Blog, Events, Hiking, Mountains, Outreach, Socials

Conquering Two Schools and a Mountain

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Taking a step forward, the group, embarks on another challenge – a simultaneous outreach activity covering two elementary schools in the municipality of Alubijid, Misamis Oriental at the same time as support to its education based advocacy. Conquer Mt. Salumayagon and participate in the mountain’s reforestation through a tree growing activity. A jam-packed 2-day activity for the volunteers, indeed!

Sungay Elementary School Profile
Total number of enrolled students: 337
Total number of classrooms: 9
Total number of teachers: 8

Tula Elementary School Profile
Total number of enrolled students: 159
Total number of classrooms: 4
Total number of teachers: 4

Unusual Departure

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At 7:00 AM PhST, a convoy of two trucks through the generosity of the Provincial and Local government of Misamis Oriental were arranged to cater a huge number of volunteers compared to the usual man count, the group needed another means of transportation to accommodate not only the volunteers but also the proportionally increased number of goods to be donated, a sign that the organization is growing in number and in reaching further.

Volunteers

Arrival at Alubijid Municipal Hall

The group safely arrived at the Alubijid Municipal Hall. Covering two schools at the same time, the game plan was to divide the group into Team Sungay and Team Tula for Sungay and Tula Elementary school respectively. Taking advantage of the two sponsored vehicles, the goods as well as the volunteers were segregated accordingly as there were initial assignments cascaded prior the event. During the bumpy and dusty truck rides, the volunteers had a quick huddle to ensure that all were calibrated on the flow of the activity.

Program and Outreach Proper

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Since we already communicated with the contact persons for each school, they were well prepared for the activity that ROTA has set for them. Upon arrival, the children greeted us with their fresh morning smiles and with obvious excitement in their eyes.

The teachers of the school prepared an initial program that ROTA would only need to supplement. The Barangay officials have placed the agreed set-up for the Tippy Tappy hand-washing project made of wood sticks. Also, cauldron and firewood were ready upon our arrival. We were really impressed with the preparation done by the school teachers and the community.

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While the volunteers assigned to the Kitchen Committee were busy preparing the food for the students, the Kids Committee started the distribution of school kits and entertained the students with the following activities:

• Story Telling for all grade levels
• Paper folding (Origami) for Grade 3 to Grade 6
• Drawing and Coloring artworks for Kinder to Grade 2

Tippy Tappy Time!

HTTP is the newest addition to the goods and activities that ROTA is providing. HTTP in ROTA terms means “Handwashing Tippy Tappy Project”. This project aims to increase awareness of proper hand washing and educate the kids and the community about the health benefits that they can achieve with proper hand washing. The HTTP is done by using a plastic container, a rope, a stick and soap. Its set up is designed to make sure that the person keeps a sterile hand while and after washing their hands.

After the activities mentioned above, the students then queued to the HTTP setup to practice the proper hand washing procedure as instructed by the Kids Committee. This is to ensure that their hands are clean prior to eating.

A FULLfilling Day Indeed

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We are very thankful that we have found a sponsor for our feeding activity. Due to limited resources, we are often left to provide sandwiches with minimal nutritional value for their snacks. With 496 students from two schools, it is one of the largest numbers we have served so far.

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Luckily, we came across MASSA Feeding Program, NU Skin Enterprises Philippines, Inc, through a fellow volunteer. MASSA provided us with Vitameal and we used this as the main menu of our feeding project.

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We added sweet potatoes, tapioca pearls, banana and milk to the vitameal to make it taste like the Filipino famous snack, “binignit”. The children enjoyed the vitameals so much they kept coming back for additional servings.

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Pineapple juice was also served as donated by friends from Del Monte Philippines Incorpoated.

Turn Over of Goods (Medicines and First Aide Box)

After the feeding project, we then gathered the students and the parents in the open area of schools. Closing remarks were given by the school principal for Sungay ES and the contact teacher for Tula ES. It was also at this point that we turned over the medicine and first aid boxes to the school officials. The medicines came from the Governor’s office, which were turned over to the Barangay health worker representatives and the Barangay officials.

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The First Aid boxes came from generous people of RDO 98 BIR CDO City which were then mounted in one of the classrooms. The resident nurse made sure to explain to the school officials what each medicine is for and what each medical supply/utensils in the first aid box are for.

Closing Remarks and Pictorials

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The head teacher in behalf of the whole school thanked ROTA for the outreach activity hoping that ROTA will continue to conduct such activities for the kids.

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The day would not end without memories for keeps for the said activity. With the kids holding on to their school kits and wearing genuine smiles, the volunteers who still have a power bank of energy for crazy and fun antics, enjoyed a few moments of fun during the shoot. Surely, all who participated during the activity were happy and have a great story to tell.

Climb and Tree Growing Activity

After the outreach proper, the Sungay volunteers then headed to Tula ES where the other volunteers were waiting. We consumed our packed lunch and prepped for the climb proper. Finally, we started our ascent to Mt Salumayagon around 2:00 in the afternoon carrying our own mahogany seedlings that are to be planted the next day.

