The Philippine Toy Library (PTL), together with Jesuit Volunteers Philippines (JVP) and Cartwheel Foundation, launches its first mobile toy center for the indigenous children of Culion, Palawan.
The three NGOs came together to gather toys and children’s books for the Tagbanuan children. These manipulatives will be on a boat that will go from one island to another. Culion is a 4th class municipality in the province of Palawan, consisting of Culion Island primarily and forty-one minor surrounding islands. Once a leprosarium, the area is now a vibrant community eager to develop and progress.
“This is the first time that our donated toys will be mobile and on a boat,” PTL President Edsel Ramirez shares. “Different families live in these islets, and the plan is for the toys to go from one place to another. Hopefully, the children will enjoy their childhood even though they live in these far-flung areas.”
“The Tagbanuan children appreciate the help from other Filipinos,” Cartwheel Foundation Program Associate and JVP Volunteer Camille Tacastacas remarks. “I tell them that even though they live in these areas, they are as important as other kids in the cities.”
On a vacation abroad with the family, Ramirez, 38, was struck with the availability of parks and playgrounds for children in their communities. Thus, he posted a status on his social media site asking for donations of old toys, children’s books, and materials for building the first Philippine Toy Library in Loyola Heights, Quezon City.
Clear out closets and start helping in the building toy centers in Dapdap, Quezon, Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga Sibugay and Zamboanga del Sur. Drop off points are in Quezon City (offices of KIDS AHOY, PTL and Jesuit Volunteers Philippines), Baguio, Bacolod and Zamboanga City (ADZU, Tzu Chi Foundation and YSP offices).
Philippine Toy Library
With just a social media status, a national advocacy was born. PTL is a group of volunteer-friends who came together and took on the challenge of providing the experience of play to our Filipino children, especially who live in cramped and congested areas. PTL transforms idle spaces in baranggays/schools/parishes into fun and educational playrooms to keep off kids from the streets. Currently, PTL has three sites and more are being organized to bring joy to the next generation of Filipinos.
Jesuit Volunteers Philippines
JVP is one of the country’s longest-running local volunteer programs, recruiting, training, and sending highly-skilled college graduates and young professionals to work in under-resourced areas all over the country. This year, they have two volunteers assigned to Cartwheel Foundation working for the education of the Tagbanua in Culion.
Cartwheel seeks to give indigenous youth and communities the chance to enjoy their right to quality and culturally relevant education.