Smart’s School-in-a-Bag brings hope to Sarangani children

How much are you willing to sacrifice to go to school? What would be you be willing to go through?

If you are an elementary student of the B’laan tribe in Saranggani in Mindanao, there ain’t no mountain high enough nor river wide enough to get you to Niyas M. Mental IP School in C’Magguing Daan Suyam, Malapatan.

To go to school daily, these children must traverse muddy trails and slopes and cross several rivers and streams on foot, rain or shine. On a good day, a few of them are able to borrow a horse from the neighborhood and have a comfortable ride.

When they do reach school, they must share a one-classroom hut with schoolmates of all levels and ages. The earth serves as the school floor. In the absence of electricity, natural light streams through slats of bamboo.

Despite the challenges of getting to and staying in school, these children persevere.

Their ally

In this journey, the children, the school, and Department of Education now has a staunch supporter in bringing hope to school children in far-flung areas.

With the help of volunteers, Smart has found a way to bring education and technology not just to Niyas M. Mental IP School but to other secluded areas as well. The team of volunteers cross the same streams and rivers and walk the same muddy trails to bring School-in-a-Bag, a package that contains gadgets loaded with educational content, to remote schools. To allow access to the Internet, the package includes a pocket wi-fi and solar-powered set to provide the electricity.

The content includes material that enables children to read and write the alphabet, watch videos of children’s stories, sing nursery rhymes and songs, and learn to pray.

With School-in-a-Bag, the school children have more ways to learn and more ways to experience the world. More than just information and education, School-in-a-Bag brings empowers children in this distant and secluded to hope and work for a better life.

“Thank you for giving us tablets, a TV and a laptop. Because of these, we can now learn to read, recite the alphabet, watch stories, sing and pray,” they gratefully said.

With your or your organization’s help, children in remote, underserved communities can learn #LikeNeverBefore. Want to learn how you can be a School-in-a-Bag sponsor? Email [email protected] today.

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Introvert, wanderer, blogger, foodie, a hip-hop music writer, and one of the co-founders of a tech start-up company called GigsManila.