The Concept

(Written by Ana K and Kikit)

Learning without a pen is like cooking without salt

Imagine going to school without a pen or pencil at hand. Will you be able to remember everything that your teacher has said? Of course not! Writing has been an integral part of education. It records the lessons and the insights that we gained and allows us to practice what we have learned. When we were younger, we can never answer a simple arithmetic problem without writing it down. And we will never know the correct spelling of a word without writing it down. It is so basic indeed that sometimes, we take it and the tools for writing for granted.

But do you ever realize that for every expensive pen we buy, many little children use pens that are almost running out of ink? That for every pencil we carelessly lost, many students are using pencils too short it makes writing very difficult?


The "Pens of Hope in Davao" is an outreach program initiated to help address the scarcity of writing materials in developing countries like the Philippines. Recognizing the importance of pens and pencils in facilitating learning, the Batch 29 and other alumni volunteers of Social Involvement Coordinating Office (SICO), the soci
al arm of Ateneo de Davao University, committed to adopt the said program originally formulated by Nortehanon, a blogger from Northern Samar.

"Pens of Hope" First Distribution in Northern Samar
Photographed by Nortehanon.

As a start, this program aims to gather and distribute at least 1,000 unused or slightly used pens and pencils. The beneficiaries are yet to be identified by SICO in June but most probably, the beneficiaries are the less-privileged students in a needy community or school of Davao City, the largest city in Mindanao widely known for exported Cavendish bananas, durian, the king of fruits and Philippine eagle, one of the largest eagles in the world.


The committed volunteers behind the project are currently residing in different parts of the Philippines or pursuing their careers outside their home country. With our distance and disperse locations, collection centers are informally established for donors to be able to send their donations to the nearest collection center from their place. The assigned volunteers are responsible for sending the writing materials to the main collection center in Davao before the distribution day.

See list of collection centers at the last part of this entry.


Volunteers will accept writing materials for the first distribution in Davao until
  • June 30, 2009 (at collection centers outside the Philippines)
  • July 31, 2009 (at collection centers in the Philippines)
First distribution in Davao is scheduled in August 2009. Subsequent schedule of distribution will be hopefully determined after the program evaluation.


1. Share your blessings.

Help the volunteers help the needy children of Davao City learn better. Send your unused or slightly used pencils and pens and make a difference. It may be a small gesture but for the beneficiaries, it is already something big.

2. Blog this program.

If you're a blogger, you could hardly survive a day without a pen and paper before you got your computer and Internet connection. Sure enough, the writer in you would want to have a medium to express, an instrument that would let you pour out things that occupy your mind.

Blog this. Use your own unique way with words and give your active readers and even lurkers a chance to reach out and be involved. Besides, you never know how many students will become inspiring writers or bloggers in the future.

3. Spread the word.

At the end of this entry, you will see a white envelope button. Just click it to forward this post to your friends. If you want the usual way, you can simply copy and paste this blog and email it to your contacts. Don't forget to give a link to this site in case they want to be updated.

Even if you don't have a computer, you can still invite others to join the cause by word of mouth. Why don't you talk about something worthwhile while taking a lunch break with your office mates, while chitchatting with you friends or going home with your family?

Pens of Hope in Davao poster is coming soon.
Photographed by Daryl.

Horace said that the pen is the tongue of the mind. Without our tongues, our lives will suffer from deafening silence. Without pens, our lives will also suffer from unexpressed knowledge and emotions.

Join us and prove to the world that hope begins with a simple act of giving. Remember that great things start from small beginnings. Your pens or pencils will really make a big difference!


(For questions, comments and suggestions, email Kikit at or visit her at


A. Main Collection Center

Social Involvement Coordinating Office
Ateneo de Davao University

Jacinto St., Davao City

Phone Number: (6382) 221-2411 local 8329 or 8353
Fax Number: (6382) 221-2411 local 8308

B. Other Collection Centers in the Philippines

Mailah Dosol
Ateneo de Davao High School Unit - Matina Campus
McArthur Hi-way, Matina
Davao City, Philippines

Mabelle Mendoza
BPI Express Banking Center
c/o NCCC Mall of Davao
McArthur Highway cor Maa Road
Davao City, Philippines

John Paul Pinili
8th floor, Pryce Tower
Pryce Business Park
JP Laurel Avenue
Davao City, Philippines

Alice Inovejas-Klarsfeld
Xavier University High School-Ateneo de Cagayan
Pueblo de Oro, Upper Balulang
Cagayand de Oro City, Philippines

Jennylyn Aguinaldo
1859-D Asuncion Street
Santiago Village, Reposo
Makati, Philippines

Sherlo Reyes
Unit 2B, FC Building
290 Tomas Morato
Sacred Heart, Diliman
Quezon City, Philippines

Sherame Ancajas
Bolivar Apartments, Abcede St.
Queborac Drive, Bagumbayan Sur
Naga City, Philippines

C. Collection Centers outside the Philippines

Claire Apigo
Yuu House 203
Hozumi 1522, Mizuho-shi, Gifu-ken

Jennifer Seballos-O'Brien
1579 Yorkshire Lane
Shakopee MN 55379

Maximilian Larena
326 Graduate House Garran Road
Australian National University, Acton
Canberra, ACT, 2601

Alfie Pata
Level 32 Emirates Towers
Sheikh Zayed Road
PO Box 3800, Dubai
United Arab Emirates

Ana Karenina Pera
Sontheimer Strasse 12
70437 Stuttgart

The volunteers also encourage you to support Nortehanon. If you want to donate your pens to the students of Northern Samar, please send them to

Pens of Hope
P.O. Box 16
Post Office, Bgy. Dalakit
Catarman, Northern Samar, Philippines

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