The Beginning

Photographed by Dey

When taking down notes, a typical Japanese junior high school student changes the color of his/her pen every time the teacher changes the color of the chalk.

That ALWAYS amazes me.

Although I went to private Catholic schools, my pencil case wasn't as big and bulky as my students'. Theirs are stuffed with pencils, colorful pens, a stick of glue, a pair of scissors, an eraser, correction tape, ruler, etc. Nothing's really amazing with those stuffs, they're all basic school supplies that facilitate learning. But when I first noticed it, I realized that students who grow up in developing countries, especially those categorized below the poverty line, are deprived with enough writing materials. Miserable reality. Disappointing situation.

But NOT a hopeless case.

One night, another advantage of blogging addiction occurred to me when I stumbled upon Nortehanon, a fellow Filipino blogger in Northern Samar who also gracefully hides herself behind the identity of Miss N. Growing up in straitened circumstances, she initiated Pens of Hope when she saw pupils using pencils so short they wrote with difficulty. Realizing their need and right to have better writing materials, she collected pens through her blog site. She found an online community that helped her advertise the program and donated pencils for her beneficiaries. The fulfilling success of the first distribution in December 2008 encouraged her to hopefully conduct the program twice a year. The second distribution is scheduled in June 2009. Click here or on the badge on the right side of my page to know more about how it started.

It came to me as a TAP.

Empathizing the kind of fulfillment Miss N felt, the snoring patriotism in me abruptly and surprisingly showed signs of life and eagerly took the driver's seat faster than I expected. With the permission of the original program formulator, I ended up communicating with my fellow volunteers at Social Involvement Coordinating Office (SICO), the social arm of Ateneo de Davao University (details about them in my subsequent posts). I supposed that if more people are involved, the better it will be implemented. Without exerting much convincing effort, all of them committed to adopt and support this simple, attainable and useful Pens of Hope outreach program in our own hometown, Davao City, Philippines, within a week despite our distant current locations.

It's great to be INVOLVED again.

Find out how we are going to do it and how you can contribute in my next post.

No comments:

Post a Comment