ROMBLOMANON STUDENTS GIVE HOPE: #HOPESAILSAMIDSTCOVID19
In this time of uncertainty brought about by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 or popularly known as the COVID-19, fear and anxiety about an infectious disease outbreak can be overwhelming and can cause breakdowns in adults and especially to children.
As we face this battle against this pandemic, it is important to talk with the kids about dealing with anxiety, coping with new normal, and ways on how they continuously learn despite staying at home. This health crisis means a different rhythm of life, different from the usual school routines, different normal that we should get used to.
In this time where privileged people were called to help our fellow Filipinos who are in need and as our country calls us to heal as one, some people and groups are passionate about conducting donation and volunteer drives that made their community quarantine extra special, productive and meaningful.
When Romblomanon student-volunteers thought that their quarantine life would be boring and the only help they can give to the community is staying at home, a good cause called them to help pupils who are in need.
Through the initiative of the Yellow Boat of Hope (YBH) Foundation – a national movement with the establishment of more “little funds” for the children all over the country, the Hope in a Box (HIAB) project was born.
Hope in a Box is a nationwide flagship campaign that aims to provide educational materials to the children living in the rural communities to reduce their anxiety caused by this crisis and would possibly put a structure in their daily lives and encourage them to continue learning even outside the schools.
This project was first initiated by one of YBH’s volunteers, Ruel Visca, a teacher in Santa Maria, Romblon who – together with his colleagues and former elementary students, wanted to continue supporting the education of the children in the community.
Starting last June 1 of this year from only 10 HIAB volunteers from Santa Maria, Hope in a Box Romblon has organized 6 teams with almost 300 student and young professional volunteers from the municipalities of Santa Maria, San Andres, Looc, Alcantara, Odiongan, and San Agustin.
And up to date, the campaign reached 700 beneficiaries and counting. The Hope in a Box Romblon aims to continuously give hope to more Romblomanon children through a box they use during the project that contains basic school supplies, learning materials, and art materials that stimulate creativity in their young minds in this time where schools are not yet available.
These materials given by the campaign may be intended for short-term use and it cannot be enough to sustain the kids whole academic year or even a semester needs, but what is important here is the long-term impact that the project can give to its beneficiaries – a constant reminder that we should never stop dreaming and we should strive for more learning.
Also, it is a reminder for the children at home that instead of just laying down and waiting for the pandemic to be over and letting the boredom to strike for about months of community quarantine, they can continuously learn and grow through the Hope in a Box gift.