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This ‘BTS’ campaign brings hope

World Vision research shows that since 2019, almost three million students have dropped out of school and five in 10 families lack access to basic education.

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“Let us not rob [the children] of the opportunity to have a bright future,” World Vision ambassador Jasmine Curtis Smith said at the “Back-to-School” campaign launch of World Vision, a global humanitarian organization devoted to improving the lives of children.

The campaign was launched recently to support Filipino children for the opening of school year 2020-2021. Given the circumstances brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic and the shift to digital learning, children living in the most vulnerable conditions have no means of accessing quality education.

“I myself have always been a great believer in the power of education,” said the actor. She encouraged everyone to help donate and sponsor children for their education.

Smith said she is also supporting other initiatives that aim to help children. “Other than BTS… Back-To-School campaign ha. Let’s get that one straight…” she laughed. “I’ve also been supporting the ‘Abutin Na10’ campaign for two years now. I’ve always been supporting child sponsorships.”

‘Abutin Na10’ is an awareness and fundraising campaign which aims to support the Department of Education’s (DepEd) Learning Continuity Plan for students nationwide.

World Vision research shows that since 2019, almost three million students have dropped out of school and five in 10 families lack access to basic education. These problems have only worsened with Covid-19 because of the limitations when it comes to different avenues of learning.

“Our situation today should not be a hindrance for children to fulfill their dreams,” said World Vision’s national director Rommel Fuerte.

He emphasized that people can help support learning continuity in small ways. Supporting their “Back-To-School” campaign is another way to bring hope for the children.

JASMINE Curtis Smith has been supporting other initiatives that aim to help children / photographs courtesy of world vision

Fuerte said that even when children are just at home, “they will feel the (need) to learn.” He added that education is the greatest equalizer, regardless of the pandemic.

What World Vision is trying to achieve with this campaign, according to their team, is to help children feel hope that the pandemic will end and that they will experience face-to-face classes and creative learning again.

“Back-To-School” campaign is all about sending (kids) to school and sponsoring them with modules and (other materials they need for learning),” said Precious Basco, World Vision’s Donor Care manager.

She pointed out that the campaign is supported by DepEd as well, in order to support a large number of children for remote learning. In 2020, they helped 64,000 children and are hoping the numbers will be the same or even higher this year.

The World Vision officer said their target areas are Batangas in Luzon, Cebu, North Cotabato, and Zamboanga.

Smith said that although she is not able to visit children in the World Vision drives, she is motivated by seeing the kids in her family. She realized that although her family is secure, there are children in vulnerable families who are still suffering and she wants to help change that little by little.

“Looking around me, in the (Philippines), I see many kids in the streets and families struggling to make ends meet. It makes me think there’s something I could do more for these children who need my help,” said Smith.

The actor added she wants everyone to experience quality education the same way she did: “Education should be a fair right and not a privilege.”

“Back-To-School” campaign school kits contain pencils, notebooks, crayons and other school supplies for children. What is special about it is that they base the contents by grade level.

“World Vision goes beyond education,” said World Vision Resource Development director Jun Godornes. They will continue to support families to get out of poverty and help children reach their full potential — that is their end goal.

“Let us put more kids into school and make sure they stay in school,” Smith said.

To know more about the different programs and initiatives of World Vision, visit its website worldvision.org.ph and interact with them in their social media accounts.

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