Written by Israelbelle Ferolino, Mark Lester Cayabyab, Wino Dela Cruz, and Hannah Joy Castillo
You can be a BIDA (hero) and help pandemic-hit schools with as little as singkwenta (P50) donation!
In its commitment to continuously support education regardless of time, space or threats, youth volunteer-powered group, I am M.A.D. (Making A Difference) is calling on everyone to join hands anew in its fundraising campaign called Bigay-Ayuda para sa Eskwela or BIDA Eskwela Year 2.
The multi-awarded non-profit organization aims to raise at least P200,000 in 50 days from every donor’s P50 or singkwenta pocket donations with #BIDAEskwelaSingkwenta. Collections from this social media push will help select underprivileged schools in the Philippines that have been equally affected by the ongoing pandemic.
Now on its second year, BIDA Eskwela targets to send supplemental aid to 20 initial beneficiaries from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao that include schools in Pangasinan, La Union, Nueva Ecija, Bataan, Bulacan, Romblon, Rizal, Metro Manila, Antique, Bukidnon, Agusan Del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Davao Oriental, Davao City, and Zamboanga City.
The nationwide, digital-centric donation drive runs from Aug. 5 to Sept. 24, in time for the opening of School Year 2021-2022 next month.
Learning delivery challenges
The State of Public Health Emergency has brought many challenges to the Philippine education system particularly on the implementation of the new modalities of learning. Reports from the ground showed that among schools that opted for modular distance learning through printed format, teachers were hounded by lack of supplies such as bond paper and ink for the production of their textbooks, activity sheets, and learning guides. The limited access to reproduction machines like printers and photocopiers also hampered the timely distribution of these learning materials, resulting in delays in learning. Furthermore, teachers faced problems in availing proper personal protective equipment while distributing modules.
On the other hand, insufficient internet subsidies impeded schools from implementing modular distance learning in digital format. Limited access to quality gadgets with specifications to complete required tasks in learning such as making videos and ebooks also worsened the problem.
Citizen action, hope to cope
While the Department of Education had allocated funds for the Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan in the time of COVID 19 (BE-LCP), it is simply not enough. Oftentimes, teachers and non-teaching personnel have to shell out their own money. This is why there’s an earnest patriotic duty to help fill in the gap. There’s a need for urgent citizen action.
“During these pressing times, our communities need hope to cope with the challenges brought by the dragging effect of the pandemic,” says Sarah Butad, project lead of BIDA Eskwela Year 2. “With our #BIDAEskwela initiative, I am M.A.D. is in continuous pursuit of giving assistance to select underprivileged schools in the country to help deliver quality education to the future nation builders whatever the circumstance is.”
Depending on the actual auxiliary needs of the identified school beneficiaries under their Brigada Eskwela program, funds raised from the campaign will be distributed to each institution to help them in carrying out their various distance learning delivery pursuits and assist them in addressing other equally important school maintenance resource gaps.
The COVID-19 health crisis has disrupted the daily lives of Filipino teachers and learners, and will continue into its second school year. The Department of Education has set the resumption of classes on Sept. 13.
“The values of love, care, and concern for our fellowmen are values for all people regardless of time and space or threats. With the power of volunteerism, nothing is too big or small acts of kindness. Through our collective action, we can still champion the power of Bayanihan even in this time of the pandemic,” Butad added.
#BIDAEskwelaSingkwenta, Sing & Share
Last year, from the original target of P200,000 for 20 schools, the first BIDA Eskwela fund drive overwhelmingly raised more than P400,000 in 40 days. The accumulated extra funds were extended to 20 more schools, benefiting a total of 40 learning institutions. This year, the youth-driven campaign now aims to replicate that success with #BIDAEskwelaSingkwenta pocket donation push. To complete the P200,000 goal, BIDA Eskwela needs to collect P4,000 or 80 pieces of P50 daily for 50 days. The group strongly believes that when it comes to helping, no amount should be too small, especially when collectively pursued and shared.
I am M.A.D. also invites the public to be a part of this year’s level-up digital campaign on Facebook and Tiktok with “Sing & Share”. While there are 20 initially identified beneficiaries for the #BIDAEskwelaSingkwenta fundraising campaign, this can be expanded further with the help of so-called SING-fluencers or carolers who can lend their singing voice every day for 50 days, thereby reaching far more schools to help more young learners. Interested SING-fluencers can join the SINGkwentahan by following and contacting the organization through fb.com/IamMakingADifference or tiktok.com/@iammad_ph.
Network of support, donation channels
As of this writing, BIDA Eskwela Year 2 has also garnered support from civic and action groups such as H.E.L.P. Pilipinas, Zonta Club of Makati Ayala, Rotary Club of Makati Uptown, I-YOU-DA, The New Channel, and Amazing Grace Foundation (Australia). These like-minded entities have committed to donate monetary contributions totaling to more or less P100,000.
Moreover, the fundraising has received support and endorsement from the National Youth Commission (NYC), the ASEAN Youth Advocates Network (AYAN), the National Youth Volunteers Coalition (NYVC), The Inquirer Foundation and CID Communication.
Joining as well are ClickTheCity.com, Metro Cebu News, Metropoler.net, Mindanao Times, Now You Know PH, PageOne Media, Philippine Daily Inquirer, SwirlingOverCoffee.com, The Manila Times, Village Pipol Magazine, and WhenInManila.com for publicity and promotions.
Interested individuals or entities are encouraged to donate as little as P50 through the following mobile wallet and bank savings accounts: GCash or PayMaya (09088176049 / Erwin Dela Cruz), BDO (Mayo Ceazar Mendoza / 003010257672), Metrobank (Mark Conrad Ravanzo / 0663725653850), BPI (Ruth Butad / 0829342561), Landbank (Bigjay C. Lagang / 2986155891), UnionBank (Vonn Vincent Tanchuan / 109420073791). Donations are also accepted via PayPal (bit.ly/iammadpaypal). For more details, visit BIDA Eskwela’s official donation information platform at bit.ly/bidadonate. For transparency, all donation receipts and proceeds from the actual collections are published and viewable at bit.ly/bidatracker.
For updates, partnerships, and further inquiries, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or via mobile at 0926 785 0208. Follow and message I am M.A.D. (Making A Difference) on Facebook (fb.com/IamMakingADifference), Instagram/Twitter/Tiktok (@iammad_ph), Youtube (bit.ly/IamMADYoutube) and podcast via anchor.fm/iammad or bit.ly/MADTalksSpotify.