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posted this in Others on Saturday, August 12, 2017

Community Development Programs in Lemery, Philippines, have become sustainable

In 2014, Goducate started its community development work in Lemery through the Goducate Tent School Project. The tent-schools were erected as substitutes for classrooms damaged by Typhoon Yolanda (see blogs Jan 17 and 29, 2014).

Lemery is a fourth-class municipality in the province of Iloilo, Philippines.  The tent-school project was followed by Jr. CDW (Community Development Workers) Club for elementary students, and Basketball Clinics for young men.  This year, local leaders trained and mentored by Goducate are running the community-development programmes.

The Jr. CDW Club in Benjamin Aguilar Elementary School (BAES) is already in its fourth year.  The regular club meeting held in July to kick off a progam to build future leaders was flooded by 48 active and excited pupils.

Junnel Palma, 22 years old, was one of the beneficiaries of the sports clinic held in Lemery.  He has also been on several leadership-training programs at the Goducate Training Center in Iloilo, where he has taken part in the center’s other activities. He is now the coach and the leader of Goducate basketball teams in Lemery, overseeing weekly basketball clinics in two barangays (villages), and training young people there to be competitive and well-rounded players.


Jr. CDW Club in Lemery

Jr. CDW Club in Lemery

In May this year, Junnel was one of the community youth who helped out in teaching children through Goducate’s Vacation Barangay School Program.

Junnel (3rd from left) together with new set of basketball paleyrs after basketball clinic

Junnel (3rd from left) together with new set of basketball paleyrs after basketball clinic

One of the communities that benefited from the Vacation Barangay School was Barangay Batiti, Concepcion Iloilo.  The weeklong child-friendly program was held at the home of Mrs. Cheryll Obillos, a mother of 4.   Nanay Cheryll, as she is called, has been blind since she was 4 years old.  Yet Nanay Cheryll manages her home efficiently, and her positive outlook and deep sense of family spirit have made her respected by her community.  Nevertheless, she and her husband do not earn enough for their children’s school supplies.

Junnel told his basketball players about the needs of Nanay Cheryll’s family. The players responded immediately and cheerfully by donating groceries and school supplies.  They also approached their classmates to donate clothing and toys.  The players personally handed the items to the family in June. The players’ sense of fulfillment was expressed by Junnel, who said, “The most satisfying work is helping others.”

Junnel in Red Shirt, together with basketball players, community youth and Nanay Cheryll's Family

Junnel in Red Shirt, together with basketball players, community youth and Nanay Cheryll’s Family

Goducate’s motto of helping others to help themselves, and getting people to help others after they have been helped, has clearly rubbed off on this group of young people.


*Our guest writer is Joanna De Leon, a community development worker

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