Officials of the US-based Honeywell Humanitarian Relief Fund are to visit Guiuan town on March 24 to personally turn over the newly-constructed two school buildings at Ngolos Elementary School in Barangay Ngolos. All school buildings of said school were destroyed during the onslaught of supertyphoon “Yolanda.”

TACLOBAN CITY- Teachers and students of the Ngolos Elementary School(NES) in Guiuan town, Eastern Samar are ready to welcome officials of a humanitarian group based in the United States to show their gratitude for their assistance in constructing new school buildings. When supertyphoon “Yolanda” hit Guiuan town, all the school’s facilities were washed out, said school principal Esperanza Esquierdo. But with the assistance of the Honeywell Humanitarian Relief Fund (HHRF), who count a Kennedy scion of the America’s most famous family as a member, the school has now new, better and typhoon-resilient school buildings. “Of course, we are happy and grateful to them. All our school buildings here were washed out when Yolanda hit Guiuan,” Esquierdo said. The school buildings, located in Barangay Ngolos which is 14 kilometers away from town proper, were constructed on October of last year and finished last February.

Esquierdo said that the school buildings, composed of four classrooms each and a basketball court and playground, will forever be a reminder not only to them teachers and students but to the rest of the Ngolos residents on the benevolence of the HHRF. The HHRF is the humanitarian arm of the Honeywell Hometown Solutions, one of the world’s diversified manufacturing and technology leaders. Employees of the Honeywell Hometown Solutions, when they learned on the devastations caused by Yolanda, donated more than $151,000 to the HHRF for it to provide assistance to the victims of Yolanda.

On March 24, top officials of the HHRF will personally visit the NES to turn over the school buildings that they donated. The delegation will compose Honeywell president for Southeast Asia, Jim Bujold; Kerry Kennedy, director of Honeywell Hometown Solutions and Richard Walden, CEO Operation USA, partner of the Honeywell Humanitarian Relief Fund. They will be welcome by the school’s more than 400 students and teachers as well as by Guiuan Mayor Christopher Sheen Gonzales and his sister, former mayor Annaliza Gonzales-Kwan.

It was through the effort of Gonzales-Kwan why the HHRF was able to learn on the plight of the NES. The former mayor managed to find her way in contacting the Operation USA, an international relief agency of which HHRF is in partnership with in providing assistance to disaster victims.
And in showing their gratitude to the HHRF, the said school will now be known as the Ngolos Honeywell Elementary School. Gonzales-Kwan said that it was fitting that an American humanitarian group lent its support on the recovery effort of Ngolos which was once served as an important area of American forces during World War II. “We will forever be grateful to them,” she said. (JOEY A. GABIETA)