Dagdag Dunong Reading Center ~ Baco, Philippines
In the Philippines WaterBridge Outreach provides financial support for the Jeepney of Hope mobile library run by the non profit, all volunteer Dagdag Dunong Reading Center. The Jeepney of Hope is a sturdy 4 wheel drive jeep that brings books and literacy materials and offers free storytime sessions to impoverished, indigenous children in remote areas on the island of Mindoro.
WaterBridge Outreach has just committed additional funds to the same organization for the construction of a permanent reading center in Baco, Mindoro. The reading center will be typhoon and flood proof and provide a place for indigenous children to improve their reading and writing skills. These children and their families are desperately poor and deprived by the government of basic human rights because of discrimination against them as members of indigenous tribes of Mangyan people who have lived on Mindoro since before the Spaniards colonized the Philippines. A total of eight Mangyan tribes currently live in 27 districts on the island. Despite heavy rains the Groundbreaking ceremony of Dagdag Dunong Reading Center went ahead in early January 2018 with the children of the Alangan tribe of the Mangyan and their chieftain, Tatay Henry.
This will be the 2nd location for the Dagdag Dunong Reading Center, the first location having been established in 2006 in Manila with the goals of conducting literacy and read-along activities on the weekends for poor children under age 12. Under the direction of Ms. Ana Bacudio who is Project Leader and Chief Storyteller, the center has seen enormous growth in the number of children attending and now not only nourishes their minds with books but also nourishes their bodies by providing healthy meals each day. Ms. Ana Maria Bacudio received Mayor Alfredo Lin’s Plaque of Recognition for rendering exemplary service in the field of education, and in 2012 the Dagdag Dunong Center was nominated for the prestigious IBBY- Asahi Reading Promotion Award.
Update as of January 2019
Construction continues on the Dagdag Dunong Reading Center although funds are still required to complete the project. Ms. Ana often hosts storytelling sessions on the property and we look forward to the day when the sessions can be held inside the new reading center. Please consider making a charitable contribution today to WaterBridge Outreach: Books + Water to support this project. Donations are tax deductible.