The Center for Art, New Ventures & Sustainable Development (CANVAS)

CANVAS promotes greater awareness and appreciation for Philippine art, culture and the environment. CANVAS also explores the use of art to promote reflection, discussion and debate on selected social issues, particularly national identity, free expression and sustainable development.
Jul 24, 2014

More books for more kids!!!

GlobalGiving away our books in Bagong Silang
GlobalGiving away our books in Bagong Silang

Senyas Kamay Pilipinas is a nonprofit organization that supports various schools and individuals with special needs. Its projects focus on family and individual empowerment, skill acquisition and enhancement in arts and music, and supporting basic school needs. 

Senyas Kamay Pilipinas recently held its annual school supplies distribution project, “Tulong-Aral Para Sa Mga Natatanging Mag-aaral” (Help for Studies for Special Children), last June 13, 2014.

About 650 differently-abled students coming from various public schools: San Jose Elementary School and Kasiglahan Village Elementary School in Rodriguez, Rizal; Bagong  Silangan Elementary School and Commonwealth  Elementary School in Quezon City; Bagong  Silang  Elementary School, Bagong Silang High School and Kalayaan National High School,  were  provided with  basic  school  materials  such  as  notebooks,  pad papers, pencils, pens, eraser, ruler, sharpener and crayons.

Senyas Kamay reached out to CANVAS, and for the first time included our story books as part of the gifts to the children. One storybook was handed out to each student along with a bag of school supplies which guaranteed smiles and invited delightful curiosity among the students, and much gratitude from the teachers and school administrators.

We will continue to work with organizations directly involved with public schools and poor communities in order to bring the books into the hands of children all over the Philippines.

Again, we wish to recognize and thank you for your continued support to this worthy cause. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – this could not be possible without you. Thank you!!!

Books for differently-abled students
Books for differently-abled students
Globalgiving away books in Kasiglahan Vill. School
Globalgiving away books in Kasiglahan Vill. School
In all, children in 7 public schools got books!
In all, children in 7 public schools got books!

Links:

Apr 28, 2014

More books for more kids!!!

Books to Krus na Ligas Elementary School
Books to Krus na Ligas Elementary School

In the last three months, we continued to work with individuals and university-based organizations to bring more books to more children in more towns and communities throughout the Philippines.

Last February 27, 2014, a group of young professionals spent a birthday celebration in Brgy. Bangkal, Abukay, Bataan (a province 3 hours south of Manila) by giving away 200 books to a community of Aeta children, an indigenous minority. These young professionals have been celebrating their birthdays yearly with these children, and this year, they chose to give these children a little extra – the gift of learning to love books.

On March 4 and 5, the students from Sigma Phi Sorority and Fraternity of the University of the Philippines-Manila gave away around 150 books to pediatric patients of Philippine General Hospital. These books will serve as materials for the hospital’s Reach Out and Read program that helps parents in the early literacy development and school preparedness of their children by giving books and reading stories aloud.  Reach Out and Read is run by a group of medical practitioners who are members of a nonprofit organization of the same name.

Then, the University of the Philippines-Diliman Children’s Rights Advocates League (UP CRAdLe), gave away 400 books (a mix of three titles) to children grades 1-6 in Krus na Ligas Elementary School last March 21. This book-giving was a culminating activity for UP CRAdLe’s Pass-A-Book Project that aims to assist students who have reading difficulties. They home tutor these students diligently, hopeful in improving their reading proficiency.

Meanwhile, 650 of our children’s books are hitching a ride to more towns in the provinces of Laguna, Bohol, Batanes, Zambales and Palawan through some teachers and students of the National Institute of Geological Sciences of the University of the Philippines as they were doing fieldwork and/or are visiting to their hometowns for the summer. We will give you an update on these and more in the coming months.

And, of course, it will not end there… even as we speak, we have ordered the publication of 11,000 copies total comprising another three of our books (CANVAS Earth Tales – 3 Ecofables for Children; Tahan Na, Tahanan; and Ang Batang Maraming Bawal) from the press. These books are geared more for young readers (ages 6-10 years old).

Invariably, as you will see from the pictures below, the children and their families enjoy opening and reading their new books. For many, these books are the first they have ever held, read, and owned. Their smiles as they receive the books are unforgettable and priceless.

