Today Young Pioneer Disaster Response (YPDR) and Polish Humanitarian Action (PAH) hosted a ground breaking ceremony to celebrate beginning the final stage of repairs at Santa Fe High National School at 10 am, attended by Honorable Department of Cebu Province School Division Superintendent Dr. Arden D. Monisit, Principal Mr. Marianico Ilustrisimo, and partner organization Polish Humanitarian Action’s (PAH) Project Coordinator Maria Lukowska.
YPDR came to Bantayan Island initially as a group of friends who planned to rebuild Santa Fe National High School. The group repaired and painted 6 classrooms at the school, removed over 100 tons of debris, installed solar lighting in the teacher’s office before power was reinstated, restored the school’s connection to the municipal water supply, repaired 21 toilets and a hand washing station, installed two raised garden beds, and demolished three condemned classrooms. YPDR worked for several months in order to obtain funding to rebuild the three classrooms that had to be torn down.
That funding finally came this month thanks to the generous support of Polish Humanitarian Action, YPDR’s existing partner in their housing program. In addition, the International Labor Organization (ILO), a branch of the United Nations, has stepped in to cover the cost of labor on the project, which has been contracted to Rovilla, a local construction firm.
“Young Pioneer Disaster Response is an organization that was founded on Bantayan Island in response to Typhoon Yolanda. Our first project was repairing Santa Fe High School and we are very proud to be able to finally finish this project, which is very dear to my heart, thanks to the generous support of Polish Humanitarian Action and the ILO” said YPDR President and Co-Founder Christopher P. White.
Santa Fe High School is the only tertiary education facility serving high school students in the municipality of Santa Fe and was one of the most damaged facilities on Bantayan Island. Currently, Santa Fe High School currently has 1,000 students in attendance.
Young Pioneer Disaster Response is an international NGO composed of qualified disaster relief workers, who came to Bantayan Island on 7 December 2013 in the wake of Typhoon Yolanda. Along with its partner organizations PAH (Polish Humanitarian Action) and SAMU, YPDR is carrying out programs on housing, school rehabilitation, WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene), medical missions, livelihood projects, community outreach and marine life restoration. Highlights of YPDR’s accomplishments throughout on Bantayan Island are 789 shelters constructed and 105 carpenters trained with PAH, 3,357 patients treated with SAMU, $250,000 USD of medical supplies distributed with CarePoint Health,10 classrooms rehabilitated, 6,000+ children in attendance at hygiene promotion sessions, 10,020 bars of soaps distributed, 7 school hand wash stations installed, 21 school toilets repaired, and 8 artificial reef structures built.