by Miguel Ignacio
The Erya program of Gabay is a year-long effort of the organization wherein the members go to elementary schools to teach grade 5 and grade 6 students Math and English. The program is partnered with two schools, namely Industrial Valley Elementary School, which hosts the morning Erya volunteers, and Holy Spirit Elementary School, which hosts the afternoon Erya volunteers. At the end of the school year, Gabay organizes a culminating event called the Erya Graduation which brings the kids from both schools to the Ateneo for a day filled with fun activities and games, as well as a send-off for the graduating tutors and Erya kids. With Gabay, every major event is accompanied by a fundraiser.
From the 13th to the 17th of March 2017, Ateneo Gabay held a fundraiser project for one of their upcoming projects, Erya Graduation, called “Kit for the Kids”, which aimed to raise funds for both the Erya Graduation and kits full of school supplies for the Erya kids who would attend the program. The fundraiser was operated on a pledge-and-reward system, entailing that with a minimum pledge of 40 pesos, the pledger would be given either a stress ball or a ballpen, depending on what they chose. Every time the project made 150 pesos, which was the overall price of one kit, a cutout of school supplies was added to the kit counter on display at the booth.
The project was also tied in with Gabay’s sem-long project, the Angkan Scheme, where the members are split into four Angkans, and they spend the whole semester trying to get points by attending events, accomplishing tasks, and involving themselves in the org activities. The Angkan Scheme has a reputation for being one of, if not the most competitive project of Gabay, which meant the Kit for the Kids project was never short on volunteers, and quite a few members were familiar sights.
The project took a bit of a while to start off and business was slow in the first day. The activity at the booth normally went up during class transitions when everyone would be heading to their next class, and over time, passers-by took more of an interest in the project, especially because many students had several exams that week and they were more than happy to get a stress ball. The class times in between bells saw the least activity, which the volunteers spent either roving and collecting pledges elsewhere, or finishing homework and studying for tests before the next bell. The project also experienced interruptions because of the earthquake and fire drills scheduled on the 15th. Fewer people would pass by the booth in the later hours of the day, which led to the volunteers playing card games before packing up the project materials.
The project fell short of the projected php 15,000 earnings with a current count of the earnings at less than php 10,000. What will be done with the remaining pens and stress balls is still to be decided.
Project Heads: Raven Ico and Rustin Cagumbay
Logistics: Abegail Lee and Don Kristian Zipagan
Materials: John David Benabaye
Secretariat: Paolo Villegas
Volunteer Management: Al Francis Bontongon
Finance: Rae Gabrielle Grepaldeo