Bikes for the World

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Bohol Beneficiary Update

Bikes for the Philippines (BfP) is expanding its Bikes for Education project to include a second school district, in Maribojoc, on the island of Bohol. After about a six month delay the training of the beneficiaries will begin next week.

In November 2012, Bikes for the World sent a second container of donated bikes to Manila to support adding this second school district, Pagnituan National High School. The pilot effort, in neighboring Baclayon, has been a huge success. When the program started in 2011-2012 the drop out rate for Baclayon was 4.5%; today that rate is 1.67%. Nationally the rate for the 2011-2012 school year was 7.8%.

Our donated bikes were met in Manila by a large volunteer network mobilized by Bikes for the Philippines. The central warehouse allows bikes to be refurbished by these volunteers before they are shipped to the smaller island of Bohol.

In September 2013, the Philippine Navy delivered 190 refurbished bicycles and spare parts to two projects, a smaller school effort on the island of Cebu and the larger school district, Pagnituan National High School in Bohol. The Bohol bikes were to be stored in Baclayon at Peacock Garden Resort where the bikes were secure and under cover, but not completely out of the weather pattern soon to come.

On October 15, 2013, a 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit the region, rocking Maribojoc which was situated right on top of the North Bohol Fault Line, where the earthquake originated. Access to Maribojoc was immediately cut off from the capital when the main bridge leading into the village collapsed. Supplies would be ferried into town by tiny shipping boats.

All schools in the district suffered tremendous structural damage. Outdoor classrooms were set up under makeshift tents and villagers were living in shelters or compromised structures. Three weeks later the Super Typhoon Haiyan hit. The eye of the storm swung north of Bohol, devastating the island of Leyte. Much of Bohol's water and electric were generated from this island and wiped out in the typhoon.

With the kids unable to attend school and the community shaken from two major natural disasters back to back, it was clear the bike program would need to be suspended for the time being. BfP shifted efforts to rebuilding Maribojoc and began delivering things like rice and books to the struggling community.

April 2014. Currently, BfP  is poised to begin training beneficiaries  first thing next month (April). After spending some time in the elements, our bikes sitting at Peacock Gardens could use a little TLC maintenance, which will be completed by two students beneficiaries from our pilot program in Baclayon.

Jake Palijado
The Mayor of Maribojoc and the Department of Education worked together to designate two classrooms in Pagnituan that will serve as a warehouse and makeshift repair shop. Once they graduate next month, Jake Palijado and Hermongenes Pocot will assess and repair the bikes to be loaned to the next round of beneficiaries in Maribojoc. These two graduates will also serve as mentors and role models to the new beneficiaries in Pagnituan.

Meanwhile, Bikes for the Philippines is already looking at where the next container of bikes will be placed. Marikina, a school district on the island of Luzon (where Manila is located) and another on the island of Cebu are currently being evaluated. Storage, volunteer hands, and transportation continue to be a consideration especially given the complications that arose in Bohol during the latest round of storms, not to mention the ship transport and the exposure to salt water and sea air the bikes experienced.

No comments:

Post a Comment