A series of devastating events brought a distinct end to the year 2021, with the COVID-19 pandemic still raging globally, and the destruction of Super Typhoon Odette in The Phillippe's battering an already-recovering community, I'm amazed at the fantastic spirit shown within our scholars. Despite all the problems, humanity's true strength shone through the chaos, with people banding together to help their fellow man in the face of adversity.
This edition of the BlackPool Academy Newsletter tries to strike a balance between the good and the challenging, and can hopefully provide some inspiration and comfort in these difficult times. Events have been posted chronologically.
Trozo Elementary School Donation
At Liscon, BlackPool auctioned off some of it's NFTs, raising funds for charities close to our scholar's hearts. Two projects were chosen - Donating much needed school supplies for Trozo Elementary School and growing and developing the Gaming Community Feeding Program.
Pioneered by local teacher Joy M. Tolentino, BlackPool donated the funds raised to purchase technological learning and sporting supplies for the children attending Trozo Elementary School in the Philippines, as part of the charitable organisations we support.
The donation included:
- 7 x 4K UHD Smart TVs for classrooms as interactive teaching aids.
- Various sports equipment including tennis tables, balls, paddles, badminton rackets, shuttlecocks, volleyballs, discus etc.
- A host of school supplies from pens, pencils, crayons, notebooks, sharpeners, erasers, paper, textbooks etc.
- Assorted recreational materials, board games etc.
Gilbert F. De Guzan, Principle of the school addressed the above open letter to BlackPool on behalf of all those involved. It was fantastic to see how well the donation was received and to hear how much of a difference it will make to the lives of the next generation.
News of the donation spread and we received this certification of donation from Emeliano D. Rombo, the Public Schools District Supervisor for the region.
Additional funds were used for servicing and refurbishing existing school equipment, bringing their tech up to scratch for teaching with children slowly returning to school again following the Pandemic.
It will be an exciting time for the students and staff at Trozo Elementary, returning to a new school year after long-distance learning was established during the COVID-19 crisis. BlackPool looks forward to supporting many more community projects like this in the future.
Gaming Community Feeding Program - XL
At a new, outdoor public venue, over 100 children were given gift bags (with school supplies, milk and covid-19 hygiene kits inside), vitamins, Jollibee (a chicken dish with spaghetti), and juice boxes at Brgy Rizal Covered Court in The Philippines. Additionally over 100 families attended and they were given food relief packs consisting of rice, noodles, coffees and canned goods, creating the biggest food and supplies donation to date for the Gaming Community Feeding Program.
They were so happy and grateful for what we could given to them this time. It's the first time for the children were given schoolbags with supplies inside and the joy with the Jollibee and the parents were happy to have more vitamins. It was indeed a very special day for the children and for us the volunteers, the joy and smiles it brings to the children was so special to me. I was so happy that many people are grateful and thankful for what we do with the Feeding Program. Everyone was wonderful; it was the first time that our community has given this much to those in need. They're happy and very grateful towards BlackPool Academy for the donation from the auction that let us grow the Feeding Program bigger and better. I am so thankful also because you have given me a chance to achieve my dreams and help people here in the Philippines, especially the children. ~ Rolando | BlackPool Academy.
BlackPool Academy wants to thank the following scholars and aspirants for donating their time to make the event a success: BlackPool Scholars: Junbawin | BlackPool Academy, Luz | BlackPool Academy, Julieta DC | BlackPool Academy, jurelyn | BlackPool Academy, Ezekiel | BlackPool Academy, rubelyn | BlackPool Academy and aspiring scholars Lean Bawin, Cesar Dela Cruz, Kim Dolino, Guia Mae Bello, Evelyn Pacaña.
It was indeed a successful event, children and parents are so happy as well as me, my husband and co-Blackpool scholars, and the volunteers. It was a nice feeling to help and give smiles to those people. Thank you so much BlackPool Academy. This is possible because of your kindness and generosity. ~ Aviel14 | BlackPool Academy
Deep Well Repair and Shed Replacement at New Sumakwel, San Carlos City, Negros Occidental.
The deep well which provides the only water source for New Sumakwel was dilapidated, dangerous and a health hazard. The shed roofing had hold and was structurally unsound; collapsing under its own weight.
Enter BlackPool Academy scholars, who banded together to replace the entire well, shed and concrete surrounds to make the water safe and accessible for local residents.
The well is 7 decades old, it has had daily use since then. It's the main source of water, from washing dishes, washing clothes, and bathing. I have bought the all the materials for restoring its shed. And cleaning the well restoring it's inside part by re-cementing and repainting its outside and widening its area and repairing the drainage. The shed was not repaired for almost 5 years. Almost 100 people used it everyday. They thank the academy for repairing and restoring the deep well. They won't be hit by the sunlight anymore, and many people can now was wash dishes, and clothes and some will can take a bath because of its widened area. They are so happy because they won't bang there head on the rusty roof! Thank you so much BlackPool Academy; because of you and the scholarships you provide, I am able help the community and make people smile. I am so happy whenever I am going there, they always smiling and thankful to us. ~M Soupman | BlackPool Academy scholar.
Typhoon Disaster, December 2021
On December 16th 2021 The Philippines was been hit by a catastrophic super typhoon. It assaulted the country for 4 days and caused flooding and destruction, leaving 334 cities and municipalities in a state of utter decimation . Super Typhoon Rai, known to locals as Odette, brought torrential rains and packing winds up to 168 miles per hour (270 km per hour).
The Philippines sits on a typhoon belt and typically gets about 20 storms a year. This was the most devastating by far this year, with more than 4 million people were either displaced or injured, with 407 dead and 69 still missing, according to The Philippines’ National Disaster Council.
Some of the following images are disturbing, but I have chosen to present them in this blog as they have been submitted to us from our scholars as they are rallying around their communities, both online in The Academy, and in person, to pull through this disaster.
The typhoon also affected the source of livelihood of the affected population. In Negros Occidental, where most of our Filipino scholars hail from, Typhoon Odette killed at least 1.3 million livestock chickens, causing food shortages that further compound the disaster.
BlackPool donated 2.5 ETH to the Official Typhoon Relief fund, and another 2.5 ETH directly to our Senior Scholars to distribute to their communities and help the scholars and families in need who suffered most during this tragedy.
If you want to help Scholars directly, you can do so with a donation to the following address, where any funds will be distributed by Senior Scholars on-site to aid in the recovery:
How The Grinch Stole (Saved) Christmas
A special someone was out and about in San Carlos distributing presents and toys to all the children on Christmas day. In times times like these with the pandemic still rampant and many out of work, off the back of the worst Typhoon in decades, some may not able to receive gifts this year so in festive sprit The Grinch was out giving gifts and food to anyone he bumped into.
The Grinch's heart grew two sizes that day, at the sight of all the smiling children.
“Maybe Christmas (he thought) doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps, means a little bit more.” ~ The Grinch
If you have any interesting stories that you would like to submit for inclusion in the next community newsletter, an article you’ve written, or you would like to know more about becoming a BlackPool Academy Scholar, head on over to our Discord. See you next time!