Give Books to Children in the Philippines

by The Center for Art, New Ventures & Sustainable Development (CANVAS)
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Give Books to Children in the Philippines
Give Books to Children in the Philippines
Give Books to Children in the Philippines
Give Books to Children in the Philippines
Give Books to Children in the Philippines
Give Books to Children in the Philippines
Give Books to Children in the Philippines
Give Books to Children in the Philippines
Give Books to Children in the Philippines
Give Books to Children in the Philippines
Give Books to Children in the Philippines
Give Books to Children in the Philippines
Give Books to Children in the Philippines
Comembo Elementary School prepares kids' modules.
Comembo Elementary School prepares kids' modules.

Thanks to your generous and continued support for our literacy program, we have donated 10,490 books (various titles) to children all over the Philippines since the start of this year, 2021. Our goal is to donate at least 50,000 books this year through our One Million Books for One Million Filipino Children Campaign.

As of this writing, we have donated a total of 395,779 books since the start of our project.

# # #

Now that we are into the second year of the pandemic, we have become accustomed to many shifts in our daily lives. With many activities, work and schooling especially, having shifted online, we've found that our two newest books on internet safety, Safe Space: A Kid's Guide to Data Privacy and #YouThink: Fight Fake News, have become even more important. Geared towards ages 6-12 and 12 to 18 respectively, these two books break down internet safety and misinformation concepts into child-friendly language and empower children with the skills and sensitivity that will help them protect themselves as they navigate the web.

This May, we were able to give 1,024 copies of Safe Space and 1,024 copies of #YouThink to Comembo Elementary School. As COVID-19 protocol for schools now goes, the books were included in the children's weekly modules that are picked up by their parents or guardians. Just a few days after receiving their books, their teachers thought to use them in their class discussions on navigating the internet safely and responsibly!

AHA Learning Center, a non-profit that runs an after-school learning program, also received copies of Safe Space for their students and teachers, and has also connected us to other schools and communities in their network. 

We are also proud to report that Safe Space has also been awared Privacy Initiative of 2021 given by the National Privacy Commission.

# # #

Other book-giving highlights include:

- Children in Tanay, Rizal receiving copies of Sino si Juan which were brought over by members of the University of the Philippines-Diliman National Institute of Geological Sciences as they did their fieldwork there.

- Aeta children, indigenous peoples in Zambales, also received their Christmas gifts of My Super Hands through the Tuloy ang Pasko sa Zambales (Christmas Continues in Zambales) project of our partners Para sa Sining and The Storytelling Project. Initially scheduled for December 2020, COVID-19 restrictions hampered their distribution, but with their tenacity, the children finally received their books in April 2021.

- We also gave copies of our children's rights books Karapat Dapat to fellow non-profits 2KK (Tulong sa Kapwa Kapatid Foundation), SOS Children's Villages, and Virlanie Foundation. 

Discussing "Safe Space" in the classroom.
Discussing "Safe Space" in the classroom.
More activities for kids: bike, play, read!
More activities for kids: bike, play, read!
Belated Christmas gifts for Zambales children
Belated Christmas gifts for Zambales children
Thank you for this honor!
Thank you for this honor!

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Our four new titles!
Our four new titles!

With your support and generosity, the 1 Million Books for 1 Million Children Campaign has been able to donate nearly 400,000 books to date to children all over the Philippines! Our thanks, too, to our partners on the ground who help us physically distribute our books to communities that need them.

***

NEW TITLES

The COVID-19 pandemic hit the Philippines in the first quarter of 2020. On March 15, the Philippine government declared a lockdown that would last three months. At this time, CANVAS continued to work on other projects, but was still trying to figure out how to continue its book distribution campaign. By August, the Campaign began distributing books again, implementing safety protocols at our office such as a skeletal work force, masking, distancing, and sanitizing.

Despite the hurdles 2020 threw at us, the Campaign was able to distribute a total of 35,289 books through its partner organizations and volunteers. This is about 10,000 more books compared to last year! The total number of books donated since the beginning of the Campaign is now at 385,289. We hope to breach the 500,000-mark in the next two years.

