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LEYTE, Philippines – One family will have the chance to improve their home this Christmas season as civil engineering students of the Visayas State University pooled in some funds to buy basic construction materials that sought to help a chosen beneficiary in Baybay City.
Pamela Ligoro, a single mom to three kids, resides in a shanty in Sitio Lapawon, which is not an ideal shelter for a family especially during typhoon season.
She sustains her family’s needs through a meager income that she gets from doing nail care services in her community. Because her livelihood is not enough to cover other essentials, Pamela and her three children are forced to live in a dilapidated structure that is dangerous and very vulnerable to different types of natural disasters.
Informed of this, the VSU Student Chapter of the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers (PICE) decided to take action by helping Pamela and her struggling family to rebuild and repair their home in time for the holidays.
Teary-eyed at this news, Pamela received this special Christmas present in a simple turnover ceremony held on December 21, 2023, at the newly constructed headquarters of the College of Engineering and Technology-Supreme Student Council (CET-SSC).
The event was part of an annual outreach program of the Department of Civil Engineering (DCE) called “CEng Pamasko” that was mainly spearheaded by selected student leaders who led a local donation drive for the purchase of construction supplies and other basic home rebuilding materials for a chosen family.
Part of the initiative was to source out the most efficient and cost-effective home rebuilding resources that can be locally procured.
The selected beneficiary was vetted through a series of home visitations and personal interviews that were conducted by students as part of their charity and community extension activity.
“Nagpasalamat ko kay ako ang napili kay sa kadugay sa panahon, wala pa gyud nako ni napaayo ang among balay tungod sa kalisod nga amo giagian sa among pamilya. Lami gyud kaayo sa pamati nga karong Pasko, pag-ayo sa among balay ang akong nadawat gikan sa mga estudyante nga tigdumala aning programaha. Salamat kaayo ug unta mas daghan pa mo’g matabangan,” the beneficiary expressed during the formal turnover of the construction materials.
(I’m thankful that I was the chosen beneficiary because, for a long time, I was not able to repair our home due to the financial hardships that we go through every day. It feels nice that in time for Christmas, we get to receive one of the best gifts that will allow us to repair our small home. Thank you very much to the organizers of this program and may you be able to help more people in the future.)
Engineer Allan Gulles, one of the advisers of the PICE-VSU Student Chapter and a former student leader, expressed his admiration for the plans and programs of the civil engineering students, pointing out that the projects of the department have always been anchored on extending a helping hand to the poor and the marginalized.
“This initiative is just the beginning of our greater goal to extend more help to our community people by encouraging them to build affordable housing that can withstand different kinds of natural calamities,” Gulles said.
For the success of this outreach program, PICE-VSU Student Chapter President Kristian Abrio thanked the faculty and alumni donors, including student volunteers, who made their initiative possible.
He also encouraged the beneficiary to continuously persevere in life despite the many challenges that she has to take to sustain the needs of her three children.
“May this modest initiative of our organization bring you comfort in rebuilding your home. May this also bring you the warmth of the holiday season, and remind everyone that we should not hesitate to spread kindness and hope even beyond the Christmas season,” Abrio said.
The student leader also hoped that similar initiatives be pursued by their organization as a challenge to the incoming set of officers of PICE-VSU Student Chapter so that more people would receive basic assistance in the future. – Rappler.com
This article is republished with permission from the Visayas State University.