School Year Reflections
As the 2015-2016 school year comes to a close in the Philippines, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on what you helped accomplish as well as share with you hope for the future.
Thanks to our community and fantastic team, the past year has been extremely productive. Project AK-47 helped facilitate the education of numerous children in the Philippines through various projects. We provided school supplies for over 1,700 children. Approximately 70 children, mostly child soldiers, had the opportunity to go to school as a result of scholarships provided by you through Project AK-47. Not only did you make a difference in direct efforts, but you also helped provide subsidiary project support to many more children throughout the country.
The remote areas in which we work present unique challenges with which many places do not have to contend. In the marshy regions, simply getting to school is difficult. Through your support we were able to provide 4 additional boats that enabled children from 4-12 years old coming from 2 nearby locations attend school even during the rainy season.
In more remote areas, the challenge is to find qualified teachers who desire to teach in difficult places. Last year we found 5 amazing teachers willing to teach in their local villages. Not only did we find 5 teachers, we also helped one of them pursue a bachelor degree in Education. What a gift it is to provide teachers, as well as children, the opportunity to improve their lives and achieve their dreams.
One of the main reasons we are so passionate about our “smart rescues” of child soldiers is the individuals that we have seen thrive away when removed from the violence of conflict. Smart rescue is our process of nonviolent, relational and educational demobilization of children from soldiering into hope-filled, productive lives. We would love to share more stories with you.
Stories like Rizal who, despite hardships throughout his life including left by his parents to his grandmother to survive on his own, still graduated as the salutatorian of his class and went on to pursue his college to further his education.
Stories like Elsa at Tigbaw Elementary in the jungles of Mindanao who took on the monumental task of going back to her tribe in spite of tempting job opportunities in the city to teach 26 children across four grade levels. Although there have been many obstacles, her efforts have helped protect the children from being recruited by a rebel army.
Stories like “Peter”, who is instrumental in bringing out 40 child soldiers from serving full time in a military camp through a grass-root effort to get them into school and is now actively shaping their minds and attitude. With your help, he is enabling these children to change their destinies.
These are just a few of the success stories in which we have been involved.
A new school year is fast approaching and Project AK-47 is hoping to expand the number of children we reach. We can continue to build on our past success, if you continue to run with us. Any gifts you give will help rescue more children.
In the “leave a comment” box, please mention “Rizal” to designate support for higher education scholarships; “Elsa” for our teachers; and “Peter” for our child soldier education program.