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Meeting with the students of the Center for Positive Futures, Banaba

Meeting with the students and with the community

Delphine Leroux-Astier

18 December 2008

CPF Banaba

The Saint Joseph class (35 students from the 4th section) Center for Positive Futures (CPF) Banaba participates in the Global Classroom Initiative.

We exchanged opinions about France and the Philippines. The students told me about their country and the problems it faces: corruption, bad public education, environmental problems, poverty...

The public education system is in want: there can be 100 students in a class; people sometimes have to sit on the floor. As far as the environment is concerned, the students told me that their country is struck by lots of natural catastrophies such as typhoons, landslides etc.

Deforestation is another big issue. The students learn about global warming: global warming may worsen natural catastrophies. They know that actions taken in other places can have an impact in their country: local and global levels are intertwined.

The Banaba community also faces environmental problems; some houses are destroyed during the wet season because of floods.

Food Habits

Fruits and vegetables are expensive in Manila: it is difficult for those who earn modest wages to afford them. If there is a natural catastrophe in the provinces , this can lead to food shortages, which forces the prices to go even higher. That is the reason why people are eating rice and noodles. It is not very healthy but it is cheap — with 5 pesos (7 centimes; 12 cents) you can feed 3 people. Sometimes young people eat fast food. For example, they like going to Jollibee (a local fast food eatery), but it is expensive.

Some of them have heard of organic food, but they don’t know about Fair Trade.

The Youth Covenant

One of the students participated in the drafting of the Youth Covenant. The second youth festival will be held on May 2008 when they will share what they have done since the first youth festival. Representatives from all over the country will come; even working children (who work on the suger cane fields) and indigenous communities will attend the meeting.

Cultural events

They don’t have an abundance of facilities at the CPF Banaba. They only have one computer with the Internet, with which they participate in the GCI forum. But they do organize numerous cultural events.

Here you can see a video of students and teachers dancing at a local event:

Buklod Tao

Buklod Tao is an NGO located near the Center for Positive Futures – Banaba. Like other NGO, “Buklod Tao” helps the community to get organized and find solutions to the problems they undergo such as flood, soil erosion of the Nangka River embankment, water supply ... Buklod Tao is a people’s organization which aims to strengthen the capacity of the communities in disaster preparedness and environmental conservation They are doing community-based risk managment ;

These people who have low income are searching extra-income ; for instance they are using their skills to produce bags made out of recycled juice pockets. The people are given a “go bag” in order to put the precious things in it in case they have to flee because of an emergency.

To learn more about Buklod Tao activities and San Mateo history :