About a month ago Goducate began to send out Goducate Tent Schools (GTS) teams to help rehabilitate schools in North Panay damaged in early November by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda). Before then the teams had been busy designing and making the tents and roof coverings.
The 4 teams (5-6 members per team) are based in their respective base-camps in the following towns—Lemery, Concepcion, Mambusao, and Carles. From their base camps the teams go to damaged schools to cover roofless classrooms with tarpaulins, and to set up specially designed tent-classrooms to replace damaged classrooms declared unsafe. These teams are supported by the GTS engineering team, logistics team, and accounting team. When classrooms are covered or replaced, classes can resume “normally.”
So far we have helped 38 schools, covered 63 classrooms with tarpaulins, and set up 18 tent-classrooms. There are still hundreds of damaged classrooms in North Panay that we hope to rehab.
After GTS helps restore the physical condition of the classrooms in a school, we organize a Goducate Teachers’ Appreciation Day for the teachers of the school. Many teachers have themselves lost their homes and have had to teach in roofless classrooms and work overtime to do make-up classes for their students. They are Typhoon Haiyan’s unsung heroes/heroines.
Goducate provides gifts to the teachers, and our community development workers (CDWs) who are trained in massage therapy pamper the teachers with “spa” treatment. We then give blank thank-you cards to the students to write their personal thank-you messages to their teachers. Many teachers are so moved by the messages that they cry uncontrollably before the whole school. One teacher remarked “In the past we organized the Teachers’ Day activities in our school. This is the first time someone else has organized a Teachers’ Appreciation Day for us. We are so touched!”
After the Goducate Teachers’ Appreciation Day, we work with the teachers to do “remedial” classes for students (most of whom have fallen behind in their studies because of the disruption by Typhoon Haiyan). Our CDWs also work with the Parents-Teachers Associations to hold community classes on public health, nutrition, agriculture, and livelihood skills. This community work will intensify when summer holidays begin in March, and our CDWs can focus their energies on communities (rather than remedial classes).
Goducate is planning to send its 5th GTS team to Leyte (near Tacloban) to do similar rehab work.
Roofless classroom covered by tarpaulin by Goducate team
Damaged classroom replaced by Goducate Tent School
Goducate Teachers’ Appreciation Day