The overall goal of the project is to contribute to the achievement of Millennium Development Goals to provide education for all boys and girls. The specific objective is to support 100 pupils per year. Each child would cost about Euro 35 per year. The funds will be used to buy school bags, uniforms, and school supplies. Wimler has no paid staff. WIMLER works which the school principals and teachers who select the children and monitor the progress of the children. The pupils are located in Mlang (North Cotabato) and Bansalan, Davao del Sur both located in the island of Mindanao.
According to UNESCO, “although public elementary education is free, school-related expenses like transportation fare, snacks, lunch, school supplies, and other materials are beyond the financial capabilities of the poor.” The project is based on the positive results of the partnership with Dugong Elementary School in M’lang North Cotabato where Wimler contributed to the building of a three- classroom school building. The pupils were once victims of armed conflict. Moslem, Christian, and indigenous children attend classes in this school. The school lacks facilities and other school paraphernalia to aid the school teachers.
Wimler tried to find sponsors and organizations to support the education of some pupils in the school. They were also able to secure refurbished computers in the Netherlands and introduced the EcoKids Club and livelihood projects for the parents. The project brought great changes in the lives of these selected children. By tracking their performance in school, it is visible that the performance of the children has improved a lot. Pupils are motivated to study well, actively participated in various school activities, and eager to learn more. The school performance also has improved a lot. The school tops in different Achievement Tests in the division, with 100% of Graduates passing the National Achievement Test to qualify them for the High School level.
By 2006, school has transformed not only in the surroundings and the building but also in the pupils and the teachers. The pupils look happier and the teachers are more self-confident while showing the improvements they made. Due to their remarkable achievements especially on the school performance of the pupils, it is easier now for the teachers in Dugong Elementary School to secure support mainly from the municipal and provincial offices to construct more classrooms. Wimler intends to replicate this successful project in other schools.
The biggest challenge is the long-term human investment through education. An elementary education takes 6 years. Wimler also aims to help parents start livelihood program so that eventually they are enable to send their children to school.
Through funding assistance, more poor pupils in other schools can also go to school and we can ensure that no child is left behind. More info at www.wimler.org and http://wimler.blogspot.org
Location: Davao del Sur, Philippines