We at the Kristiyano-Islam Peace Library (Kris) are happy to announce that in school year 2012-2013, 120 poor but smart Christian and Muslim students will be going to school against all odds -- thanks to donors here and abroad who responded to our online-fund raising drive. Our volunteer have written a press release about this wonderful news. You can still help by going to http://www.gofundme.com/j0h70. Thank you very much!
The Gift of Facebook: Non-profit Education Organization Raises Money for More than 100 Elementary and High School Scholars through an Online Fundraising Campaign
By Rose Magcamit, Kris Library Volunteer
The Kristiyano-Islam Peace (KRIS) Library, an award-winning organization that promotes education and literacy, has recently concluded, after less than two months, a much-hyped online fundraising campaign to send to school 100 indigent elementary and high school students from farming and fishing communities in Zamboanga City and a sprawling slum area in Metro Manila. Most of their campaigning had been done primarily through the social networking site, Facebook.
17-year old KRIS Administrator, Arizza Ann S. Nocum, says, “Many have said that the internet ‘dumbs down’ the youth of today and gives them access to activities they shouldn’t do. The KRIS Library Scholarship Fund has clearly disproved that. We harnessed the power of Facebook and the internet to raise money for the needy Filipino youth.”
Donations poured in through their page on gofundme.com, a fundraising website that accommodated PayPal and credit card donations. KRIS Library and its supporters spread the word through Facebook, primarily by posting about the past 101 scholars of KRIS Library. One such post focused on Joan Claire Pangan, a KRIS Library scholar who had recently graduated from high school as Valedictorian, wearing more than ten medals on her graduation day.
KRIS Library had estimated that each student would need around P600 ($15) to pay for the enrolment fee and basic school supplies. This simple amount may look measly to some, but for the families of these children, P600 per year is a do-or-die cost.
Indigent applicants to the KRIS Library Scholarship Fund come from two core areas. 67 had applied from farming and fishing communities of Manicahan, Poso, and Bungiao in Zamboanga City. Meanwhile, 45 students had applied from Barangay Holy Spirit in Quezon City. Holy Spirit is home to hundreds of informal dwellers.
One KRIS Library scholar from Barangay Holy Spirit, Quezon City, Jan Erica Abejo, admits, “I have four brothers and sisters. I am going to college. My two siblings are in elementary, and my other two siblings are new-born. Only my mother is supporting us, so this scholarship is very valuable for my siblings’ education.”
Manicahan student Glycel Ives Bernardo writes in her application form, “I want to finish my studies. Unfortunately I have no parents to support me... [My grandparents] could hardly give me my need for their financial income is insufficient to support me.” Last year, Glycel had graduated from Grade 2 as the Top 1 of her batch.
Meanwhile, Angel M. Agbon, one of six children in her family, writes, “Education is very important because it is where our future lies. I want to attain the KRIS Library Scholarship because we are poor. My father is only a farmer. With his small earning, he can’t send us all to school.” Likewise, Angel had graduated last year With Honours from elementary.
Their goal of raising P65,000 or $1,500 for 100 public school students who are in dire need of enrolment fee assistance was surpassed by a notch. A total of P68,670 was raised thanks to the involvement of donors, friends, family, and other supporters from the Philippines, Japan, Malaysia, Australia, US, Canada, Guam, Japan, and the Netherlands. More donations have been pledged to accommodate even more scholars.
Grace Bernardo, a graduate of Manicahan National High School, who is now an executive in Malaysia, has high hopes for the project. She posts on the fund’s gofundme.com page, “May we grow a generation of much enlightened and more credible individuals to help bring about change for the Philippines... a country which is supposed to give us pride and dignity as a Filipino wherever we are in this part of the world.”
KRIS Library received donations from the Rotary International Clubs of Zamboanga City and Silay, individuals and families from the Philippines, Malaysia, Australia, Canada, the US, Guam, Japan, and the Netherlands. An impressive amount had also come from the Timberland Sports and Nature Club, a large-scale project of Filinvest.
KRIS college scholars, on the other hand, are supported by individual donors.
Nocum, the KRIS Library Administrator, considers the fundraising a success. She says, “Imagine how many more students we could help by harnessing further the power of Facebook and the internet. Our next posts, blog, tweet, like, or share is capable of changing lives.”