All these would not be possible without you! So again, on behalf of the children of the Philippines, thank you for your generous and continuing support!

Checking out the books at Krus na Ligas Elementary
Checking out the books at Krus na Ligas Elementary
Ailing children find comfort and joy in the books
Ailing children find comfort and joy in the books
Books for kids at Philippine General Hospital
Books for kids at Philippine General Hospital
Aeta children in Bataan checking out the books
Aeta children in Bataan checking out the books
Aeta children working on the book activity pages.
Aeta children working on the book activity pages.

Links:

Jan 30, 2014

A Report from One of Our Partners

The book as a tool to help children heal.
The book as a tool to help children heal.

In the few months since our last update, we’ve been sending out thousands of books to various islands of the Philippines that had recently been visited by horrific calamities, both natural (Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda in the Visayas) and caused by man (armed conflict in Zamboanga in Mindanao).

But for this update, we thought we’d highlight the activities by one of our partners – the Project Banig Zamboanga, a volunteer story-telling group who worked to provide child survivors and refugees of the armed conflict with psychosocial therapy and healing sessions.

The following is a report we received from them, with minor edits only for brevity and clarity. As you read through it, know that your support and belief in this project, and power of books and art to heal and change lives for the better is making a real difference in the lives of many children. For most, the respite may be fleeting. But we like to think of the books as ripples caused by a small stone thrown in a pond - you never know how wide a path they will travel.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you!!! 

======================================= 

Last November 18, 2013, the second wave of Project Paghilom: Basic Psychosocial Intervention for Displaced Children in Zamboanga City commenced. 

Together with the Ateneo de Zamboanga University Guidance and Counselling Office and Save the Children, 28 facilitators were trained to conduct the 3-week psychosocial intervention for children displaced by the conflict. 

A total of 1,853 children would be served by these facilitators. These children would range from ages 2 years old to 17 years old.  Most of them came from indigenous tribes (Tausugs and Badjaos) and most are muslims. They all came from the 5 baranggays most affected by the stand-off.  Most of their houses were burned to the ground, so most of them had been staying in evacuation centers for more than 3 months.

As part of the pilot training,150 copies of “Nadia and the Blue Stars” were distributed to students of Talon-Talon High School.

Prior to giving them a copy of the book, Nadia was read to them and the Basic Psychosocial module that accompanied the book was conducted.  During the session, one participant (Melany) kept crying as she was doing the activity.  When she calmed down, she shared to the group that she was very angry at the MNLF and soldiers because of the havoc and destruction they caused.  Because of them, their houses got burned down and she had to bear the discomfort of living in evacuation centers. 

As the trainee facilitator, guided by a counselor, talked to her further and explained to her the similarities between her and Nadia, Melany started to calm down.  In a drawing activity that followed, Melany started to color her family blue.  She said that, “Maskin cosa pasa, hinde gad yo deha mio pamilya.” (No matter what happens, I will never leave my family behind.) 

She also shared to the group during the last session that she promised to be more like Nadia, hopeful and someone who would never give up. “Kailangan natin maging tulad ni Nadia kasi siya ang nagsysymbolize ng pag-asa.  Hindi tayo pwede mawalan ng pag-asa,” she said. (We need to be like Nadia who symbolizes hop.  We cannot lose hope.)

Another striking comment was made by Al-rashid, 16 years old.  After reading the book, he commented, “Wala talaga nananalo sa gera.  Lahat talo. Muslim. Kristyano. Lahat biktima.” (No one wins in war.  Everyone loses.  Muslims. Christians. Everyone’s a victim.)

Tetet, 6 years old, told her facilitator that she wants to be like Nadia.  She wants to be a gardener.

After giving the books to the children of Talon-Talon High School, the facilitators and the recipients made a promise.  They promised each other that they will retell the story of Nadia to their friends and families.

The second wave of Project Paghilom created a tight bond between the evacuees and the facilitators.  There are still wounds too painful and too deep to heal, but the survivors have started the process of healing. 

It is the hope of Project Banig and the whole of Zamboanga that we completely heal from the wounds - physical, emotional, and psychological - brought about by the siege.

Reading aloud the story of Nadia
Reading aloud the story of Nadia
Facilitators
Facilitators' kits
Group dynamic exercises complement the story.
Group dynamic exercises complement the story.
Your support help make moments like this possible.
Your support help make moments like this possible.

Links:

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