Welcome to Coloran Elementary School, in the Philippines!
Read our story below on how we came across this remote school, and why we chose to work with them!
In January of this year (2016), a unique opportunity presented itself, in somewhat of an unexpected manner.
Through a contractor doing renovations on his home, Accent’s President, Dave Henry, met a woman (Merlin) who had immigrated to Canada 5 years ago, and was working hard here to support her family back at home in the Philippines. This woman has a sister who is a teacher at the Coloran Elementary School in the Philippines. Because of Accent's interest in education, a discussion ensued, related to the educational experience and challenges faced by the teachers and students in this distant area of the world. Simple things that we often take for granted in our society here in Canada were sadly lacking at this remote school. Insufficient food for the children, and even a lack of basic toilet facilities are all part of the daily challenges that these brave educators must learn to cope with and accommodate on a daily basis.
Brainstorming kicked in within the Accent Team, and soon, some creative ideas began to take shape……
We began to correspond directly with the Principal of the school, who provided us with an outline of some of the fundamental needs they were faced with at the school. Perhaps most pressing, was the need of a proper floor in an existing open outdoor gymnasium area that they had at their school. This gymnasium was not only the place for the children’s physical education classes, but it was also the only area large enough for all the students to gather for any type of school assembly. The big issue here, was that the floor was simply mud, and students got very dirty playing in this area, and the mud eventually made its way throughout the school.
The Accent Team began to work on ideas, and one morning, on the 9th of February, Dave met with Merlin, at which time he presented her with a proposal which would see Accent fund the project of concreting the gymnasium floor for the school, in exchange for some interesting stories and experiences related to education in the Philippines. Upon completion of this meeting, the Accent employees surprised Merlin by presenting her with the proceeds of a collection that they had taken - enough money for her sister to build a badly needed washroom for her students.
Following was a Facebook post by Merlin that evening:
“Went to my part time job this morning, was taken to a business place by my employer, met the President and General Manager for the second time, discussed and viewed their proposal Adopt A School sponsorship plan for (Coloran Elementary School) in the Philippines. After the presentation we came out from the CEO office to meet his business staff for they have a surprise for me. I was introduced by the President to all the staff, they presented me with the money that the staff donated for Grade V-B washroom project. I was really surprised when an envelope was handed to me, what I had to say was ‘Oh My, thank you so much’. I gave a short speech, to say something about the school, thanked the people behind these plans and project. It was very overwhelming and thanked them very much for their donation (ACCENT, Stonewall, MB Business Office) Thanks to my angel who has a big heart Stacey Nickel for sharing my stories to her friends which led to this. God Bless You More.”
Thus began Accent’s involvement in yet another awesome educational experience!