NY FilAms Fight Poverty In Samar 2009: Manila Philippines

NY FilAms fight poverty in Samar

MANILA, Philippines – Building Futures Together, a New York-based charity organization devoted entirely to fighting poverty in the provinces of Samar island – considered
one of the poorest regions in the Philippines – will host the 10th annual Walk Against Poverty on Sept. 19 at Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens, New York. The fundraiser focuses on the organization’s literacy program, with Samar having the lowest literacy rates in the Philippines that lead to poverty and population explosion. “You hardly see books, magazines, or other printed material in the province, they are not easily or readily available,” said Building Futures Together founder Loudette Avelino. The organization’s literacy program launched in 1996 and called “Reading Is Fun” was a huge success, according to Avelino. The importance of reading was emphasized to children and adults in Samar, with tables stacked with various reading materials. Avelino said the children made a beeline for the books. They were not prompted by anyone and there were no signs to guide them to the books. She said this only demonstrated that when books are around, children will pick them up whether or not they can read. The components of the organization’s literacy program are: to provide the necessary relevant books (leisure books, reference books, dictionaries) and other reading materials and computers to beneficiary elementary schools so that they can set up a working library, and to provide support materials to and for the teachers to improve their teaching skills. These elementary schools are Acedillo, Alibaba, Anislag, Binaliw, Cabacungan, Caba-tuan, Cagbayang, Cagmanipis, Camarubuan, Carayman, Car-men, Macatinog, Mag-Ubay, Malajog, Mawacat, Nijaga, Obrero, Palale, Patong, Pena, Pilar, San Joaquin, Sigo, and Timanbacan.
Because of the books from Building Futures Together, Avelino said Palale Elementary School won an award from the Philippine Department of Education as the “most prepared school in Region 8” to begin the school year, beating a school in Leyte, while Acedillo Elementary School received funding from the barangay for the construction of a school library.

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