Viral teacher who puts up classroom pantry for hungry students gets support
MANILA, Philippines – Laguna-based teacher Christian Obo made waves on social media after sharing that he made a food pantry in his classroom for students who do not have anything to eat– and now their school is receiving a downpour of financial and in-kind support.
Obo told INQUIRER.net on Tuesday that after his story went viral on social media and news outlets, many private individuals extended their support to Obo’s initiative.
“Marami na rin pong nagpa-abot ng kanilang tulong at napakalaking bagay po talaga para sa mga mag-aaral. Dahil hindi lamang po classroom ko ang may pantry buong paaralan na po,” said Obo over Facebook chat.
(Many people have extended help, which means so much for the students. It is not just my classroom that has a pantry, but the whole school).
According to Obo, they have received P20,000 worth of in-kind donations and P12,300 worth in cash. He said that by this week, their main building should all have a pantry in each classroom.
Obo said that should anyone else want to donate to his school. They should contact DepEd Tayo Kapayapaan Integrated School – Calamba City’s Facebook page for liquidation and transparency.
When asked where he got the idea, Obo said that he had prepared a classroom pantry for his students since 2017 after noticing that some do not eat during recess. He attributed this to his students only having enough money for the commute.
“Sapat lang pamasahe kadalasan ang baon ng karamihan. Yung iba po malapit lang po sa paaralan kaya siguro nanaisin na rin pumasok sa paaralan kahit walang baon,” said Obo.
(The money they have is often just enough for the commute. Some of them live near the school, so they prefer to go to school anyway even without bringing any snack.)
Obo himself had experienced studying while being hungry.
“Yung karanasan ko noon ang siyang nagbigay motibasyon na magbahagi. Mas masarap sa pakiramdam ang makapagbigay,” he said.
(My experiences from the past gave me the motivation to share. It feels good to share.)
Since putting up a classroom pantry, he said his students were happy but disciplined.
“Sabi ko sa kanila, ‘kung kayo ay may kakayahan bumili para sa inyo sarili, siguro kalabisan na kung tayo ay kukuha pa.’ Ito ay magandang paraan din para ituro sa bawat mag-aaral na kahit sa mura nilang edad ay may kakayahan silang tumulong sa iba,” Obo said.
(I told them, “if you get even if you are able to afford to buy for yourself, that might be excessive.” It is good because it teaches each student even at a young age that they can help others.)
He also hopes that his students remember that their teachers are not just there to impart lectures and teachings but moral lessons.
“We are here to give you values that you will use until you succeed,” said Obo.
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