Friday, December 17, 2010

The Asia Foundation, Del Monte Foundation distribute books in Southern Philippines

BUKIDNON, Philippines (Midnanao Examiner / Dec. 17, 2010) – The Del Monte Foundation Incorporated inaugurated its partnership with The Asia Foundation’s Books for Asia program to improve educational opportunities in the island of Mindanao.

The two organizations jointly donated 12,600 new children’s books to nearly 250 public elementary schools in Baungon, Manolo Fortich, Sumilao, Impasug-ong, Maramag, Quezon, Kalilangan, and Malaybalay.

“This is a perfect holiday gift for children and their teachers, many of whom don’t have libraries or even a reading corner in their school. We look forward to continuing this partnership so that more and more communities may benefit from our synergy,” said Bella G. Quimpo, Executive Director of Del Monte Foundation Incorporated.

“Key to an organization’s success is to have productive and complementary linkages with other organizations. Much more can be achieved by sharing resources and expertise than by doing things solitarily. For its Education and School Development Program, Del Monte Foundation is grateful to have partnered with The Asia Foundation. Together we are able to give support to the educational needs of schools and pupils in rural areas in Bukidnon,” ashe said.

Bukidnon is a largely rural province of Mindanao, an island plagued by endemic poverty and sectarian violence. Outside of the main cities, educational resources are extremely scarce. Some of the people in the province continue to live the traditional life. Some of them live remotely in lowlands, in the forest, and along watersheds of rivers which makes education not easy for the children.

“The Asia Foundation is proud to work with committed organizations like Del Monte Foundation in strengthening educational opportunities in these communities and the rest of the Philippines. Through this donation of books, we hope to inspire children and teachers to build a peaceful, competent, and a healthy society,” said Ky Johnson, Deputy Country Representative of The Asia Foundation.

“This is a very timely blessing to our pupils most especially to the remotest schools in our province. The donation will surely increase our resources to improve our poor performance last year in the National Achievement Test,” said Dr. Florante Corpuz, Schools Division Superintendent of Malaybalay City.

The books turnover ceremony was attended by Quimpo, Corpuz, school principals, and other officials from Del Monte Foundation.

Johnson and Efren Balajadia, Director of the Books for Asia Program helped present the donated texts to representatives of the schools.

In behalf of the province of Bukidnon, Governor Alex Calingasan shared that the books have their own way of providing data to the reader. He said that books are the only source of information and the best hope for education in many rural areas like Bukidnon.

The colorful science, math, and English-language elementary school books and reference materials were generously provided by American publishers such as Pearson Education and McGraw-Hill Companies.

Books for Asia is The Asia Foundation’s longest running program and regularly distributes books and other reading materials for all educational levels in over 18 countries. Since its inception in September 1954, Books for Asia has distributed nearly 45 million books and journals to more than 50,000 academic and non-academic institutions throughout Asia.

The Philippines alone has been a recipient of 14 million books and journals to public and private institutions across the country. More than 95 percent of Books for Asia’s donations are new textbooks, donated by U.S. publishers.

The reading materials range from the elementary level to professional level, covering such fields as government, business, health, environment, information technology, social science, and international relations.

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