By Ma. Joyce Ann Carillo
Teacher I, STMHS, Ragay District
Volunteerism,\vä-l?n-‘tir-,i-z?m\, noun.The act or practice of doing volunteer works in community service. The word’s definition was according to Merriam-Webster English dictionary. But for Professor DivinaGracia R. Galang, faculty and Chairperson of REPED (Research, Extension, production and Entrepreneurial Development) at Central Bicol State University of Agriculture (CBSUA)-Pasacao Campus, volunteerism takes a deeper meaning, it was the heart and soul of her eight-year educational crusade. Doing volunteer works for students beyond what is expected and paid to you as a teacher requires dedication and compassion. Dedication in teaching and compassion for students, these were the values that Prof. Galang tries to instill among student teachers of CBSUA-PasacaoCampus and teacher volunteers when she started the “Tulong Mo, DunongKo” project back in 2009.
The “Tulong Mo, DunongKo” was a summer tutorial project catering low performing elementary students within the selected barangays of Pasacao and Pamplona, CamarinesSur.This project aims to provide free summer tutorial to low performing pupils in the community, to provide teaching and learning opportunities for education majors of CBSUA-Pasacao Campus, promote essence of volunteerism and order moral values to student teachers in serving their communities and finally, to promote literacy within the barangays involved. For the whole summer months of April and May, all student teacher volunteers spend their summer teaching elementary children with subjects including Mathematics, Science and English (reading and writing). Through the project, she is helping future educators from CBSUA to be self-reliant, selfless and resourceful teachers. The tutorial sessions serve as a training ground for future teachers and provide them the realities of teaching profession, that is, it requires patience, hard work and giving more than what you have.
For the past eight years, many young minds have been nurtured and enriched and many communities have benefited from the project. In fact it is not only the children, but the parents of the students were equally grateful because Prof. Galang also provides free seminars to them on how they can support the education of their children, morally and financially. With the growing numbers of volunteers who believe in the noble intentions of the project, Prof. Galang’s advocacy continues to proliferate adopting more communities and catering more children. Since 2014, the free summer tutorial had started to serve the island of Burias in Masbate where volunteer tutors are native from the island and studying at CBSUA-Pasacao. This year they will continue lending their time and making difference to ensure that no child will be left behind in school. As for this year, Prof. Galang will also integrate DRRM initiatives and will teach young children to be disaster-ready.
The unselfish effort to give time, education and love for others is the start of creating a better community for everyone. The “Tulong Mo, DunongKo” started as a small act of volunteerism but it is an act of kindness that changes the lives of small children.