Upholding the Recoleto value of love and service to the community, the UNO-R Research and Development Office (RDO) held an outreach activity at the Mambacayao Daku Island, Bantayan, Cebu, June 15-16 in partnership with the Batch '84 of St. Teresita's Academy, Silay City, and the VALUE Negros Project Team.
This year's outreach activity aimed to reach out and share blessings to the residents of the island, specifically the children, by bringing educational materials to the island, their key to accessing knowledge and learning.
"Mambacayao was badly hit by Typhoon Yolanda. This devastating event captured the attention of the Recoletos community who did outreach projects there in several forms - one of which is bringing scholars (HEART ANONYMOUS) to study in UNO-R. In 2017, one of the scholars was assigned as a student assistant in RDO. She shared how life was in their island and that they needed a lot of help there. Instead of choosing a resort to hold our planning way back in 2017, we chose to do it in Mambacayao Daku. Seeing the situation (no school, no clinic, no source of potable groundwater), the morning planning sessions were turned into an environmental assessment of the island and interviews with the locals. Despite the scarcity of resources, the eyes of the children were full of enthusiasm and hope. We came back because we saw the need,” RDO Director Dr. Mona Freda Secondes said.
This year’s outreach activities involved storytelling, video viewing, and coloring for the children which aimed not only to develop appreciation of the island's beauty but also to spread awareness on climate change especially on the issue of solid waste.
The highlight of the Outreach was the launching of the Mambacayao-Daku Mini-Library where the donated books, as well as logbooks, index cards, and the list of the books for the library inventory systems were turned over to the purok officials. An orientation and training of the local Library Utilization In-Charge was also conducted so that the use of books would be documented.
A provision for the construction of a cabinet for the books for safekeeping was also provided. As of July, the residents sent a photo showcasing the newly made cabinet.
"The books donated also included textbooks up to the senior high school level so that the students can have additional material aside from the notes provided in school. We also brought a considerable number of religious story books and even Cebuano bibles. This is in line with UNO-R's main mission of education and evangelization," Secondes said.
Moreover, a mini medical mission was also conducted wherein medicines, specifically vitamins for children, were distributed with the help of some Medical Technology Alumni volunteers. To add, the children availed school supplies, donated clothes, toys and snacks during the gift-giving activity. Mambacayao Daku Island is an 18-hectare island located in the Southwest of Bantayan Island, Cebu but can be accessible by boat from Sagay, Negros Occidental.