Visting the Schools in Capiz
Executive Director Deacon Rick Medina visited Capiz, Philippines in February 2016. While there, he visited Lonoy Elementary School and Agtatacay Norte Elementary School to check in on the progress and see the extent of their need there.
To Deacon Rick’s amazement, both schools had barely begun reconstruction. Students are still attending class in the ruins of their original school. The only finished building on each campus was the one generously donated by the Catholic World Mission family. He recounts, “It’s been over three years since the typhoons and they have just had to make due!”
Lonoy Elementary School
Deacon Rick’s trip to Lonoy Elementary has held a special place in his heart. The new Home Economics building standing in bright blue paint was clearly the center of campus life. In a small extremely rural village like Capiz there are not many opportunities for the students to go on and study engineering, science, or mathematics. The Home Economics center enables the children to learn valuable skills like sewing, cooking, basic first-aid, and nutrition to one day serve the community.
While at Lonoy Elementary, Deacon Rick learned that the principal there learned how to use a computer specifically to ask Catholic World Mission for help! She shared the story of how she learned to set up an e-mail account, and prayed on the long shot that we would come to Lonoy Elementary School’s assistance. All shared laughs when she said she was surprised her request was approved! The Lord is good! Lonoy Elementary is still waiting on assistance to help with the remaining ruins of their school.
Agtatacay Norte Elementary School
It is tradition in the Philippines to celebrate guests with distinction when they visit. Upon arrival to Agtatacay Norte Elementary School, Deacon Rick was quickly adorned with a decorative ribbon and lead to the new teacher’s office built by the generosity of the Catholic World Mission family. On the short walk over to the office are still many buildings in ruins, yet the children attend class there every day from 7 in the morning to 5 in the evening. A small ceremony took place in honor of Deacon Rick’s visit where he turned over the keys to the building, and a blessing was said to celebrate the event.
Many missions have visited both Lonoy and Agtatacay Notre Elementary School since the typhoon saying they would help, but Victoriana, the principal of Agtatacay Elementary shared, “Many organizations have visited, but no one has come back to fulfill their promise to help.” Deacon Rick recalls, “You would not believe the gratitude from both schools, we were treated like guests of honor. The children wrote us letters in thanks even though the rest of their school is still in ruins. I look forward to seeing the schools completely reconstructed one day. We just need to pray and trust God that it can be done for them.”
See photos from Deacon Rick's trip below: