I was invited by Ariel Lalisan to be a volunteer of Sarangani Big Brother (SBB). Though it was its last day, I am still thankful that I witness it and contribute my service to the students of Sarangani.
Ariel Lalisan and I, along with the Bundol Mountaineers, documented the culmination of SBB last April 30, 2013 in three schools in Maasim, Sarangani Province. These schools were Maasim Elementary School in Poblacion, Maasim; Happy Valley Elementary School in Basel, Maasim; and Ireneo E. Lopez Elementary School in Lumasal, Maasim. Ariel interviewed the volunteers, teachers and students of SBB; I photographed and documented it while the Bondul Mountaineers (Jo-art Baguian, Mardy Buletoy, Desmark, Landero & Jomar Besana) assist Ariel in making the documentary video.
“Sarangani Big Brother: Reading is Fun is a summer volunteer program designed to assist the Department of Education (DepEd) in eliminating frustration and instructional readers among incoming Grade II and III pupils. ‘Frustration Readers’ are those who can identify words but have inadequate or no comprehension at all.” It was conceptualized by the Quality Education for Sarangani Today (QUEST). Their missions are:
• To reduce the number of frustration readers by providing a fifteen-day reading program for at-risk schoolchildren,
• To develop a strengthened relationship between schools and its partners in the community
• To raise awareness in the community that education is a community concern;
• To instill the values of volunteerism among the youth;
• To develop leadership capabilities of youth leaders;
• To provide educational enrichment in an enjoyable atmosphere for pupils
When I was there, I took the opportunity to interview some of the volunteers of this program. Luckily I have friends and batch mates in college who are volunteers of SBB. Like Myra A. Maulana, a volunteer teacher of SBB, said that volunteering in this program is a fun and once in a lifetime experience. Despite the obstacles they’ve encountered, they still continue to educate the students of Sarangani. They climbed mountains to educate our fellow Indigenous People (I.P.) especially the children. Rain or shine, with or without funds, they are passionate to educate these students.
I have a great admiration to those teachers who practice their profession in the remote areas in our country. In volunteering in various NGOs, I have witness some of them passionately teaching these students in those areas. I salute them for their genuine service to the communities and to the country. I hope that this program will still continue despite the coming of the new administration in Sarangani Province. As what Mother Teresa said, “Love has to be put in action and that ACTION is SERVICE.”
Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.