As Pusong Pinoy launched its 2014 FOOD FOR THOUGHT Food Drive, here's a closer look at the recipients of this project.
DUEG RESETTLEMENT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, one of the recipients of our 2014 Food Drive, is located in Sitio Dueg in Barangay Maasin, San Clemente, Tarlac in the Philippines. It is hundreds of feet above sea level and is adjacent to the mountains of Zambales. It is the resettlement area for the Aeta community affected by the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in the early 90s. There are currently over 400 settlers in the area.
The closest school in the community is located at the foot of the mountain. Due to the very rough terrain with steep curves, mud and rocks, the only means of transportation to get to the school is by a passenger "dump truck". As the community grew over the years, the Department of Education (DepEd) built a school to cater to the growing population of the children in the community which is now known as the Dueg Resettlement Elementary School.
The school is led by a very passionate principal, Mrs. Claudia Toledo. She has a pool of dedicated teachers who contribute 100 pesos a week from their meager salaries to cook porridge for the students to motivate them to attend the school. The teachers sleep at the school during the week and only see their families on the weekends, because traveling to their homes at the foot of the mountain can only be done once a week. There is no electricity or other form of comfort or entertainment at the school.
The Aeta children live very poor lives. Although they are used to this kind of living as passed down by older generations, it is a pity that they do not even have the comforts experienced by poor children in the lowlands. They sometimes eat only once a day. The children sometimes come to school with a packed lunch of rice and siling labuyo (wild chili) or ginger. These children do not even know how some food items taste. It is no surprise that many of them are considered malnourished by the DepEd. Ultimately, children who come to school hungry or are chronically hungry will not perform well in school.
For our 2014 Food Drive, we are asking donations towards the purchase of RICE and POWDERED MILK. The Aeta children rarely drink milk. It is a rare luxury in the community. On March 22, 2014, Pusong Pinoy will once again go to the community to bring food items from this food drive and pairs of slippers from our Project Tsinelas. A feeding event is also planned during the turnover.
If you would like to be a part of our 2014 Food Drive, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. To make a donation, please click on the Donate button below. Thanks in advance!