For the academic school year 2017-2018, Gawad Metronian Educational Foundation, Inc. [GMEFI] found their first Persons with Disability [PWD] scholars. Mirana Medina, GMEFI Board Member and Community and Educational Program Fund Assistance Head made the search last summer. She asked her friend Mr. Jun Sevilla, a teacher of the Philippine School for the Deaf [PSD] for nominees who also led her to Ms. Ellen Carino, Social Worker of the Philippine National School for the Blind [PNSB]. Medina discussed with Ms. Carino about GMEFI’s search for scholars.
On June 5, 2017, the agreements were finally signed between GMEFI President and the authorities of the two schools: Ms. Corazon Salvador, PNSB Officer-in-Charge and Dr. Rosalie Condes, PSD Principal. They were witnessed by GMEFI Staff Gil Reoma and Medina. The students were introduced to GMEFI officers, informed about the assistance that GMEFI is to provide them, and were finally also asked to sign the documents as recipients of GMEFI’s Scholarship assistance. The students received the badly needed fund assistance in form of transportation allowances for school year 2017-2018, including uniforms for the Blind students. As per agreement the two schools shall manage the disbursement of allowances. A total amount of P40,000 was given in support of the students.
The joy of the recipients was most evidently displayed on the expression of surprise and joy of Marjorie Morga while the Guidance Counselor interprets for Dr. Condes about the good news. Mrs. Jonalee Morga, Marjorie’s mother was so thankful and in tears when she related that her daughter had to stop for four years because of transportation problem. She said she could not help but cry when Marjorie pleaded kneeling down to send her go to school. Although the Deaf and Blind students are offered free schooling by the government, transportation expenses to go to and from their house to school is a great challenge to many.
GMEFI hopes to be able to increase the number of its PWD scholars. Its President who witnessed how needy those children are felt really good that we found them. Medina on the other hand was as happy because her advocacy now extends from not just making advocacy films about them but in becoming a link between them and GMEFI.