Board of Trustees Member Romy Ronquillo (fourth from left) leads
donor partners and students and teachers of Maya National High
School in having their photo taken in front of the
newly-constructed school building. (Photo from RAFI-EDU)
RAFI, partners turn
over school buildings
By CELINE AMPARO and
GENEVIEVE CAÑETE, RAFI Comm. Interns
September 5, 2014
CEBU CITY – In
fulfillment of their promise to help Yolanda survivors, The Ramon
Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI) and its international partners turned
over five reconstructed classrooms last August 27 in Daanbantayan,
RAFI, in partnership with
Let's Help Philippines, Christ Leather Fashion, Pesch Family &
Friends, Action Calligaro-Mueller Family & Friends, raised funds
amounting to P3.4 Million to rehabilitate the school’s heavily damaged
classrooms after the onslaught of Super Typhoon Yolanda.
The international partners
were a group of German businessmen who have long been living and doing
business in the country and have been helping Yolanda survivors
immediately after the devastation through relief operations and
providing housing materials.
School Principal Eva
Casinillo and the students of Maya National High School (NHS) in
Daanbantayan were overjoyed to receive the two-classroom school
building and another three-classroom single-storey building.
Casinillo said she was very
grateful to the donors because not only that the students have their
classrooms back, they now have better ones.
With stronger columns and
beams, elevated flooring, roof insulation, and natural ventilation,
the reconstructed buildings were designed to be disaster-resilient.
Each classroom also has a lavatory, sink, toilet, concaved
blackboards, and two ceiling fans.
During the ribbon-cutting
and unveiling of the marker, the German donors were delighted to see
their names imprinted on the stainless marker, happy that their
efforts were also recognized.
Anthony Dignadice, RAFI
Education Development Unit, said Let’s Help Philippines’ Miranda
Konstantinidou and her employees forewent having a Christmas party
last year and instead had their money donated to their Yolanda relief
Action Calligaro-Muller and
Pesch Family and Friends, on the other hand, are private groups
created after Yolanda hit the Philippines. The groups' objective was
to provide emergency aid to those greatly affected by the super
"They (partners) wanted to
have a long term and sustainable community project to help schools and
children, so they decided to partner with RAFI to help them find a
school," Dignadice said, adding that donor Jurgen Pesch of Christ
Leather Fashion invited the school to have its graduates apply for
work in his company.
Daanbantayan Mayor Augusto
Corro, Vice Mayor Gilbert Arrabis, municipal council member,Maya
Barangay Captain Ali Abucay and barangay council members were also
present to witness the turnover ceremony.
Romy Ronquillo, RAFI Board
of Trustees member, expressed his gratitude to the donor partners,
adding that if non-Filipinos are this generous, he hoped Cebuanos
would also “be like them.”
“One of the good things that
Typhoon Yolanda did was to make the generous people come forward to
provide and offer their help...and the nice thing about this is these
people are foreigners,” Ronquillo said.
Ronquillo further told the
school that the best way to show gratitude to the donors is to take
care of the building and maintain it properly.