Paranaque, May 2017 – young professionals and students helped build a better place for education by sharing their time, energy, and resources with the La Huerta Elementary School (LHES) community on the last day of Department of Education’s Brigada Eskwela 2017.
Brigada Eskwela, formerly known as Oplan Balik Eskwela, is a week long campaign (May 15-20, 2017) of DepEd in gathering stakeholders, government units, companies, civic groups, and volunteers to help prepare the school buildings prior to class opening.
Although practiced before, it was only in 2003 that it was formally launched. In line with this year’s theme: Isang DepEd, Isang Pamayanan, Isang Bayanihan para sa Handa at Ligtas na Paaralan S.Y. 2017-2018, 26 youth volunteers, signing up through iVolunteer Philippines, joined hands with the faculty, parents, and volunteers from other organizations in readying LHES for the opening of the new school year on June 5.
In addition to the usual clean-up of school surroundings, smoke alarms were also installed along hallways and inside the classrooms.
The iVolunteer staffs, members of Archdiocese Commission on Youth – Young Adult Ministry, and representatives of private institutions rolled up their sleeves to paint school walls and tidy homerooms. The participants were a blend of regular and first-time attendees. They came from different areas of NCR and have diverse backgrounds.
Amid their individuality, the pursuit of a single advocacy is proof that the spirit of service, initiative, and bayanihan is not dead among the tech savvy generation.
The event also served as a venue for iVolunteer’s 10th Community Meet-up. During debrief, father of staff, Kei Cadelina, says that it is nice to see young people doing their share of social responsibilities. Both of Kei’s parents were present to support the promotion of volunteerism.
Also part of concluding Brigada Eskwela 2017 at LHES were: SM Cares, A Journey of Hope, Cornerstone, and Barangay officials – a total of 190 advocates. Ma’am Dolly Sancon, grade six teacher, said that the brigade seems to be more successful this year, both in terms of attendance and donations received.
Ultimately though, success is measured as the translation of the volunteers’ efforts to a more peaceful school environment with more motivated students.
by Gie Maningas and Kaye Marcelino, iVolunteer