By Rommel Conclara, ABS-CBN News North America Bureau
August 18, 2014
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Members of the US-Based Barangay Bombongan Association Foundation Inc. (BBAFI) gathered here in South San Francisco recently to report on an system that’s proven to be a success in educating elementary school-aged children in their hometown in the Philippines.
Since 2010, this group of Pinoys has raised funds to give quality education to students of the Bombongan Elementary School in Morong, Rizal through the Knowledge Channel.
The Knowledge Channel is the first and only educational cable channel in the Philippines that provides kids shows, games, and activities that stimulate their minds.
“Most of the fundraising we have are personal donations,” said BBAFI President Oscar Bautista. “We do not do much fundraising. Most of the people in our association on a yearly basis donate x amount of money, send it to the treasure, and that is where most of the funding is coming from.”
Bombongan Elementary School was among the poor performing schools in the district before the involvement of the BBAFI and the Knowledge Channel.
Since then, the school has increased its National Achievement Test score average, making them one of the best performing schools in the District of Morong.
“In my heart this is the right thing to do,” said BBAFI Founding President Leo Alejandro. “Because based on my last visit with Bomgbongan Elementary School I noticed you give them hope. You want to make their lives better. You want them to think differently.”
Rina Lopez-Bautista, the president and executive director of the Knowledge Channel Foundation, met with the members of BBAFI to hear how much the Knowledge Channel has helped children in their hometown.
“I’m very impressed with the work that the BBAFI has been doing for the children in Bomgbongan and in Morong,” said Lopez-Bautista. “They’ve gotten together as a group – together with the Knowledge Channel for the school – but they also have gotten the other stake holders to take care of the school, the education of the children there.”
She informed the group that their efforts go a long way especially because they help mold the minds of the country’s future leaders.
“When we go to different areas and they say ‘thank you very much for bringing the Knowledge Channel’ and I say ‘well we bring a TV, we bring a satellite dish’. They told us ‘no what you bring to us is love, what you bring to us in hope’. For us it really makes it all worthwhile,” said Lopez-Bautista.
The BBAFI hopes that more kababayans will be inspired to help the poor children in other parts of the Philippines receive a quality education by also raising money and providing them The Knowledge Channel.
The BBAFI now plans to bring the Knowledge Channel to Morong National High School.
“If the people of Morong, all of them, the associations will follow our lead – hopefully the other elementary schools that we have there will go because the big picture for us is to make Morong, for now, be on par with the rich cities like Makati and Pasig and everyone else that could afford a better educational system,” said Bautista.
You can contact Rommel Conclara at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at @rommelconclara for more information.