Friday, May 24, 2019

Once Again a Charity Backed by the Freight Industry Provides Practical Assistance

Thanks to Donations Education Again Becomes a Reality for Hundreds of Kids
Shipping News Feature
PHILIPPINES – The world of freight and logistics literally spans the globe, affecting and supporting the lives of every single person on the planet. One of the results of this complexity is the miscellaneous range of beneficial things which arise from the close association between the industry and ordinary people. The range of charity works undertaken by those in the profession is manifold and this week we saw a project which will have tangible effect on the lives of hundreds of children.

Anyone associated with the ocean trade will know of the calamitous record regarding ferry voyages around the more than seven and a half thousand islands that make up the geography of the region. Now, thanks to the Sailors’ Society over 800 kids will be able to attend school, without a hazardous two hour boat trip from their homes on the remote Lipayran island.

The island was devastated by a typhoon in 2013, but this week saw the ground-breaking ceremony for the new school and educational facilities to replace the only current building for secondary pupils, which is little more than a shack and not structurally able to withstand any future tropical storms. Teachers have frequently resorted to delivering classes outside under canvas, and in extreme heat, because of the lack of suitable classrooms.

Lipayran was badly affected by super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) six years ago and has received very little international aid in the intervening years due to its remoteness and lack of infrastructure. Around 75% of the 3,500-strong community rely on seafaring as a main source of income. Sailors’ Society deputy CEO and director of programme, Sandra Welch, commented:

“Although life has returned to normal since Haiyan, the islanders struggle to send their children to school as there is only one school and it’s not big enough to cater for everyone. This means around 50% of children miss out on vital schooling or make the treacherous two hour journey to school on the neighbouring islands of Doong or Bantayan, which can only be done at high tide and in good weather.

”This project will provide safe access to quality education for all of the children of Lipayran. We are very proud to be part of a project which is so sustainable and which can be taken forward by our local partners to deliver the education that the students have a right to receive.”

The new school building, which is planned for completion by the end of 2019, would be able to shelter approximately a quarter of the island population in a disaster situation. The project is being financed by a generous grant from the TK Foundation and funds raised through Sailors’ Society events including the Three Peaks Challenge and Hong Kong Dinner. The school build project is being run in partnership with the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. and the local government (the Municipal of Bantayan and Barangay Lipayran governing council).

As a government-run school, the Department of Education will provide for the ongoing costs of the school including building maintenance, staff salaries and school supplies. The new facilities will include electricity, computers, desks and chairs and once the construction is complete, Water and Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) training will be taught to the residents. Yumi Karlshoej, Member of the Junior Board of The TK Foundation, said:

“The Junior Board of The TK Foundation is very proud to support Sailors’ Society’s seafaring community school project on Lipayran. Encouraging improved education opportunities for children and providing the community on the island with a functioning storm shelter are vitally important. Ever since we at the Junior Board learned about the project, we have been very eager to be involved and support it.”

The Sailors’ Society is a trusted charity partner in the Philippines and has an established track record of delivering projects in seafaring communities there, including rebuilding homes, schools and health centres for the communities of Sulangan, Suba and Ticad in Cebu Province.

Photo: Currently classes often have to be taught under canvas simply so the children receive some sort of education.