Monday, 11 July 2011

Current Project 1: The Ormoc Project

The biggest and longest -running project of the Knights of Rizal and Ladies for Rizal Bonn Chapter is the Support for the Educational Programme of a Flood Resettlement Community in Ormoc Philippines or simply, the ORMOC PROJECT. The project is in cooperation with St. Philippine Duchesne's Ormoc Workers Foundation (SPDOWF), through its branch office, the Sacred Heart Children's Educational Center, headed by Sister Iraida E. Sua-An. 

Flashback to 1991, more than 8,000 people in Ormoc City perished from flash floods caused by illegal logging and denuded forests. In response to the pressing needs of the victims of flash floods, the St. Philippine Duchesne’s Ormoc Workers Foundation, Inc. (SPDOWFI) was organized. In addition,  the International Society of the Sacred Heart pulled their resources together to offer help for the rehabilitation of poor victims.

Ormoc City is one of the oldest towns and the pioneer city of Leyte, in southern Philippines.  It is a coastal city and due to its geographical location, Ormoc serves as a catch-basin of the rain water coming from the mountains of the province.

For the past years the SPDOWFI survived through donations from donors and friends of the Sacred Heart.   In 2005, The SPDOWFI was able to provide a resettlement area for 40 families who were not able to avail of the government’s housing program.  These families are now settled within a one hectare compound called Barangay Luna.  Half of the property was allocated for the housing project and the other half has been converted into a herbal organic garden and a learning center for children.


School playground with pre-school under construction

In April 2005, the KOR and LFR unanimoulsy agreed to fund one teacher in the school in Barangay Luna. After clearing out all necessary bureaucratic details, from 2006 up to present, and without interruption, the KOR LFR Bonn Chapter has supported the salary of one teacher in the school.


Following the Rizalian virtues the Groups decided to provide education as a long-term support, while the ideals of Rizal are an important part of the curriculum.

As a bonus for teachers and children, we are also sponsoring the yearly wreath laying ceremony for Jose Rizal, connected with the visit of a nearby Jollibee Restaurant. 

According to UNICEF, children comprise a great bulk of decision-makers whose future individual lives will influence our future as a nation.  Early childhood education is a must because development of children in the first six years will have crucial effect on the future endeavors of the child.  A dynamic and developmentally appropriate program for children can have beneficial results not only in preventing poverty, malnutrition, sickness and other social problems, but can also prepare the child to participate effectively in raising the quality of Philippine life. 
Early Childhood Education Programme of Barangay Luna, Ormoc

The Bonn Chapter decided to support the education of poor children in Ormoc City because we firmly believe in the immortal words of Dr. Jose Rizal that the "youth are the hope of the Fatherland". We also support the wholistic approach of the SPDOWFI and the Sacred Heart Foundation to community organizing. They similarly believe that education is the key for these families to be able to  help themselves and find  hope for a brighter future. 

(written with Sir Celso Lacuna KGOR and Lady Jeniffer Plueckebaum, Chapter adviser)

Do you want to help us in supporting the education of children in Barangay Luna? Please feel free to contact LFR President Lady Helen Lacuna at c.lacuna@t-online.de and KOR President and Chapter Commander Sir Peter Plueckebaum at pppbn@t-online.de.

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