Metro Manila and major cities have been on constant community quarantine since March 2020 due to numerous cases of COVID-19. The community transmission, lack of communication, public transportation, social distancing, loss of income, and the conversion of formal education to purely online or asynchronous classes are current challenges. Our remaining senior high school student continues with schooling. Despite these difficulties, we are about to launch an assistance project to Hansens Club members to provide cellphone and internet load in an effort to improve communications and invite more members to take skills training so they can earn despite the lockdowns. Recently, a college student with Hansen's disease undergoing treatment emailed PLM for financial help for his schooling. He browsed our website and read about the GlobalGiving project:) His sister is the breadwinner of the family and has been supporting him but he wants to reduce the burden on his sister. He says he is very willing to pay it forward and join in the PLM advocacy work:) We are in the process of screening and securing information so that he may eventually receive assistance for school expenses. Here's to more support for the online schooling of Persons affected by Leprosy!
Good news! Three of our Hansen's Club members who were enrolled in the Alternative Learning System of the Department of Education have successfully passed their one-year course in High School Accreditation and Equivalency this schoolyear. They are Flor (our dynamic grandmother), Marco (President of the PGH Hansen's Club), and Julius (member of the PGH Hansen's Club). However, due to the COVID pandemic and general community quarantine of Metro Manila since March 2020, the awarding of their ALS certificates could not take place.
Our senior high school student, Maica, the daughter of Julius, will be continuing her studies in Grade 12.
Just before the lockdown in March, PLM Program Director held a meeting with the PGH Hansen's Club to invite more members to take the Alternative Learning System or other trainings/vocational courses.
For the coming schoolyear, the Department of Education has required all public schools to conduct only online classes.
Additional recepients of the educational assistance are hindered by the lack of internet connectivity in various parts of the country and their lack of computers or Smart phones and mobile data to enable adequate online learning to be successful. These are the resources that our Hansen's patients really need in the time of COVID.
There are challenges due to the COVID pandemic but we will continue supporting any of our Hansen's patients and former patients in their dreams of finishing high school, college, or vocational courses.
We have 3 learners who are currently benefitting from funds raised through GlobalGiving; 2 adults and one high school student. One of our adult learners in 2019 had to stop schooling due to chronic inflammation called lepra reaction, a complication of leprosy even after treatment is completed. We hope he will be well enough to resume schooling this coming schoolyear.
Marco and Flor, two treated leprosy patients who have been enrolled in the Alternative Learning System (ALS), will be graduating from the high school program of Sta. Isabel College in Manila this month. They have decided not to pursue higher studies. But as a result of the ALS, both learners are more equipped to perform leadership roles in their organization, the Hansen's Club. Marco is the current President of this patient support group. Aside from ALS, Marco and Flor have been participants of a Leadership Formation training and Public speaking training under the Philippine Leprosy Mission during the past year.
Our Grade 10 high school student and her family are happy that she is able to finish another year of school by March 2020. This coming schoolyear, she will be in senior high school.
There are two prospective applicants for college. We are reviewing their applications. We are also encouraging persons affected by leprosy to take up vocational skills training courses to increase their chances of employment or small businesses. We hope to add 10 more recipients of the educational assistance program for the year 2020. Here's to another fruitful year!
We have a total of 4 Scholars: 3 adults in the Alternative Learning System and 1 in Senior High School.
Assistance provided: Transportation allowance, meals during schooldays, and school supplies
All 4 students are now in the second semester of their studies. They feel very proud wearing their ALS uniform and look forward to the face-to-face teaching sessions in school.
One learner is a grandmother who did not finish high school. She doesn't think her age is a limitation so she is taking this opportunity to finally attain a high school education:).
One of the Hansen's Club members really wants to continue with ALS but his lepra reaction (recurrent inflammation) limits his ability to attend classes. Since his wife is the breadwinner, he also needs to stay home to care for his children. His dermatologists at Philippine General Hospital are trying very hard to control the complication of leprosy so that he can resume adult education classes.
Currently, there are 2 applicants for College Assistance. We will be able to increase the number of beneficiaries as the funds increase too.
Report on the GlobalGiving project “Transform Lives of 30 Filipinos Leprosy Patients”
Period: June to August 2019
Five (5) persons affected by leprosy were selected to start the Educational Assistance Program for this year. Four (4) are treated leprosy patients or undergoing treatment and one (1) is a dependent of a person affected by leprosy.
Three of the learners are adults (ages 40 and above) enrolled in the Alternative Learning System (ALS) run by the Department of Education. The three hope to finish and earn their high school diploma. One learner is also enrolled in the ALS for review purposes because of his deficiencies in formal schooling.
The fifth beneficiary is an 18 years old senior high school student.
All learners receive the following:
1. Transportation allowance
2. Meal allowance during school days
3. School Supplies
4. Lesson materials
PLM tries to cover every possible educational need of the learners because they are unemployed.
All of them are enthusiastic and truly appreciate the educational assistance! Thank you!
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