Manila-On July 27, the United States government, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), turned over P9.7 million ($175,000) in education materials and hygiene kits to support teachers and out-of-school youth affected by the eruption of Mayon Volcano in the province of Albay.

This donation, provided through USAID’s Opportunity 2.0 program, will benefit more than 1,700 learners enrolled in the Department of Education’s (DepEd) Alternative Learning System (ALS) and 100 teachers in 34 affected barangays in the cities of Legazpi and Tabaco and the municipalities of Malilipot, Sto. Domingo, Camalig, Daraga, and Guinobatan. In addition to teaching and learning materials and hygiene kits, beneficiaries also received psychosocial support.

USAID Philippines Regional Legal Officer Michelle McLeod joined Malilipot Municipality Mayor Cenon B. Volante, Legazpi City Vice Mayor Oscar Cristobal, and DepEd Region V Assistant Regional Director Bebiano Sentillas in distributing the learning materials and hygiene kits to affected ALS learners and teachers.

“Our out-of-school youth have already faced so many challenges in their journey to continue their education. Through our collaboration with our Philippine partners, we are restoring education in challenging circumstances and minimizing the effects of disruption in learning,” McLeod said.

“These learning kits and psychosocial support from USAID will give our ALS learners and teachers a fighting chance to recover from this disaster” DepEd Assistant Regional Director Sentillas said. “DepEd is committed to ensuring as little disruption to education so that vulnerable youth may continue to learn and upskill towards a better tomorrow no matter how difficult the circumstances.”

Earlier this month, the U.S. government, through USAID’s Advancing Basic Education in the Philippines (ABC+) program, donated P1.86 million ($33,600) worth of learner and teacher kits to 19 schools, benefitting more than 6,000 students and 200 teachers affected by the eruption of Mayon Volcano.

USAID’s donation of educational and hygiene kits is part of the broader commitment of the U.S. government to support the Philippine government in mitigating learning loss and ensuring continuity of education even during crisis situations, such as those caused by natural calamities. (PR)