Outreach and Reach Out!
Do you want to reach that place in the sky? Then come to Kibungan, Benguet. It is a 3-4-hour drive from Baguio City. The picture was taken in Batangan, Kibungan, Benguet. It is more or less 10-hour hike from Poblacion. This is one area that my brother and his companions went to this time. They have been to Badeo, Tableo and Mocgao. There are at least five more schools they need to visit namely Tawang, Palipey, Proper, Bekes, Coliang and maybe more.
He and some other volunteers goes to every school in Kibungan especially those that are far away from town and located deep in the heart of that place. They have to hike many hours just to reach these schools. They bring with them loads of school supplies, slippers and even computer, whatever the schools and the kids needed.
The picture above is taken at Batangan Elementary School. This is a six-roomed classroom. There are 79 students here in this school and there were only 4 teachers teaching in each grade.
The one on the right most front row side is Ma'am Margaret, the principal of the school. Only 4 of those in the picture are teaching there. The others were teachers from other schools. They were there during that time because an assessment is going on and they have to test students and whoever tops the test will represent each school.
The computer above was bought and brought by my brother and his co-volunteers. What they do and most volunteers do is that they collect fee from the participants in the outreach program and whatever money they collect, they use that to buy supplies they will bring to the schools. Aside from that, they will also ask from helpful donors for other goods such as clothes, financial aide, etc. It was only last month that this area was able to have electricity. They were using solar power then and even up to now.
Some of these kids do not live near the schools. They have to hike 1-2 hours just to get to school. These schools are situated in places near enough within the community for these kids to reach them.
The first picture below is the teacher's cottage. They are still using open fire for cooking. There are no stoves available.
The people of Kibungan are farmers. They plant rice but not for commercial purposes. They farm their own food to eat. Aside from rice, they also plant vegetables and other root crops. People of Kibungan are generally kind and the kids are really shy but warms up once they got used to you.
It's really admirable what the plight of the teachers here in Kibungan. Kudos to them for doing what the best they can to teach kids and for the their love and passion for teaching. They deserve every help they can get.