The renowned beginner’s trail of Mt Salumayagon disappointed some of the volunteers as it was made even harder by the heavy rain that greeted us on our way to the peak. Facing these challenges, some volunteers suffered injuries due to cramps and slips through the wet trail. Nevertheless, these didn’t stop the group from pursuing the peak and be ready for the scheduled tree growing activity the next day.

Tree Growing has been the new term of the former puffed up term tree planting. It is now named “tree growing” as it demands another process, not just the act of planting the seedlings. We planted the seedlings that we brought from the foot of Mt. Salumayagon. Following the tree growing activity process, ROTA will then set a time period before we will come back and nurture the seedlings that we planted.

Reaching New Heights

For nearly four years since it’s established, we have seen the growth and development of the organization. Not just in numbers, but also in how we operate, approach and in services provided to the communities we visit.

ROTA volunteers featuring Malaswang

The HTTP and feeding is a testament that ROTA is expanding its reach and raising the bar. We cannot do this without the support of individuals and companies who believe in our advocacy and ideals.

We look forward in celebrating new peaks and sharing more precious moments in the years to come.

Sungay E/S Photos →

Tula E/S Photos →

Fun climb & Tree growing Photos →

 

Blog, Events, Hiking, Outreach, Stories

A Walk to Inspire

A bit delayed

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While waiting for the vehicle that will transport the group to Alubijid, they were joyously gathered at the old Park cafe at Divisoria. The gloomy weather had contributed a lot in their mood and everybody enjoyed chit chatting with their fellow volunteers whom most of them can only be seen in ROTA activities. A few minutes later, they finally noticed that it was already pass the scheduled time to depart from CDeO. However, they never felt any anxiousness because of the good company that they provide for each other. A few minutes more, Sir Tristan Ares from the LGU of Alubijid arrived and went to fetch the goods that we will give to the school. The jeepney then followed and they all headed to Alubijid Municipal Hall to meet the other volunteers.

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Gloom some more

While the group was heading to Sitio Taparak where the jump off site is located, the weather seemed to be really in favor for the activity of the group. Its gloominess had gloomed some more creating an obviously motivating atmosphere for everyone. Upon arriving at the jump off site, the group was quick to unload the goods and their personal stuff to get ready for the trek.

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Just like every trek of the group, the journey always starts with a prayer and asks for protection and guidance. After that was a quick orientation done by the committees and then the group headed to Lonsi Elementary School. They made it to the school in no less than an hour of walk.

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Lonsi Elementary School Profile
Total number of enrolled students: 88
Total number of classrooms: 5

When the volunteers were caught off guard

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The volunteers were not ready for the warm welcome that the School has prepared for them. They were just so surprised when they were greeted by the school in-charge with a copy of a program flow with the picture of ROTA volunteers. Not only that, soon they learned that the nicely built back draft of their mini stage was made by the teachers and parents who stayed late the night before the outreach just to surprise the group. They also prepared some dance numbers that made the volunteers dance as well.

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They thought it was all that the teachers have prepared but they were once again surprised, this time even more, since they were asked to do an impromptu dance number for the students. The volunteers happily accepted the challenge and just danced their hearts out through the beat of the music.

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It’s their turn

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When all of the surprises were done through the prepared program flow of the teachers, it was then the turn for the volunteers to return the surprise to the teachers, students and their parents. The volunteers just continued the program and started working. The Parent committee gathered the parents and had a discussion about the rights and had an interactive discussion about the rights and responsibilities of a child. While doing this, the kids committee was busy doing fun-filled games to the kids.

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The volunteers happily participated in every game while waiting for the kitchen committe to finish cooking the “Binignit” using the very nutritious Vitameal from MASSA Feeding Program, NU Skin Philippines Enterprises through Sir Rolando Delfin. When the kitchen committee signaled that the food is ready for serving, the kids were instructed to line up at the HTTP sites for them to be taught on how to properly wash their hands before eating.

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Shoes + Pencil

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While everyone was eating, the group sneakily prepared the shoes to be given away. They placed it near the stage since the measurements will be done there. Afterwards the program continued and the student piled near the stage with noticeable excitement in their eyes knowing that not soon enough, they will receive new pair of shoes.

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When a student finally gets his turn to fit for his size of shoes, he’s also given two pencils  from Climb Against Cancer Pilipinas, that he can use in school.

Closing Remarks and Pictorials

The head teacher in behalf of the whole school thanked ROTA for the outreach activity hoping that ROTA will continue to conduct such activities for the kids. They greatly appreciated the group’s effort from production of the goods to the mere transporting of the goods from their origin to their school.

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The group also planned to make a video from the outreach activity that they have done. A part of this video was to interview random people who participated in the event.

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Many had informal answers yet relevant. One person said she was moved by the group’s advocacy. Another said she was inspired to give back so that the kids may see its value and soon also give back in their own little ways. One said that the children’s effort in going to school no matter the distance draws her inspiration in joining outreach activities. And the count of stories goes on…

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These kinds of stories may be informal and said quietly, yet it is the most sensitive of all. Perhaps these are the kind of stories that made each member of the group decide to join outreach activities. Simple yet inspiring.

More photos →