FtH dedicated this day for the physically challenged students of Indang Central ES in Indang, Cavite in the morning and the SPED students in Rosario, Cavite in the afternoon. These students need more special attention than the regular students because of their mental or physical capabilities. One parent reported to me that her daughter who is 14 years old will be joining the regular Grade I students in the same school, and she’s very happy because that’s progress! One parent mentioned that they come all the way from Mendez, a neighboring town, because the school in their area is not equipped to handle special students. This is the first FtH classroom specially designed for physically challenged (PC) students with ramps, accessible from the street, wide toilets with grab bars, etc. Martin and his son Jonathan co-sponsored these classrooms with the sister-in-law of Martin, at considerable cost than a regular classroom. We had to demolish an existing building so that this classroom could be located near the main road and be accessible to wheelchair-oriented students. Martin and his 2 brothers, Pio and Dr. Eusebio, also joined this trip, the first time the three brothers were together on an FtH charity mission.
On the way to the school, we passed by a Pure Gold Store in Alabang to buy a TV set requested by the teacher. As if Somebody is also watching after the PC students and FtH, the TV was put on sale one day before we bought it with 20% discount to be within our budget of P5, 000. The Braille machine to be donated to the school by Larry and Mila was ordered from the manufacturer in New Jersey at 50% off to FtH. It was shipped to California where the kin of Martin shipped it to Manila at no cost to FtH.
As a side story, on a recent FtH mission in Roxas City, Capiz last January 20, 2011, the SPED school in that city requested a Braille machine for their school. The FtH Volunteers Gloria and Baby immediately agreed to donate the Braille machine and it was ordered. The machine arrived one day before Larry and Mila left for the Philippines and it was hand-carried to Manila. The machine is now with CFO for delivery to Roxas City SPED School.
The PC students and their parents/lolas were already in the room waiting for us. The program was started by the principal with the introduction of Larry and Mila as the donor of the TV and Braille machine and Martin as the donor of the building. The PC students were treated to a lunch from Jollibee and then were fitted one by one for slippers by “Old Navy”, a branded name in the Philippines that were donated by Terry and Eden Dela Cruz, nephew of Tess from California. It was shipped by balikbayan box last Nov 15, 2010 and arrived in the Philippines about a week before the visit to Indang SPED FtH classrooms.
After sharing the lunch of fried chicken, spaghetti, and rice with the special students, we said goodbye to the very happy students and the much happier teachers and principal with their new teaching aid of a Braille machine and a TV.
February 14, 2011