Money for post-disaster classrooms being raised through Kickstarter

By Don Tagala, ABS-CBN North America Bureau

August 6, 2014

NEW YORK – A team of architects from New York are on a mission to build disaster-proof classrooms for students in calamity prone areas of the Philippines.

Filipino-Australian Aya Maceda and her team of architects are designing and reinventing post-disaster classrooms in Bohol, Philippines using the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.

“I think all Filipinos around the world have this kind of relentless love for the country, and I am fortunate to have had like amazing training abroad, and I’m always finding a way to give back,” said Maceda, the design advocate and co-founder of ClassAct Foundation.

The 7.2 magnitude earthquake and Super Typhoon Yolanda destroyed more than a thousand classrooms in Bohol, Philippines in 2013.

Around 15,000 students are still attending unstable makeshift classrooms today.

The prototype is called an “active school” – a totally redesigned replacement for destroyed classrooms.

These architects say the design is modeled after the tradition Filipino “verandah” or open living spaces, giving the notion that a place of learning has no fixed boundaries.

“In Maribojoc, we are using bamboo in collaboration with the bamboo sa Kulabo, and SGB engineers in New York, screens by a Filipino designer Kenneth Cobenpue, and woven partitions,” said Maceda.

To date, ClassAct: Active School Kickstarter has raised more than $25,000 dollars through crowdfunding – just $5,000 short to build a second classroom. To be able to raise more than $50,000 means a third classroom can be built.

“If we have this prototype that can be replicated in all the Typhoon Haiyan affect area, that means we’re gonna be creating a few schools around the whole Visayas Region,” said Maceda.

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