Cristo Rey High School is a middle-sized school in Barangay Cristo Rey at the outskirts of Capas, Philippines.
The barangay where the school was located was a resettlement area for casualties of Mt. Pinatubo’s eruption on 1991. At present, Cristo Rey is a thriving community and a melting pot
for Kapampangan, Tagalog, and Ilocano settlers.
In Cristo Rey High School, books are scarce. The existing library was converted into a classroom to accommodate the growing population of the school. Books were obsolete and termite-ridden. “We don’t have a library,” said
Angelo Otico, a senior high school student at Cristo Rey HighSchool. “We haven’t had one in four years.”
Procuring new materials and updated books to start a functional library is an expensive feat most school budgets like Cristo Rey’s cannot manage.
Joseph's group started with two members and later became five with friends joining the cause.
“In the future, I want the group to continue collecting books and building more libraries in the Philippines,” said Pushnam. “These books can help students in their studies and in learning the English language.”
BOOKS BENEFIT STUDENTS
Students at Cristo Rey High School now use the shipped books for homework, research and leisure.
"I am grateful for these books. My students now have the resources they need for research and even start a reading habit," said Kit Nadado, a teacher at Cristo Rey High School whose classroom became the first recipient of IHHELPP’s Build- a Library program.
The shipped books also helped students pursue reading as a habit instead of surfing the internet or playing online games.
"I am thankful because we now have a mini-library that we can use for homework and research," said Angelo Otico, a student in Kit Nadado’s class.
“Everyone in class now has the opportunity to read a variety of books they can enjoy too."
Kit’s classeven set-up a borrowing system for other cclasses to borrow books a well.
THE HALO-HALO DRIVE
To assist with the fund raising, BYU Hawaii Volunteers sold halo-halo, a Filipino desert, to the BYU Hawaii community.
Volunteers Alexis Bongo, Joseph Pushnam, Sariah Villalon, Kelsey Workman, Kimball Heaton, Ezek Dollete, Jango Bazer, and Renea Buenaventura made and served halo-halo from morning until night.
“At first, we were only expecting to sell 20 servings of halo-halo,” Alexis said. “In the end, the whole team was able to sell 50 servings. And people were buying until 9pm.”
sufficient money to cover part of the shipping cost.
“The fundraising was a great opportunity for me to gain experience and use my efforts to give service,” said Alexis. “I remember feeling productive and successful on that day.”
The team hopes to continue the program and help more schools build a library in the Philippines. "I feel overjoyed with the idea of
the fund-raising activity,” commented Roxane Manguera, the recipient of the program. “What they do for us is truly beyond compare. Only great people with good hearts can
do ordinary thing extraordinarily well. Thank you very much, IIHHELP and all the people who serve as God's instruments in making this feat possible!"