We were also able to publish four new books in 2020 as part of our Campaign. These include: 

1) I Am the Storyteller that uses images and questions as writing prompts for children; 

2) My Super Hands, a book that includes children in the COVID-19 discussion and maps out activities that they can still do despite the major life changes brought about by the pandemic;

3) Safe Space: A Kid's Guide to Data Privacy, an activity book that introduces the concept of personal data to children ages 6 to 12 and teaches them how to protect themselves when online; and

4) #YouThink: Fight Fake News, published in a zine format, that helps children (and even adults) spot and unpack false information and the many forms it takes such as misleading information, fake photos, and deep fakes. 

We are so happy and proud to have these new titles to give away to children nationwide to help them tap into their creative sides or find their way in an increasingly digital/online world. We could not have done this without your generous support!

***

COMMUNITIES REACHED

Our partnerships -- with small private groups, NGOs, local government units and agencies -- on the ground are truly instrumental to the campaign. They tune us into communities that could benefit from our books and often do the physical driving and trekking to reach them! 

Just some of our highlights for 2020:

Our books reached children displaced by the Taal volcano eruption with the help of CANVAS' Ibaan Team, Artletics art collective, and Southern Tagalog Serve the People Corps, pre-pandemic. Sultan Esmael Elementary school in Cavite, where there is a population of urban muslim minorities, received copies of Karapat Dapat. 

Post-lockdown, we also gave 1,000 copies each of Karapat Dapat -- our children's rights books -- and I Am the Storyteller to urban poor communities through the Office of the Vice President and Ako Bakwit, while partnering with the municipal government of Alcala, Cagayan made it possible for us to distribute 3,500 copies of I Am the Storyteller to 26 public schools in their area. All 19 Quezon City public libraries now also have a collection of hardbound CANVAS books for their visitors, proudly displayed on their shelves.

 2021 PLANS

Our experience in 2020 has proven that the pandemic may have made book-giving more challenging, but in no way has it made it impossible. We are inspired and motivated to distribute at least 50,000 books this year to various communities in the Philippines! We hope we can rely on your continuing support!

A CANVAS collection at the QC public libraries
A CANVAS collection at the QC public libraries
At an evacuation center, reading books together
At an evacuation center, reading books together
The Office of the Vice President and our books
The Office of the Vice President and our books
Muslim Minorities in Cavite receive Karapat Dapat!
Muslim Minorities in Cavite receive Karapat Dapat!

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We are thrilled to announce that The White Ravens list for 2020 has been announced, and that on of our books, "Karapat dapat: Bata, Alamin ang Iyong Mga Karapatan! (Child, Know Your Rights!)" by May Tobias Papa, and brought to life by the illustrators of Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan, has been selected as among the 200 best children's and young adult's literature books of 2020 - IN THE WORLD.

The White Ravens list is an annual catalogue of book recommendations in the field of international children’s and youth literature, put together by the International Youth Library. The list is published just prior to the Frankfurt Book Fair, the world's largest trade fair for books, based both on the number of publishing companies represented, and the number of visitors.

The selections are made by the language specialists of the International Youth Library with the assistance of children’s book experts from all over the world. The books are selected for the list on the basis of the universal relevance of the topics, their literary and pictorial qualities, or their innovative approaches or design. The recommendation list aims to promote quality in children's books and has become an increasingly useful tool for those interested in looking beyond national borders.

