Wednesday, September 7, 2016

USAID builds more disaster-resilient classrooms in Leyte

From the Philippine News Agency (Sep 7): USAID builds more disaster-resilient classrooms in Leyte
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has turned over on Wednesday 24 climate-resilient classrooms in Leyte province as part of the US government’s assistance to communities badly hit by super typhoon Yolanda in 2013.

US Embassy Manila’s USAID Office of Education Deputy Chief Erica Rounsefell led the inauguration ceremonies for new classrooms in four schools - Dagami South Central School in Dagami town, San Joaquin National High School in Palo, Alegria National High School in Julitan, and Salvador Elementary School in Tanauan.

“These new classrooms are typhoon and earthquake proof so you can feel confident that despite what storms might come, the structures will continue to provide opportunity for excellent education for students,” Rounsefell told a crowd of local officials, teachers, parents and learners during a ceremony in Dagami town.

Joining the turnover ceremonies were Leyte Governor Leopoldo Dominico Petilla, local government officials, Department of Education officials and four principals from the beneficiary schools.

“The priority we give to building classrooms underline the important role of education in reducing poverty. It reaffirms our conviction that education is a basic human right to which everyone should have access.”

The official lauded the dedication of teachers, school administrators, parents and students to learn despite natural disasters such as super typhoon Yolanda.

Petilla asked parents to help maintain the facility and help ensure bright future of their children. “The best way to thank the American people is to make sure that when these children grow up, they will be productive citizens of the country.”

After the ceremony in Dagami South Central School, Rousenfell and other officials headed to the other beneficiary schools to perform the ceremonial ribbon-cutting and unveiling of the project marker for each site.

The 24 classrooms were constructed with climate-resilient construction techniques and will provide safe, and conducive learning environments for almost 1,800 students from the beneficiary schools.

These projects are part of the U.S. government’s nearly USD143 million assistance to help typhoon survivors build back better after the catastrophe. Across affected areas, USAID is constructing 310 classrooms, 30 agri-fishery support facilities, 12 health facilities, and 1,029 community stores.

USAID is also restoring livelihood activities through the provision of equipment and training to 3,215 farmers, 6,920 fisherfolk, and 1,417 micro, small and medium entrepreneurs.

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