BENGUET, Philippines, 14 November 2019 — SSI Group in partnership with Children’s Hour and Department of Science and Technology – Science & Technology Information Institute (DOST-STII) turned over two units of STARBOOKS digital libraries for the benefit of Bio Modol Elementary School (Bio Modol ES) students in Kabayan, Benguet.
On September 14, 2018, Typhoon Ompong (Mangkhut) made landfall in the Philippines and became the strongest typhoon to hit the country in that year, affecting most of Northern Luzon. A huge landslide in Benguet affected many lives including the community of Bio Modol ES in Kabayan, Benguet.
Bio Modol ES is a far-flung barrio, four hours away from the city of Baguio. The school has a population of over 160 pupils from kinder to grade 6, coming from the indigenous people of the Kalanguya Tribe.
SSI Group, awarded as a Children’s Hour One Hour Pioneer Champion for having supported the Foundation since 2011, once again ran the One Hour Campaign among its employees. Their previous One Hour Campaign run provided 500 Happy to Help School Kits to the children of Aklan. This year’s campaign generated donations to provide two units of the STARBOOKS digital library for the benefit of the students of Bio Modol ES.
Present in the turnover were SSI Group HR Executive Ms. Zita Deniega, SSI Group Operations Manager Ms. Juliet Contreras, SSI Group Pampanga Site Operations Manager Ms. Christine Salvacion, Children’s Hour Executive Director Mr. Edgar Geolina, and DOST-STII Research Specialist I Ms. Cecil Dionisio and DOST-STII Project Assistant I Ms. Christine Joy Tayab.
“I hope you'll be able to use our STARBOOKS to further your dreams. Wag kayong matakot mangarap [Don’t be afraid to dream],” said SSI Group HR Executive Ms. Zita Deniega. “So ang bilin ko sa inyong mga bata [So my request to you children is to], make your parents proud. Make your teachers proud. Be the pride of the country.”
Children’s Hour and DOST-STII’s partnership provides Science and Technology Academic and Research-Based Openly Operated Kiosks (STARBOOKS), the first Philippine science and technology digital library, to schools in need of digital libraries. Through STARBOOKS, children from far-flung areas with limited resources for physical libraries are provided with good educational and learning resources to enhance their abilities.
This partnership includes the training of teachers and information technology (IT) personnel who will handle the maintenance and troubleshooting of the system. A monthly assessment with the beneficiary school will also be conducted to monitor and evaluate the proficiency of the children and other STARBOOKS digital library users. This ensures that the new technology which was given to the school will be used to its full capacity and the beneficiaries will take advantage of this generous gift.
Bio Modol ES students welcomed the SSI Group, Children’s Hour, and DOST-STII representatives with performances of their cultural dances tayaw ni bu’bu’ loh (Dance of the Butterfly) and bendian (translates to “dance until you are tired”). The school danced together with their guests.
“Ipinaliwanag naman po ito ng aming mga guro na ang regalong ito ay libro. Napakaraming libro na naglalaman ng hindi mabilang na impormasyon at kwento na magdadala sa amin maging sa labas ng mundo. Sa madaling salita, ay magkakaroon kami ng silid-aklatan. Labis kaming natuwa, maging ang kapwa naming mag-aaral ay natuwa din. Sabik kami sa libro, gustong-gusto po naming magbasa [Our teachers explained that the “gift” were books. So many books that contain countless information and stories that would take us even outside of the world. In other words, we will receive a library. We were overjoyed, even our fellow students were overjoyed. We get excited over books, we love reading so much],” said Bio Model ES students Kyla Nginsayan and Kyreene Ganado in their message of gratitude. “Isa po ‘tong inspirasyon para sa amin na lalo pang pag-igihan ang pag-aral upang balang araw ay susundan namin ang inyong magandang ginawa, ang pagbabalik ng serbisyo sa komunidad na ating kinabibilangan. [This will serve as an inspiration for us to do even better in our studies so that one day, we will follow your good example and be able to serve and give back to the community that we belong to].”
Children’s Hour envisions a nation where Filipino children have access to their basic rights, such as the right to good education, which will allow them to enjoy a happy, safe, and fulfilling future. This is achieved with the help of the foundation’s One Hour Campaign, where they invite individuals and companies to donate at least an hour’s worth of their annual salary. With your continuous support, Children’s Hour can help more children nationwide to achieve their dreams.
See more photos here.