Students and staff at Wales High School from Kiveton Park in Rotherham wanted to do something to help but their help was different! Whilst millions of pounds were being raised all over the world to supply food and blankets, our school wanted to offer support in a more direct way!
We wanted to help a specific school and support them in being able to continue to provide a good education for their students.
We made contact with the Department of Education in the Philippines who put us in touch with Cabintan National High School. Cabintan is a school in a rural community and this proved to be a problem as the money that had been raised was being given to schools in the urban areas. Cabintan had been destroyed by the typhoon yet still achieved a 90% attendance level, despite the difficulties of being able to travel from more remote areas.
The head teacher of Cabintan, Mr Elvin Wenceslao, was so desperate for help that he prayed to God for support. The very next day, Wales High School phoned him offering support! On hearing of the extent of the destruction, the students and staff at Wales High School immediately started to fund raise.
The final day of the Christmas term saw a non- uniform day in which students paid a £1 not to wear their school uniform. Sixth Form students went around the school asking for coins to be thrown into a bucket, in the Philippines an exercise books costs just 7p so even a few pennies would make a difference! In that final day of the Christmas term £1335 was raised and all that money was transferred to Cabintan National High School.
Mr Wenceslao was so moved by the generosity of Wales high School that he sent a letter:
‘CABINTAN NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL experienced a terrible, catastrophic event when “TYPHOON YOLANDA” hit. Most of the physical structures of the school were destroyed as well as the hope of the students and teachers. Our school is situated in the mountainous area by which after Yolanda could only be reached by motorcycle.
We waited for help hoping that someone would support us in rebuilding our hopes but as expected no help came, maybe because it is really difficult to reach the area. I then received some great news when Wales High School telephoned promising support!
From the deepest portion of my very soul, I would like to thank the WALES HIGH SCHOOL for raising £1335. I did not expect that those people, who were very far from the Philippines, are the ones who showed their love, generosity, and friendship. What you have bestowed to us really gave us what is the real meaning of “HOPE and PERSEVERANCE”
I know that “THANK YOU” is not enough words to pay tribute to the things that you have showed to us but then, on behalf of my students, teachers and to all the community of Cabintan National High School I will take this opportunity to say THANK YOU to all of you. I hope that this will not be the end of our strong friendship that has already started.
I will be looking forward that our friendships will becoming more stronger as years goes by. I promise that your help will give meaning to all of us especially to the students. What you have done to us will always be in our hearts that created FOOTPRINTS and cannot be erased and we will be bringing this good experience throughout our lives.’
Cabintan used the money to buy exercise books, pens and pencils, school bags and each student was given a t- shirt with the Wales High School logo:
The future now looks much brighter for the students of Cabintan National High School. Students at Wales High School will also benefit as they will learn about the culture and lives of a people many thousands of miles away as both schools plan on working together to bring a greater understanding of each other’s lives.