When a struggling young man decided to persevere amidst a series of personal disappointments and loss, it gave birth to organization called Young Educators of Mapulang. Transforming grief from the death of his father into inspiration to help others, this young man, now known to his students as Kuya Vanjo, launched the project Lupa the project YESkwela Kalsada PLUS Nina Ate at Kuya.
What’s the Story?
YESkwela Kalsada PLUS nina Ate at Kuya is a mentoring program which is patterned after a Sunday School format. It is a combination of tutorials, outreach activities, theatre workshops that focus on youth development.
Activities under the said program strongly encourage the involvement of parents. Occasions like Grandparents Day or Halloween are used as timely opportunities to introduce lessons in a more entertaining way. Singing, dancing, even exercise function as vehicles for learning as well.
Thirty active members, young professionals and students alike, make up the Young Educators of Mapulang Lupa. Despite minimal funding, they continue with their commitment to hold the weekly activity YESkwela Kalsada PLUS Nina Ate at Kuya since starting out in October 2009. Sometimes they are able to acquire donations from private individuals; sometimes assistance comes from companies like Telus (Kuya Vanjo’s employer). But oftentimes expenses come from their own pockets, spending for materials needed for the weekly activities such as paper and ballpens.
But no matter how many challenges come their way, members of this organization continue to power through. Needless to say, this is a story of people seeing hope in each other, content in seeing the children they teach develop an awareness on social issues, ethics and literacy as well as gain self-confidence.
Recognition and Success
Teaching in the streets of Mapulang Lupa became the fertile ground that gave both underprivileged kids and their teachers a new perspective on life. Dessa Jean Peralta, Young Educators’ representative to the TAYO National Finals knows this success story all too well. From being part of beneficiaries from the efforts of the young volunteers, she is now a volunteer herself and is able to earn some income as a tutor.
She expressed that the Young Educators of Mapulang Lupa truly are “committed to empower and inspire every young individual in our barangay to volunteerism and community service.” Barely two years old, their project YESkwela Kalsada PLUS Nina Ate at Kuya has indeed achieved a lot.