Thursday, March 5, 2015

SULOng SULU: Driving change through used but worthy school supplies

As I go along in my trips, i realized travelling is not just a leisure; Although, yes, it starts that way. The more you explore and seek, the more of this earth that you see.. Pollution, Poverty, Violence, etc.- not always a great beach, falls, river, mountain, etc.

Thus, as someone given the opportunity to travel and see the remotest unheard-of places, and as a human who is capable, it is but a struggle with guilt and conscience, to not act or do something.

In 2015, We worked on rebuilding a school in Brgy Tanduh Dagmay, Patikul, Sulu. We raised funds to finance the construction of seats, boards, doors, ceilings of the classrooms.

Beyond the renovation, with the limited livelihood and the jacked up prices of goods in this secluded area, students don't have resources such as pens, pencils, pads, amongst others.

I remember, back in school, at the end of the school year, we wouldn't even bother about those pens, pencils, crayons we used. They would be left hanging somewhere until they eventually get in the garbage bin. It has been customary to buy new pens, notebooks, crayons, watercolours, rulers, bags, for the new school year. They are cheap, we don't have time to bother, isn't it?

For this, with the participation of a few schools and individuals, we gathered USED pens, pencils, crayons, erasers, pencil cases, bags, water colors, sharpeners, and other school supplies at the end of the school year (last day of classes). The idea was, we requested each class at the last hours and days of classes for items that they would rather let go onto a drop-off box. 

Then later, with some donations to purchase bags as well, we were able to distribute bags with school supplies for not just roughly 100 students of Tandu Dagmay Primary School but also to more than 300 students of Patikul Higad Elementary School.

This Year, 2016, on its second year, the #SULOngSULU project is aiming for all the primary schools in Patikul, Sulu which would be more than 1000 students. (primary schools are branch schools of elementary schools which are much closer to the student villages rather than the more centric, hence farther, main Elementary school. Because of the population distribution and the large geography of Sulu, plus difficulty of transportation, primary schools aims to augment the tendencies of kids not going to school because of the several kilometers they will need to walk if they were to go to the elementary school.)

Why used? Why not… so long as they write, so long as they can color, then they can be used; Besides, in the essence of recycling and climate change, we’d like to maximize our resources. If we just keep disposing and consuming, we are an agent to increasing the demand, a factor to increasing the price, and a burden to these people affording even their basic education. So, if we don't want to use them, let others do.

How You Can Help?

1. Share and spread the article on your social network. Be part of the news.
2. If you know anyone working in a school, or is part of an organization, please refer the site and our contact details. We will love to talk to them about receiving any used school supply.
3.In case it is not feasible to donate your used school supplies, tell your classmates, brothers and sisters that the used ones still work and can be used for the next school year. If you buy new ones instead, you increase the demand, as well as the prices :-) and the more that these people can't buy theirs.

For questions and any other means of help, please contact:

Ian Limbonis
fb: ian limbonis
viber: +63918 662 5987
skype: jibmaxatnewroad


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