Here is their description for the book:
"The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which served as the inspiration for this book, was adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1989. In spite of being ratified by the Philippines a year later, the publishers see it as necessary to take a stand and educate Filipino children about their rights at a time where the very value of human rights is questioned. All the convention's 54 articles are re-written in child-friendly language. Selected passages directly address young readers and are beautifully illustrated by the country's best book illustrators. Readers find extra pages interleaved that can be coloured in or used as game boards. This book is the fruit of the collaboration between CANVAS, a non-profit organization that promotes children's literacy and runs the One Million Books for One Million Filipino Children campaign to donate books to disadvantaged communities, and 21 members of Ang INK, the Philippines' children's book illustrators organization. (Age: 6+)"
This recognition was made possible by the continued support and belief in our mission of people like you. Thank you very much! This honor is as much yours as ours. :-)


Some of the members of AngINK
Some of the members of AngINK

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Our newest activity book!
Our newest activity book!

The COVID-19 crisis has been changing life around the world as we know it. In March, the Philippine government placed the whole capital, Metro Manila, on lockdown in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus. As such, only essential services were allowed to operate. As we now enter July and rules are getting less stringent, more businesses and activities are allowed to resume, yet the threat of COVID is still present. 

Despite the lockdown and various challenges, CANVAS is committed to children’s literacy and is happy to reveal and give you a peek at our newest children’s activity book: I am the Storyteller.

Developed in part with support from the Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS), I am the Storyteller seeks to introduce art literacy to young readers by challenging them to look closely and analyze various images created by contemporary Filipino artists. It asks children to focus on various elements such as color or facial expressions so they can dig deeper into the meaning or message of the images. Furthermore, it prompts children with questions to encourage them to imagine and write their own stories and poems.

We are excited to get these activity books into children’s hands and see what stories they are able to write, where their imagination takes them. 

With the funds raised from your donations as well as from other partners, we have ordered 25,000 copies of this creative writing activity book which we hope to give away in the coming months.

Because of the quarantine rules in place, we and most of our partners will find it challenging to distribute the books ourselves. Fortunately, some local governments who have various outreach programs in place are very interested in helping us safely bring the books to children in their respective jurisdictions. We will keep you posted, and rest assured that we will find a way to get it done!

Your generous support allows us to keep doing projects such as these, and we are grateful! We hope you are keeping safe and healthy, wherever in the world you are!

Artwork by National Artist for Painting, BenCab
Artwork by National Artist for Painting, BenCab
If your life were a book ...
If your life were a book ...
You are a strong and brave warrior!
You are a strong and brave warrior!
Technology gives us our own little bubbles.
Technology gives us our own little bubbles.
Stop and smell the flowers.
Stop and smell the flowers.

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Taal Volcano Eruption (Kenji Cheow: Magnus News)
Taal Volcano Eruption (Kenji Cheow: Magnus News)

The start of the year was marked by an active Taal Volcano. It erupted on January 12 causing a series of earthquakes and the displacement of thousands of families in Batangas and in the neighboring provinces. Classes and businesses were disrupted, especially around the Taal Lake where the volcano sits.

CANVAS sent 2,000 activity books  -- a mix of their titles Message in the Sand (on environment), Karapat-dapat (on children's rights), and Looking for Juan (on culture and identity) to the children in evacuation centers, in partnership with Southern Tagalog's Serve the People Corps that was handling the relief operations in the CALABARZON area. (CALABARZON stands for the provinces of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon.) The books were used in psychosocial activites for the children evacuees, a tool with which to process the trauma of displacement. 

Through the Serve the People Corps, CANVAS books were part of a relief kit distributed from  January 22 to February 15 at Oblates of St. Joseph Seminary in Lipa, Seventh Day Adventist Lipa, Darasa Tanauan, Ibaan, San Pascual, Mabini, Laurel, Sala and Palsara in Balete, and Alitagtag Batangas.

Children in Alitagtag show off their new books.
Children in Alitagtag show off their new books.
Boy dives into the pages of environmental book.
Boy dives into the pages of environmental book.
Kids gather round a volunteer for story-telling.
Kids gather round a volunteer for story-telling.

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Organization Information

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

Location: Quezon City, Metro Manila - Philippines
Website:
Project Leader:
Gigo Alampay
Quezon City, Metro Manila Philippines
$35,225 raised of $50,000 goal
 
1,367 donations
$14,775 to go
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