Lemery pupils get learning kits,  school fixtures from RC Iloilo  

“I can’t wait to color my new modules!”

“Me, I want to sit and write in our new sturdy chairs and tables!”

Thus said in vernacular by 5-year-old kindergarten classmates Stephanie and Michelle, respectively, after receiving their own set of learning materials and fixtures from the Rotary Club (RC) of Iloilo this Sunday morning, October 16, in Brgy. Nasapahan, Lemery, Iloilo.

The two and all their 64 other schoolmates from the Kasapahan Primary School got their own notebooks, pencils, crayons, and worksheets—featuring alphabets, numbers, and tracing figures—from the visiting Rotarians, Rotary-Annes, and “Rota-Kids. The humanitarian-service club also turned over the needed nursery rhyme infographics, steel tables, and chairs to the young public school that currently offers prenursery, nursery, and Grades 1 and 2 programs.

“The students, their parents, and teacher-in-charge were really happy with what they have received from the club today,” barangay chairman Johnny Araño said in Hiligaynon, adding, “we hope to continue our partnership and help improve our school so our kids will be given the kind of education that they deserve.”

According to RC Iloilo President Dr. Wilangelo Mana-ay, it was providential that one of our member Rotarians is also a native of the barangay. While they were conceptualizing a water system project on their first visit to the area, the local officials raised their urgent logistical concerns about their barangay school.

Thereafter, Dr. Mana-ay said: “In God’s great timing, we were able to get donors of the chairs and other learning materials, especially from the owners of Study Habits Tutorial Center (Beatriz and Wenceslao Mana-ay). Everything eventually just fell into place. It was easier for the club to look for other benefactors and volunteers in the process.”  It is worth noting that from the six areas of focus of Rotary International, two of which—basic education and literacy, and water and sanitation—are being considered by RC Iloilo to be implemented in Brgy. Nasapahan, a mountainous rural community that is about 75 kilometers away from Iloilo City.

RC Iloilo Rotary Anns President lawyer Angel Mana-ay, for her part, said: “We thank all the local officials, teachers, and members of the community. Their support and cooperation really made us feel like part of the barangay already which inspired us to go back and partner with them. They made us realize that it is not how much we share, but how much love we put into sharing that matters the most.”

“We are exploring the possibility of adopting Kasapahan Primary School and of initiating different projects such as structural rehabilitation, ALS students engagement, and global grant-level water system project.”

After the turning over of the learning materials and fixtures, the club and volunteers facilitated a series of parlor games with the pupils. It was capped by the distribution of prizes and snacks.   RC Iloilo was chartered in 1933 with three-term vice president Fernando Lopez as its founding president. It is the third oldest Rotary Club in the Philippines and is the “Mother Club” of Rotary International District 3850. It currently has 44 members, all leaders in their own fields and industries in Iloilo. (Text by Herman Lagon; Photos from RC Iloilo files)