A team of administrators and trainers from the Goducate Training Center (GTC), Iloilo, The Philippines, went to Sabah last month on a vision trip. Much had been heard about the Goducate work in Sabah, but so much more was seen.
The first kampong (village) that the GTC team visited was so obscure that it’s hard to believe a community lives there. The hike was challenging, but nonetheless the trip was fulfilling when we reached the Goducate Literacy Center there and interacted with the people. Since we went with the local Goducate health educator, and since two of our team had been trained as nurses, simple medical services were given. Many of the adults there are hypertensive, probably because of their high-salt diet. One teammate encouraged the people to eat raw Malunggay (moringa) leaves, which are very rich in nutrients. When she demonstrated to them how do-able it is, the look on their faces was something to behold.
More and more kampongs were visited, and the general impression that the team had was that all the pupils were so eager to learn. For these underprivileged children, learning is so valuable that even without tables and chairs and with very minimal space, they are happy to cram into a shanty that serves as classroom. The students were confident when they stood up to greet us with their “Good Morning Sir.. Good Morning Mam”. Their situation in life didn’t deter them from believing in themselves and having an appropriate self-concept. A big factor, I believe, is our literacy program. Knowing how to read, write, count, and speak English has done so much to boost their morale. Many of those who have already graduated from the program have chosen to remain and be volunteer teachers. That way they continue their learning, help the younger ones, and earn money at the same time.
Our team did not let pass the chance of conducting a one-day seminar. Around 35 teachers were gathered from the various literacy centers. Team-building games and activities were introduced for the teachers to use in their classes, as were songs about maths and science. The teachers participated very enthusiastically. Everyone also gave full attention to the inspiring lecture on “Attitude” and interacted with the speaker. A special session on personality development was given to the group of young teachers after the seminar.
This Sabah trip was an eye-opening experience. It introduced the GTC team to a population of needy people in Asia they were unfamiliar with. It will certainly help the GTC staff to tailor their training for those trainees who might be selected to help out in Sabah.
I visited the Goducate Children’s Home in Cambodia again recently to see what new strategies could be applied to significantly improve food sufficiency for the children and staff at the Home. One of these focuses on rice production at two separate lowland parcels with an aggregate area of 0.8 hectare.
The past attempts in growing rice at the Home led to yields that were dismally low because of poor… Continue reading
Earlier this month, Goducate Children’s Home, Cambodia, welcomed 5 new children into the “family”. These children, Nat, Lynn, Kanya, Mon and Nia, come from Battambang, a 12-hour drive away from the Home. They come from very poor homes and have received little education. They came to the Home in hope of a better education and a better life in the future.
The new children were taken for medical check-ups… Continue reading
Since Goducate aims to help needy Asians help themselves, Bangladesh is a country that has attracted its attention.
Recently, Bangladesh was in the news because of a horrific factory collapse that killed over 1100 garment workers. I was in the country when that accident took place.
Bangladesh is the most densely populated large country. It has about 160 million people (half of US population) squeezed into a land… Continue reading