The Dynamic Teen Company, Philippines

The Dynamic Teen Company: Education on Wheels

by Teddy Cambosa

 

Dynamic Teen CompanyThe City of Cavite is highly considered as one of the numerous cities in the Province of Cavite that could be considered at least to be economically significant, as it places itself to be one of the economic hubs of the province, further progressing development not by the independent city itself but also to the overall reputation of the province itself.

However, with the ongoing development, one must also take note on the various social issues a city might have evidence on. One of them would be the widespread of out-of-school youth, and some are getting involved in juvenile acts such as involvement in drugs and crime. With the prevalence of out-of-school, the local government face these issues with great care in order to lead these children and other youth people towards morale lives. And it is without doubt that the instalment of the Dynamic Teen Company has been beneficial since 1997 in bringing the youth into the tracks of good life and improvement of their educational capabilities.

The existence of such organizations such as the Dynamic Teen Company is that juvenile acts have become a thing in the Philippine society, and is being feared to heavily influence Filipino children due to sheer pressure they get from their playmates or worse, the elders within the community. With the ideology that somehow the child perceives stereotypically that each act done by an elder is vaguely reasonable to imitate, hence their minds are heavily corrupted at an early age. If left unnoticed by their own parents and by each constituent of the locality, there would be fears that the so-called “future of the Fatherland” quoted by Rizal would be, sadly, a mirage. Hence, educating them in as early as possible would mean early development of awareness and sense to the realism of life, and further act on it on how to solve it.

The Dynamic Teen Company was created in 1997 by four high school boys of Cavite National High School. Efren Peñaflorida, who is one of the founders, saw the need to create an organization that will help the youth after seeing the reality of life whilst living off from his parents near an open dump in the City. Peñaflorida started the group in order to divert students' attention away from street gangs, and towards community activism and personal development.Dynamic Teen Company1 Dynamic Teen Company started as a friendship club of around 20 members, with an aim of providing youth awareness projects, talent and self-development activities, and community services. They collaborated with Club 8586, another community service organization operating in the area. However, one of the initial highlights of their group is the idea of the ‘pushcart classroom’ wherein pushcarts were stocked with school materials such as books, pens, tables, and chairs, and then used on Saturdays to recreate school settings in unconventional locations such as the cemetery or trash dump. To date, the Dynamic Teen Program has served to more than 100 communities outside Cavite, and over 4000 youth has benefited from the program. Through these efforts, Peñaflorida was awarded 2009 CNN Hero of the Year and was conferred by the Order of Lakandula, the country’s highest award, by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

True to their Mission: “DTC envisions itself to be an established organization building up out-of-school and at risk of dropping out children and disadvantaged youth in the Philippines, to become morally upright, productive and responsible individuals who embrace a spirit of volunteerism”, the Dynamic Teen Company is a great example of a youth-inclined group that tends to reach out even at the impossible-to-reach communities to instil this rule: education surely helps you to succeed in life.

The Dynamic Teen Company accepts donation through their Philippine Account at the local Bank of the Philippine Islands, or you can donate also through their official PayPal link: https://www.paypal.me/pushcartclassroom. For more information, you can visit directly their website http://dtc.org.ph/.

The Yellow Boat Project, Philippines

The Yellow Boat Project: A General Overview

by Teddy Cambosa

Zamboanga City: a maiden city in the far-flung island of Mindanao, is one of the “Land of Promise” cities that since antiquity had well-preserved the colourful and deep history of the land, particularly by the Moro people. It is where the most activity of Mindanao happens, and in some cases, a secondary figure from her sister city Davao in terms of commerce and tourism. It is also worth noting that the city is a beautiful melt pot of cultures, from the existence of natural tourist spots such as the Merloquet Falls and Abong Abong River, to the Spanish heritage that is the origin of the city’s Chavacano language, to the Western heritage of a city growing up in development, it is no wonder why Zamboanga City is given so many names, including “City of Flowers” and “Asia’s Latin City”.

 

yellow boat projectDespite these factors, there are certain barangays (or counties) that are far from the city proper itself. And with the existence of these barangays, some of them could not afford ample simple transportation services, especially those living near coastal places that are laden with thick quantities of mangrove trees. Though scientifically speaking, mangroves are very beneficial in keeping tidal waves away from these coastal communities, the abundance of water that mangrove needs pose a conflict among the residents of Sitio Layag-layag in Zamboanga City to get to the city proper. Every day, they would have to swim to and fro to the city, with the depths that are way past above their heads. Hence, since 2011, the Yellow Boat Project has initially turned over 900 boats to various coastal communities in Zamboanga City that are primarily used by students to go to their schools clean dry, to the residents who bring their trading goods and raw materials to sell, and more importantly, used as mobile units to save the residents that are stranded when torrential rains come every monsoon season annually, and being used to transport relief goods and supplies, in partnership with other large volunteer groups such as the Philippine Red Cross.

The context for this humanitarian work is that the Philippines-though tropical in classification-is a gateway to most strong typhoons that normally occur between the months of June and November. And these monsoon seasons pose a great danger to the Filipinos, especially those living in coastal and water-based communities. With the Philippines being an archipelagic nation, accumulation of water during the rainy seasons would mean countless water surges that in turn flood the mainlands, severely affecting not only the local economy but also causing pandemonium that greatly disturbs the normal cycle of the locality. Though relocation is an option, it should be reminded that some societies exist in perilous places (as mentioned like coastal communities) because it is considered their source of income, and with their less amount of income would mean less money to be allocated for other necessities aside from food and clothing. Hence, the inclusion of movable transport within the community is a lot more preferable to foster movement and income to the locals and make bridges towards development.

 

yellow boat projectThe Yellow Boat Project, formerly known as the Philippine Funds for Kids, was the brainchild of Jay Jaboneta, a Filipino blogger, and Anton Mari H. Lim, a Filipino veterinarian. The project started out as a national campaign by Jaboneta and Lim upon their visit in Sitio Layag-layag and learning that kids go to school by swimming in the river to get to school. Launched in 2010, the national movement through social media caught the attention of initial donors, and in May 2011, through the generous donation of the City Department of Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of logs confiscated from illegal logging, the initial boat was being turned over to Sitio Layag-layag in March 2011. Since then, the word has been spread out through social media, and their advocacy has been brought to other less-fortunate places in the Philippines, such as in the Province of Masbate, considered as one of the country’s poorest provinces. The Yellow Boat Project continuously coordinates with other interested donors to find new communities for the turning over of boats. It is also worth mentioning that the Yellow Boat Project, in partnership with another organization called the Tzu Chi Foundation, has since then expounded the project by building and maintaining a daycare centre, building classrooms and schools, dorms, providing scholarships, providing school bags and other school supplies, conducting medical/dental missions, and empowering the community as a whole through applicable environmental and livelihood programs.

 

The Yellow Boat Project beliefs in the fact that by aiding the children, we create these abstract bridges that brings the future and the child closer. As being noted by the country’s national hero Dr. Jose Rizal: “The children are the hope of this Fatherland.” And with this great adage, The Yellow Boat Project believes that every boat is a symbol of hope, that no matter how different our social status are, as long as there is a helping hand, it takes every swish in the water, and every wood chipped to become a boat for a child to be optimist of the future.

 

The Yellow Boat Project accepts donation through its Philippine bank account on Banco de Oro (BDO), both Peso and US Dollar accounts. You can also register to their official website at http://yellowboat.org and your donation shall be credited from your PayPal account. For other information and concerns, interested donors may get in touch at [email protected].