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THE BASICS FOR THE CHILDREN OF BONBON

M Lhuillier OPEC-Sugbu conducted an Adopt-A-School Program activity at the Bonbon Elementary School last September 27, 2016. Nothing sophisticated or fancy – extending the basic help items for the children, the kind of help that they most need.

The inclusion of Bonbon Elementary School was borne out of an earlier visit by members of the OPEC Sugbu Team.  Barangay Bonbon is located on the hillylands of Cebu City.  It is a 30-minute ride from the central business district.  Steep, rough roads dot the landscape and some parts of the barangay become virtually accessible in inclement weather.  During that visit, the OPEC members braved the distance and unpaved roads to get to their appointment with the school’s representativeAnniesitaYbanez.

There the members of OPEC Sugbu determined that the schoolchildren were wanting in many things – even some basic school supplies were out of their reach as most of them were born into poor families who could barely make ends meet with meager incomes from subsistence farming.

When the team returned, they had with them food, school and dental supplies, and an outpouring of love and compassion for the school’s students.

Given away on that day were 220 oval bags and 80 backpacks containing notebooks, pencil cases and pencils.

The pupils learned basic dental hygiene, too.  Dentist Aleena Marie Ricaplaza of the Department of Health came with the OPEC team.  Dr. Ricaplaza conducted a toothbrush drill with the students.  A hundred students each received a toothbrush and toothpaste.

About 300 Grade 1 to 3 pupils, determined to be malnourished, were also fed nutritious food.  The teachers share that they fiercely believe that only when the children are properly fed can they truly optimally gain from their learning experience.

To the school, the OPEC Sugbu donated a computer set with a colored printer/scanner.  Having the computer set will somehow make work easier for the faculty and administration.

At the close of the activity, the team had to bid goodbye to the children.  The latter flashed their biggest smiles and expressed their thanks for the blessings received.  They expressed their wish of having a smilar activity in the future.  OPEC Sugbu itself is looking forward to adopting more schools and helping more young people in Cebu City.