While June may signal the start of the summer months in the United States, in the Philippines, this is the time when children troop to schools across the archipelago as a new school year begins.
It is therefore very timely that staff members supporting Pacific Partnership 2012 (PP12) made a donation to a special education center in the city of Calbayog, located in the island of Samar, the Philippines.
A donation ceremony was held last June 22 at the Calbayog Special Education (SPED) Center. The joint donation, from the U.S. military, partner nations, and personnel from non-governmental organizations, consisted of 196 boxes of school supplies, hygiene kits, and books for teachers and children.
Serving as officer-in-charge of the donation ceremony is Chief Justin Roth, who described the handover as a “special moment” for those who were involved. Roth shared: “I think it was a great opportunity to take part in this event because I was able to see the smiles on all of the children’s faces and see how much everyone appreciated what we’re doing to assist the school.”
In addition to the handover of donations, there were also various performances from the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band, as well as from the students attending the school. Madison S. Burr, a Latter Day Saints Charities volunteer participating in PP12 aboard Military Sealift Command hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19), shared: “I think the performances were fantastic and the children were ecstatic to be involved. They really responded to the music in a positive way.”