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“Noong pumasok ako sa LINGAP, mas nagging stable yung buhay ko. Nananahi ako; yung ibang nanay tuloy pa rin sa pagtitinda ng mga processed meat.

 

Hindi ako bumitaw sa SMCL kasi nananahi rin ako ng mga kurtina at ref towels na naipagbibili ko. Sumasama din ako sa mga nanay na gumagawa ng basahan at potholders mula sa mga retaso ng binibigay ng LINGAP-SMCL."

 

-Timmy Layacan

Beneficiary, Lingap-SMCL

Community extension is next to every Michaelean.

 

SMCL provides opportunities to students to serve the least and the last. They share the vision of the College to mobilize knowledge and skills-development to enhance productivity, generate employment and reduce poverty.

 

LINGAP-SMCL redefines community extension services. It is not the usual dole-out and financial assistance but the partaking of one’s share so that others may also have their share.

 

With this comes the realization that what makes life more meaningful is the number of lives that have been touched, and the purity of intention that is manifested as the community continues to immerse with the homeless, the neglected, and the abandoned.

 

The commitment of the College towards community development as evidenced by expanded services, has even extended to communities outside of Biñan.

 

Through its HEAL Project (Health and Sanitation, Empowerment trough Education, Advocacy and Social Awareness, and Livelihood Opportunities), LINGAP-SMCL has continued to be closer to its goal of poverty alleviation through individual and community empowerment.

 

The work continues.

 

Humble beginning.  Believing that education is the best intervention towards poverty alleviation, Saint Michael’s College of Laguna (SMCL) started offering its services to the community on July 5, 1989, by offering pre-elementary education in Barangay Malaban, Biñan, Laguna. This was done in consortium with DECS Region 4 and the Office of the Mayor of Biñan. The SMCL – initiated consortium was designed to benefit the preschoolers of depressed, disadvantaged, and underserved communities of Biñan.

 

Volunteer third - year College students from the SMCL College of Education tutored the initial batch of 20 children, 4 to 5 years old, two hours daily. Classes were held in Malaban Elementary School. In its second year, there were 40 kindergarten pupils who were contained in two shifts: first shift, from 8:00 –10:00 and second shift, 10:00 to 12:00 noon. Later classes were held in Dela Paz West and Pedro H. Escueta Memorial School. This was called the SMCL Outreach Nursery Program.

 

In the succeeding years, SMCL continued to offer free pre-elementary education to 25 children from Barangay Platero, the adopted community of the College. It was referred to as the SMCL Platero Community Service Program. Classes were held in the SMCL Reading Center and then later in the Workshop to give ample space for instructional games and team-building exercises.

 

Mothers who were waiting for their children were given sessions on values education and training in cooking, sewing, food preparation and dressmaking. Later on, the volunteer teachers taught them basic High School Math, Science and English since majority of the mothers are elementary school graduates.

 

This project was dubbed, Continuing Literacy and Livelihood Education Program (CLLEP), a joint project of Zonta Club of Laguna, Philippine Association of University Women, and SMCL. On March 5, 1999, CLLEP received the United Nations Development Fund (UNIFEM) Philippine Committee award, “Most Promising Livelihood Project”.

 

Launching of LINGAP. Two years later, on 10 August 2001, Saint Michael’s College of Laguna formally launched the Lingkod at Pagmamahal ng Saint Michael’s College of Laguna” (LINGAP), a community involvement and immersion program that symbolizes and stands for its strong commitment to the depressed communities in Biñan, Laguna. It seeks to provide proactive assistance to the less fortunate, adopted 15 families from Barangay Platero, Biñan.

Initially, LINGAP-SMCL organized outreach activities that included three programs: Family Literacy Livelihood and Entrepreneurship and Health and Sanitation.

On Sept. 29, 2004, the LINGAP-SMCL Social Action Center groundbreaking ceremony was held, with the SMCL community and the Barangay Platero officials Located at G & F Subdivision, the Center, was inaugurated on Dec. 8, 2004.

