When the pandemic broke out in 2020, learners were left at home, teachers were forced to adapt to distance learning, as the world waited for face-to-face classes to resume. For schools in remote areas such as Busuanga Island in Palawan, or Bantayan, Cebu, access to hygiene facilities is among the necessities that will ensure pupils are protected against communicable diseases when they return to school.
With this, Vivant Foundation saw the need to help public school teachers and learners in far-flung communities adapt to the new normal. This includes supporting DepEd’s learning continuity plan amidst the COVID-19 pandemic by strengthening water access, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) in schools. With this, Vivant Foundation partnered with Manila Water Foundation to support the Department of Education’s WASH in Schools (WinS) program through the League of Corporate Foundations (LCF) WinS: Lingap Eskwela sa Pandemya.
Through the partnership with Vivant Foundation, 10 schools were provided with 10-faucet pedal-operated hygiene facilities benefiting more than 5,000 students, teachers, and staff, upgrading the WinS star-rating of these schools to 1-star in the hygiene facility indicator of DepEd’s Three Star Approach.
In Palawan, four schools benefitted from the project, namely Sta. Monica Elementary School in Coron, Busuanga Elementary School in Old Busuanga, Malaking Patag Elementary School in Malaking Patag in Culion, and Sta. Lourdes National High School in Puerto Princesa City. In Cebu, hygiene facilities were installed in Kabangbang Central Elementary School in Bantayan, Tayud Elementary School in Tayud, Liloan, and Buagsong Elementary School in Buagsong, Cordova. While in La Union, the facilities were installed at schools in the municipality of Bauang: Payocpoc Elementary School, Santiago Elementary School, and Guerrero Elementary School.
“Our handwashing facility is very important to our school. Teachers and learners wash their hands in our handwashing facility before entering their respective classrooms. Since it is a group handwashing facility, it can accommodate 10 learners at the same time. It is really a big help in our school. That is why our school is very thankful to our benefactor, Vivant, for giving us this special project,” said Darlene Calica, Principal of Guerrero Elementary School, La Union.
In his speech during the turnover ceremony in Puerto Princesa, Vivant Foundation CEO Shem Garcia expressed the importance of partnerships in the delivery of successful social development programs. “This partnership shows how important relationships really are to Vivant as a company,” Garcia said. “By working together, with organizations like the League of Corporate Foundations, we’re able to do more. Thank you to the LCF for creating that community among foundations where we’ve learned and grown,” he added.
The hygiene facilities are designed to respond to COVID-19 challenges, hence, include pedal-operated, properly distanced faucets one meter apart, to ensure physical distancing during group handwashing and facilitate the behavior of contactless handwashing. Each is equipped with a soap dish, to promote handwashing with soap, and with signages on the steps to proper handwashing, toothbrushing, and COVID-19 precautionary measures.
“As an organization with the core advocacy of WASH or water access, sanitation, and hygiene, Manila Water Foundation is grateful to be the implementing partner of the League of Corporate Foundations on the LCFWinS Program. This is indeed a demonstration of our collective effort and impact – working together to create the enabling environment and the right conditions for good hand hygiene in schools, for our learners and teachers,” said MWF Executive Director Reginald Andal.
Overall, #LCFWinS has benefited 147,029 individuals, 5,893 of which benefited through the partnership with Vivant Foundation, covering 10 schools in Palawan, Cebu, and La Union, implemented from May 2021 to March 2022.
LCFWinS is a collaboration among corporations and corporate foundations in support of the WASH in Schools program of the Department of Education. It also supports the Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan of the Department at this time of the Pandemic. LCFWinS is aligned with one of the League of Corporate Foundations’ strategic pillars - Collective Impact, which is the network’s ability to convene, participate, collaborate, and build partnerships among its members and other stakeholders toward addressing gaps in social development.