Yabon Elementary School is a modest little school in Brgy. Yabon Hinabangan, Samar. In 2013, super typhoon Yolanda destroyed its classrooms, leaving the teachers to conduct classes in rooms that were 70% damaged. The parents tried to repair the structures so the children could have a place to study.
Today, almost six years later, the students are safe in three typhoon-resilient classrooms as Sagip Kapamilya turned over a new classroom building through the donations it received after the typhoon.
The unit was built by the community through bayanihan with the supervision of the 53rd Engineering Brigade of the Philippine Army.
The parents took turns in carrying materials and tools from Catbalogan to Hinabangan, some eight kilometers away, while the soldiers stayed with them to help. The resident also cooked meals for the builders.
By working together, the community learned to own the project. It is one of Sagip Kapamilya’s maxims—for the community to feel that the project is theirs.
Ria Rola, Sagip Kapamilya relief and rehabilitation officer, shared: “It is the first time for Barangay Yabon to be a beneficiary of classrooms from any organization.”
Rola said that school construction is one of the main projects of Sagip Kapamilya as they believe in assisting children in rebuilding their dreams after a disaster, aside from giving immediate assistance in calamity-stricken areas through relief operations.
Sagip Kapamilya has already completed 138 classrooms in Yolanda-hit areas nationwide. It has also turned over three “Yolanda Legacy” project buildings—two-story multifunctional classroom buildings that can withstand 300-kph winds and 7.2-magnitude earthquakes—with a fourth building to be turned over this summer. (Story/Photos by: Althea Cahayag)