The following year, specifically on June 17, 2005, SMCL affiliated with the Philippine Association of Extension Implementors of the Philippines (PAEPI). A month later, the PAPEI-SMCL chapter a registered member of the Department of Social Welfare Development agencies.

In 2006, LINGAP-SMCL redefined community extension services with the theme, Beyond Giving: Nurturing and Believing. Since then, the SMCL community has given more credence to sustainability, empowerment, and productivity.

 

Educating the Last. Believing that education is the best intervention to poverty, LINGAP-SMCL has been implementing a number of programs to address the literacy problem.

Its pioneering program is the Community Outreach Daycare Program (CODP) where 20-25 pupils graduate each year under the tutelage of volunteer teachers and one full-time Daycare Teacher. These are 4 to 5 ½ year-old kids who are given free daycare schooling to prepare them for the Big School.

The LINGAP Eskwela is intended for young men and women who come from diverse socio-economic backgrounds. Their needs were real but the harsh reality of day-to-day existence had made them wallow in misery. Thirty-eight economically - challenged students from Barangay Platero have been granted free high school education in SMCL four years.

 

The “Change for the Better Project” encouraged the public to donate their coins or loose change to raise money for the construction of a school building for Gawad Kalinga.

 

In 2006, SMCL collaborated with Ateneo de Manila ‘s Gawad Kalinga Luzon project  and donated a schoolbuilding to the Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology (NEUST) in Gabaldon, Nueva Ecija, after Typhoons Reming and Milenyo swept away their school buildings The Ateneo-St. Michael Building was formally turned over to NEUST on 11 June.  On 16 December 2007, the SMCL volunteers met with the NEUST administrators for the upgrading of the facilities and equipment in the building.

 

In 2007, the Michaelean community raised the amount of Php 300, 000 from its Change for the Better Project that was used to build two SIBOL classrooms in Laguna.

 

Moreover, SMCL donated Php 175,000 to the Couples For Christ Educational Foundation Inc. for the construction of a schoolhouse in Sitio Bayan-bayanan, San Vicente, San Pedro, Laguna also known as the Restoration Village. The other half was used for the construction of a schoolhouse in Dambo, Pangil, Laguna.

 

In 2008, SMCL turned over the SIBOL Happy House to Pinagpala Village in Pangil, Laguna. The classroom houses 14 pre-elementary pupils who are handled by GK volunteer teachers.

 

The other group of student beneficiaries of LINGAP Eskwela are the hearing-impaired students from Ephpheta School for the Deaf. Through LINGAP, one deserving student receives one – year scholarship each year.  children.

 

Touching the Lost. The Health and Sanitation Program included the weekly feeding activity to 60 indigent grade - one pupils in Platero Elementary School; Zonta Club of Laguna partnered with SMCL.

 

The regular medical assistance in the form of consultation, free medicine, medical services and referrals are conducted by Biñan Doctors Hospital, socio-civic organizations and the SMCL School of Nursing. LINGAP SMCL, in cooperation with Zonta Club of Laguna, has intensified the Breast Cancer Awareness and Prevention Campaign through a breast cancer for a, free breast examinations, sticker “dikit” Campaign.

 

Also, volunteer faculty members and administrators joined the Madre de Amor Hospice Care Foundation (MAHCF) to give palliative care to cancer-stricken patients. The volunteers were trained by MAHCF medical team on the appropriate way of handling terminally ill patients through home visits, counseling and therapy.

Lectures are also given to the members of the community on issues on family planning, reproductive health, prevention and protection from dengue, and other fatal illnesses, applying first aid and emergency matters. More households have developed community responsibility towards environment through the ‘Clean and Green“ and Linis Ko, Tapat Ko” projects.

The LINGAP-SMCL mothers are also active attendees of Pabasa sa Nutrisyon (PSN), an informal and fun way of discussing healthy practices with mothers is a project of the Nutrition Foundation of the Philippines.  Flor Infante, a PSN scholar was chosen by Dove as one of the Natatanging Pilipina Awardee for her undying commitment to educate the women of Barangay Platero.

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Old National Road, Platero, City of Biñan

Laguna 4024 Philippines

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