When I was eight years old, we moved to Samar for good. We lived in a rural place where there is no electricity and there is no way you can go to the town except to pass on the rutty road. Life is hard there, especially I used to live in comfort in the city.
School life also was hard. I was in grade three at the time I transferred school. There is a primary school in our baranggay, but when you are in the next level, you are forced to go to the next baranggay or town to attend school. It was hard to think that you are only grade four, walking on the rutty road (think about rainy days), carrying your bag that’s full of books and notebooks, a whole day at the school and I did those every day without skipping my classes. But what I am about to tell you is my story during the first year in a rural school. My story that inspired me to dream that one day I’ll make a library so that the students in a rural place will have an access to the free books which will help them learn.
Eighteen years ago, I have transferred as grade three student at Acedillo Primary School (it is now an elementary school). There is only one classroom. The three levels are all in one classroom and of course we only have one teacher as well. We were few in a class, which is good, but our resources were limited. We were only ten or less in a class, but we still needed to share in one book. We didn’t even have a dictionary during that time. Since I left, until now they don’t have a library. I am reader since then, so I know the struggle of a student who wants to learn but has limited resources. There was a time I ended up reading Precious Heart Romances novels and it’s not a kid appropriate books. Remembering those moments, I always laughed at myself, but I have promised that someday I will make change, I will make a library.
And now that I am a parent-teacher to my own child, I always encourage my daughter to read. She has lots of books now, both story books and textbooks. As her teacher, if I am not satisfied with my current teaching materials, there is an internet that I consider as my best friend… always to the rescue at the time of need. But what about the teachers in rural areas? The students who want to learn, but no resources? These questions keep on popping in my mind every time we do homeschooling.
Months ago I have been planning about my dream library. I know building a library is no joke, especially the cost. For a mere housewife, I think my dream was impossible. I have no income and the books that I want to donate are not enough. So, I came up with the idea of books for donation event. I have researched on how to set-up such event and that’s the moment I stumbled upon to the Books for a Cause website. Books for a Cause is an advocacy that aims to provide precious knowledge to every Filipino and increase literacy through continuous learning. I collaborated with them for the books that I want to donate to my former primary school. After we exchanged emails, we scheduled a date for books pick-up.
After a week… after the second quarter exams of my homeschooler, the Team Soldao traveled to Samar despite of the danger of typhoon Lando. We were on the road when it landed in Aurora province. The wind were strong, showers and a few debris on the road. I kept on praying for the safe travel and thank God we reached to the Matnog Port safely and a nice weather.
After almost three hours of waiting at the port we finally boarded in the ship and an hour later we were in Samar already. The following day we went to the Acedillo Elementary School and gave the books.
I can’t contain my happiness for the success of the mini library. I am truly grateful to God, my family, book donors and Book for a Cause who made my dream possible. We are glad that our young readers have their additional books to read.
To God be the glory.
❤ Team Soldao
“Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.”