33 Guinsaugon orphans graduate from HS

Published by rudy Date posted on March 22, 2009

TACLOBAN CITY – Thirty-three students from Guinsaugon in St. Bernard, Southern Leyte who were orphaned by the landslide that destroyed their village in 2006 have graduated from high school.

Wednesday’s graduation of Guinsaugon’s orphaned students was proof that they were able to overcome the tragedy that hit their village three years ago, said Maria Getalado, in charge of the “Project Guinsaugon: Tabang Kabataan” of the regional office of the Department of Education (DepEd).

“We are happy for these students who were able to finish their high school. They realized at their young age that there is still a life ahead of them and that a better future awaits them,” Getalado said.

Gelatado said the students were very grateful that the project was launched by DepEd under its regional director Sol Matugas in the aftermath of the landslide that wiped out the village of Guinsaugon.

“During our recent visit (to St. Bernard), these children obviously could not express in words how much they were grateful that because of the program, they were able to finish high school and eventually their college (education),” Getalado said.

The 33 students are to finish their high school at Cristo Rey Regional High School, located in the town center of St. Bernard, which became an evacuation center when their village was leveled to the ground on Feb. 17, 2006 after boulders and mud cascaded down from Mt. Can-abag.

Over a thousand people, including 200 elementary school children, died.

“Project Guinsaugon: Tabang Kabataan” was launched in March 2007, in the time for the next school year, so that students orphaned by the tragedy could continue their studies.

At least 103 students were originally identified by the DepEd to receive scholarships under the program but many left St. Bernard to live with their relatives.

Under the program, each of the scholars received a P500 monthly allowance for transportation and other school needs. Those who finished high school and chose to continue a college education could still avail of the scholarship for as long as they would take a four-year course in a college or university within Eastern Visayas.

Since it was launched more than two years ago, DepEd has raised over P2 million in donations from various groups and individuals.

The money is deposited at the Land Bank of the Philippines.–Joey A. Gabieta, Philippine Daily Inquirer

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