A total of 33 pre-elementary students marked the 11th Moving Up exercises in Sitio Bohoy, Barangay Riotuba, southern Palawan.
The students are beneficiaries of the joint scholarship program of the Gawad Kalinga Foundation’ (GKF) with Coral Bay Nickel Corporation (CBNC) and Rio Tuba Nickel Mining Corporation (RTNMC).
Rosario Dela Cruz, GKF child and youth development coordinator, told Palawan News on Friday that the GKF partnered with the CBNC and the RTNMC after the companies learned about the youth development program of their organization.
“Naging partner ng GKF ang dalawang kompanya sa housing project, tapos po noong nakilala nila ‘yong mga programa ng GK nasama na po ‘yong sa child and youth development tapos nag-co-community organizing na rin kami full package kasi kami,” de la Cruz said.
She added that with the support of the two companies, many children now enjoy the opportunity to attend school and start receiving education, especially the indigenous children in the remote areas.
She said they no longer need to buy school supplies because the program provides them, she added.
“Sila po talaga ‘yong nagbibigay ng suporta sa programa namin kaya napakalaking pasasalamat dahil sila ang nagsisilbing tulay para makapag-aral ang mga kabataan dito lalo na ang mga katutubo na mabigyan ng edukasyon kahit pasimula. Lahat ng kailangan namin ay pino-provide nila ‘yong mga bata di na kailangang bumili ng papel at school supplies dahil may budget na ang kompanya para dito,” she said.
The program covers five schools, namely Sibol Iwahig Elementary School, Bohoy Elementary, Bungkol-bungkol Elementary School, Kinurong Elementary, and Culandanum Elementary School.
The 33 that completed the pre-school program will proceed to Grade 1.
They are part of the 75 scholars under the program with 22 remaining students who will have to return to pre-school again next school year.
Riza Tampalic of Kinurong thanked the GKF and the partner organization for helping to ease the burden of parents in sending their children to school.
“Malaking tulong po ‘yan sa aming mahihirap kasi ultimo laruan nagbibigay sila maliban pa doon sa mga school supplies at libreng school, mas magaan po para sa aming mga magulang yan,” Tampalic said.