them in every good deed, they would seem to participate more actively.

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There is no greater heart than a heart of a volunteer..

by admin on Oct.18, 2009, under Volunteer Support

heroes in actionWelcome to the home of heroes of Gawad Kalinga Butuan, I believe this site has been long overdue, knowing that for almost a decade now, we have done so much for Butuan & Agusan del Norte in terms of reaching out to our least brethren who are truly in need of hope & help in allowing them to dream once more thereby allowing us to be part in building that dream, a dream of a future full of hope.  Allow me as well to mention that most of us GK volunteers of Butuan had been instrumental, & I believe will always be, in the opening up of different villages in the region outside of Butuan/Agusan del Norte & more importantly was able to inspire other volunteers in those areas as the same time bringing out the heroism in them.

 As a maiden post to this refuge, allow me to honor all of the UNSUNG living heroes of GK Butuan, who like the very source of our inspiration, would put to stake his life for the sake of the vision of Gawad Kalinga, I honor you all, for despite so much struggle that you have to go through personally, you never for once thought of giving up on the people you’ve come to love and help rise out of that hopeless situation & instead use the very work of loving the least to draw strength in overcoming that struggle.  I honor you all for the boldness & courage to stand your ground when persecutions & rejections are hurdled upon you, all because of your deep love for the least.  Allow me to quote one of the beatitudes, “Happy are you when people hate you, reject you, insult you & say that you are evil, all because of the Son of Man & His teachings.  Be glad when that happens and dance for joy, because a great reward is kept for you in heaven.  For their ancestors did the very same things to the prophets”.  I honor as well our GK elders who nurtured us like sons & daughters, molding us to love our God and Country with so much passion and conviction, for allowing us to draw so much inspiration & wisdom in doing this great work of Nation & Kingdom building.  Most of all, I would like to honor our God for allowing us to see His son Jesus Christ in the poor that we give care, our very reason for doing this work, for allowing us to put to action our faith in Him, for praising Him in a concrete way, for allowing us to be invited & enlisted in this great work which Christ Himself started more than two thousand years ago and along the way allowing us to endure despite so much reason to give up.

 Let this refuge be another source of inspiration for us as we walk the path to Heroism.

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