Yellow Boat sails for DepEd nationwide PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 10 August 2014 00:00

What started as helping school children of an offshore community in Talon-Talon, Zamboanga City, go to school dry and safe three years ago is now spreading nationwide. The Department of Education (DepEd) is adopting the yellow boat program of the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation (YBHF).

This award winning foundation has been hailed, praised, and recognized by different institutions for helping people living in islands or in offshore communities cross rivers or seas to get into the main land, city, or town to buy things they need and for their children to go to school. And it has worked.

Lives in communities that were given yellow-colored boats named Pag-Asa (Hope) by YBHF have improved. The yellow boat of YBFH has sailed from Zamboanga City to other parts of Mindanao, and chosen parts of Visayas and Luzon where they are needed.  Thanks to the support of YBFH donors coming from all over our country and from abroad.

And now, DepEd will implementing the yellow boat project to help children in far-flung areas go to school fast and safe. Here’s the full news from DepEd (http://www.gov.ph/2014/08/06/deped-increases-support-for-schoolchildren-in-far-flung-areas).

To further increase access to quality education, the Department of Education (DepEd) has partnered with the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation and Bikes for the Philippines to launch the Pedals and Paddles Project—a campaign to bring boats and bikes to schoolchildren in far-flung areas.

Secretary of Education Armin Luistro underscored that the department remains committed to the delivery of quality basic education to Filipino learners—especially to those who live in areas where transportation remains a challenge. He said, “We want to let every student know that we have not forgotten them and that they are not alone.”

“We have identified schools where boats and bikes are important for kids—not only for them to have access to education but also to keep them in school,” Luistro said. He added that through this partnership, DepEd will be able to improve the students’ performance in school by reducing their travel time. This project will also encourage schoolchildren to attend school and perform better.

Students at Janlud Primary School in Libacao, Aklan can get to school in two minutes while their peers at Pangapuyan Elementary School in Talon-Talon, Zamboanga have to ride a boat for 90 minutes to get to school. Travel time for students at Sawmill Elementary School in Masbate also takes up to four hours.

The aim of the Pedals and Paddles Project is to ease the travel time of students through the distribution of boats and bicycles in communities that need them the most.

“This is a simple project but it will touch many lives,” he said. He added that the heart of Pedals and Paddles Project lies in the people’s “personal commitment to the learner and community” to bring the school to the Filipino children.

Luistro highlighted the growing trust of education partners in improving the lot of Filipino learners. He said, “DepEd is very lucky to have many partners that have aligned their projects to wonderful and exciting ventures which engage many of our people.”

He added that DepEd cannot do it alone. He said, “We need everyone’s participation in addressing the growing needs of our learners. With the help of our partners from the non-government organizations, private sector, and other government agencies, we are confident that we can deliver our commitment to public school students—especially those in the far-flung areas. Let us ensure that no learner shall be left behind.”

Each boat costs P10,000, while each bike costs P2,000. Boats will be distributed to communities while the bikes will be given to students from Grades 7-12 and will come with an eight-day training module.

Donations for boats may be sent to the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation, Inc., through their BDO account (Peso Acct. #003170-134579 and Dollar Acct. # 103170-148588), and online through PayPal. Meanwhile, donations for bikes may be sent to Bikes for the Philippines Foundation, Inc. through their BDO accounts (Peso Acct. #5420-128374 and Dollar Acct. #10-5420-128803). For check donations abroad, interested parties can send their donations to Bikes for the Philippines through the following address: Jo Grant, Bikes for the Philippines, Inc., 15 Amber Rd, Westminster, MA 01473.

For more information, please contact the Office of the Undersecretary for Partnerships and External Linkages at (+632) 633-7207, 638-8637, and 638-8639 or email the Adopt-A-School program at aspprogram.center@gmail.com.

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11 ESV

By: Dante Corteza