Seeing the world through books

Laika, along with other students in their school, is all made up. In a few minutes, they will perform a Subanen ethnic dance, as the students’ way of saying thank you to everyone who helped provide for their reading hub.

“There were days when we wanted to read more books but we didn’t have a place in the school for that,” she shares.

“It changes today,” she adds.

For Laika, books show her the world and they show her more of the things and places and people outside her hometown in Siayan, Zamboanga del Norte.

“I want to become either a flight attendant or a lawyer. I want to ride an airplane, travel, and see in person the things I see in books,” she shares.

Laika is the sixth among seven children. Her father is a farmer while her mother is a housewife.

“During planting or harvest season, my mother and my siblings also help in the farm that father is renting. I am usually in-charge of bringing snacks or lunch for them.  When I do not have much to do, I love looking into photos of beautiful places.”

Laika dreams of giving back to her parents. She knows what it costs them just to feed her and her siblings three times a day. While she can name a hundred and more things she wants to give them, she knows that for now, she needs to study well so she can reach her dreams one day. And she considers the reading hub a gift as she strives hard to do well in school.

“We are grateful that our learners now have this facility. This will reinforce our goal to support our non and slow readers in the school,” shares school principal Librado Idias. The reading hub caters to more than 200 students. Aside from the building, other materials were also given like books, tables and chairs.

Siayan’s municipal Mayor was also present during the handover and emphasized the importance of having an aligned goal and strong partnership among different stakeholders for the benefit of the children. The local government aims to have zero non-readers by 2021 and World Vision fully supports that vision for the town. At the national level, World Vision is also working closely with the department of education as the co-lead convener of Brigada Pagbasa, a movement that intends to bring together educators, policymakers, and stakeholders across sectors to equip Filipino learners with improved functional literacy skills. Its goals include educational transformation through digital and non-digital approaches, identification of low-cost strategies to improve access to and the quality of education, and build more inclusive learning environments among others.