Help us fund our sustainable school-community projects for the children of Maytaraw Primary School
The true essence of outreach is not only bringing them immediate help but making concrete change. Let's continue to help uplift the quality of life of the people in the community through helping the school.
About Maytaraw Primary School
The school is located deep inside the remote village of Sitio Maytaraw, Dalagsaan, Libacao, Aklan, in the Central Panay mountain ranges, close to the boundary of Aklan, Iloilo and Antique. It's the farthest school in the municipality of Libacao, and in the province of Aklan. To get there from the town proper, it requires 2 hours of habal-habal (motorcycle) ride on bumpy roads and long hours of walk, crossing mountains and rivers. On a good weather, one would endure 10 hours of walking and 24 river crossings, wading the raging waters of the wild Aklan River. The ordeal gets worse during rainy days. Getting there becomes treacherous because of the difficult terrain and the dangers of flash flood during the heavy rain.
The school is in poor condition and it's desperately in need of immediate repair. The school's ceiling is dilapidated, the floor is flooded when raining and the chairs are almost broken. The teachers hold four classes in one classroom at the same time using one chalk board that are cut into two with limited or even obsolete books.
About the Pupils of Maytaraw Primary School
Maytaraw has a population of more than 160 pupils coming from the surrounding mountain villages of Libacao, Aklan and Calinog, Iloilo. The children have to walk through the mountain trails and cross multiple rivers before they get to school with little or sometimes no food. During monsoon, the trails become muddy and slippery and rivers are harder to cross. When flooding, pupils get stranded and wait until the next day until the water subsides. Such difficulties prevent some of them to go to school. Others would frequently skip classes until eventually drop out of school in the middle of the school year. Due to its remoteness, most of the children haven't been anywhere and there are pupils that are suffering from malnutrition. They only eat what are available in their place because of difficulty going to town proper. They have never eaten apples, hotdogs, chocolates and marshmallows prior to volunteers' visit.
About the Teachers of Maytaraw Primary School
The teachers assigned in Maytaraw PS share the same ordeal. They endure long hours of trekking and river crossings to reach the school. They stay in the school cottage for several weeks and would go back to their families in their hometowns for a few days to do their paperworks because of the unavailability of the electricity. This has been a monthly routine for teachers and despite of the hardships, they are very committed and feel fulfilled.
About Sitio Maytaraw
Sitio Maytaraw is home to Aklanon Bukidnon, the indigenous people of Aklan living in the uplands of Libacao and Madalag. Because of their isolation, Sitio Maytaraw has remain untouched and they haven't been reached by agencies for decades. There are parents that have never been married nor baptized. Villagers heavily depend on abaca, root crops and rice farm.
First Upland Outreach Mission (December 14-16, 2018)
On the second week of December 2018, we, from Aklan Trekkers, organized the first Maytaraw upland mission with the help of JCI-Aklan, an international group of young and dynamic individuals from Aklan. We brought them life vests, floater, ropes, first-aid kits, over-the-counter medicines, groceries, clothes and toys, hygiene kits, school supplies, books, seeds, and gardening tools. Also, we have conducted, blood pressure check-up, feeding program and psycho-social activities. Prior to our visit, we've sent them fund for the construction of two restrooms. It was on this outreach when we experienced the worst of the terrain but together, we endured and conquered the hardships and made a difference.
Second Upland Outreach Mission (May 27-30, 2019)
During the first outreach, it was noted that many of the pupils from distant villages come to school with little or sometimes no food. Teachers would usually share their food with them but such gesture also affects their supplies and their expenses.
On our second visit to Maytaraw in May 2019, we've successfully built partnerships with the school and her stakeholders and constructed a vegetable garden within the school premises and a small livestock farm near the school in 'bayanihan' system utilizing indigenous resources available in the community conducted timely during the Brigada Eskwela. We introduced an integrated organic farming method that is envisioned to create lasting benefits to the school children, teachers, and parents; and created a system for productivity, development, distribution, and sustainability to support the school’s feeding program, teachers’ consumption supplies, and eventually of the pupils’ households. The group hired a care-taker who will ensure the productivity of the projects under the supervision of the teachers and a regular visit from the team for intervention, sustainability, and development.
The project also serves as a demo farm to win the appreciation and commitment of the community members to encourage them to do the same in their respective backyards or farms which can be an additional livelihood for the community in the future.
Vegetable garden and Livestock
The group pays a care-taker on a monthy basis who ensures the growth and productivity of the plants, chickens, and ducks.
We recently started our rice farming project with the help of Bajoyo family who lend us an area to utilize. The rice produce will be given as a supply for the feeding program of the school and for the consumption of the teachers as well. The rest will be sold to Calinog Public Market and the money will be saved for the long-term project which is the school stage.
Upcoming Projects and Programs
- School's Sari-sari Store
- Human capacity building and skills training for Maytaraw Indigenous People on local food produce and souvenir/handicrafts-making mainly out of abaca.
We need additional funds for the sustainability and development of these projects and programs. Any amount will be highly appreciated.
About Aklan Trekkers
The Aklan Trekkers is a community of Aklanon travelers and mountaineers (individuals or groups) gathered in one virtual venue sharing the same fervor in traveling and other outdoor activities. Our main purpose is to promote Aklan by discovering and exploring its hidden treasures and uncovering the best and unique stories about our province's culture and heritage while enjoying its richness and diversity.
This is a community that connects, builds, and strengthens friendships out from traveling. We envision to generate up-to-date contents and interactive materials in order to contribute to the development and promotion of local and national tourism coupled with advocacy on environmental protection and conservation as well as reaching out remote and indigenous communities.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/aklantrekkers/
- 3rd Aklan Hammock Festival for the Benefit of Taroytoy Elementary School
- First Upland Outreach Mission in Taroytoy Elementary School, another remote school located in Sitio Taroytoy, Barangay Manika, Libacao, Aklan.