Fr Lionel Mechavez sm, Davao, Philippines, reports on our Marist mission there with the street boys:Together, we are facing a truly unprecedented situation. The Covid-19 pandemic is affecting all of our families, our businesses, our works, our communities, and our way of life. During this time we wanted to reach out and update you on our life here in Balay Pasilungan.
Our government agency, the Department of Education (DepEd), has decided that schedule of opening of classes for school year 2020-‐2021 be moved to October 5, 2020 from the previous schedule of August 24, 2020. This is to give the Department of Education ample time to prepare all necessary requirements for the implementation of the new education system under new normal in which classes will be conducted online.
We're really glad that we were able to receive all the laptops early from our friends from Belgium. In this way we are given enough time to setup all the laptops in our study room. Last August 14, 2020 we already started to give our boys orientation and dry run on how the new education system will be implemented. This will give the boys ample time to be familiar with the new system. Orientation to the boys include the new education system and the proper handling of the laptops. Since this is new to them and to us as well, they are a little bit anxious on the new system but eventually they were able to cope up with it. The boys were able to have a live chat with their respective teachers and classmates and it went smoothly. Up to this time we still continue to conduct dry run in preparation for the school opening.
Our boys under the AQer Care Program received basic cellphones to access the new learning system-‐ a mobile phone-‐based educational intervention.
Last September 2-‐4, 2020 we conducted the "Life Skills Training" participated by 10 boys aged 13-‐15. We held it at the conference room of our institution in Balay Pasilungan.The theme of the workshop focused on "Valuing the Voice of Children and Young People".
- A. Participation -‐ To be able to recognize the strength, interests and abilities of children and young people and involves them in decisions that aﬀect their lives.
- B Decision Making – To be able to improve in their decision making, improvements to practice and services, greater conﬁdence in the advice from the FBPI Staﬀ and Volunteers.. To be able to have an opportunity for young Team Building
Giving children a voice promotes self-‐esteem and self worth. By giving children a voice though choice, opinion, feelings and emotions children can develop and learn that they are important and valued.
At the end of the workshop the boys received each a certiﬁcate of participation stating the participant's name, the workshop focus and content, and the date when the workshop took place.
The administration and staﬀ of FBPI expressed their gratitude to the facilitators. The workshop was a tremendous success and would not have succeeded if not for the concerted eﬀort of the staﬀ and volunteers who gave a lot of time and eﬀort into the activity.
Another workshop activity is set to schedule soon on Virtual Mode of Learning: Embracing Education in the New Normal. website: http://maristmissions.com/balay-pasilungan/