Smart holds summer storytelling caravan in the Visayas

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by SMART Public Affairs Jun 24, 2014

[24 June 2014] It’s not just about telling a story. It’s all about having the heart and passion to make stories interesting for the children, and at the same time, instilling in young minds important life lessons from the story.

It’s not just about telling a story. It’s all about having the heart and passion to make stories interesting for the children, and at the same time, instilling in young minds important life lessons from the story.

Wireless leader Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) made hundreds of kids from around the Visayas smile during the past two months when it held a series of storytelling sessions across the region.

Every day for six straight days, kids would go to the Smart Summer Storytelling activity in their area as they seek different stories and fun activities conducted by active and dynamic volunteer teachers from different organizations.

Smart is proud to be part of this activity that helps mold young minds to become responsible citizens.  More than just the usual storytelling, these stories help in values formation and imparting life-long lessons to these kids,” said Ramon R. Isberto, head of Public Affairs at Smart.

The event kicked off in Bolongtohan Elementary School in Dulag, Leyte, one of the areas struck by super typhoon Yolanda in 2013. About 100 children showed off their talents in each of the activity facilitated by 15 volunteers. To help the children recover from the disaster, Smart also donated school supplies to help them prepare for this year’s classes.

Smart also continued for the second year the summer storytelling in Mabolo, Cebu City, in partnership with the Parish Youth Coordinating Council of the St. Joseph the Patriarch Parish, and student organization Pathways from the University of San Carlos.

Around 100 children participated in the week-long activity held at the Mabolo Elementary School.

“I always like to join activities like this because I get to learn a lot of new things. When they told us that Smart will have this kind of activity again, I immediately asked my mother to allow me to join and to bring me to the venue every day,” incoming fourth grader Jamaica Pino said.

The children were told stories of Bruhahahaha-Bruhihihi, Papel de Liha, Ang Kamatis ni Pilis Alamat ng Ampalaya, Chenelin Chenelin, and Emang Engkantada.   All the volunteers underwent a one-day training and workshop before they were deployed to their respective areas.

For the volunteers, taking part in the activity was very fulfilling.

St. Joseph the Patriarch’s Parish Youth Coordinating Council’s Josemari Lozano, or Kuya Eboy to the kids, has been teaching children through catechism for the past six years.

“We brought our students in catechism here. It really feels good to be with these kids. The stories that we share here will contribute to their personal growth and will somehow influence their decisions in the future,” Eboy shared.

“I have been doing this for the past four years, and it’s our second time with Smart. Teaching the kids gives a certain kind of fulfillment. I feel happy and seeing the kids smile is worth sacrificing an entire week for this activity. I also gained new friends from the other organizations,” said Nikki Paring, USC Pathways president.

The week-long activity in each of the sites capped off with the exciting dramatization of “Emang Engkantada”, a story about caring for the environment. The children were also taught how to segregate their trash properly.

“I thank all the volunteers who helped facilitate the activity.  I hope that with the stories, the kids have learned a lot,” said Lourdes Gocotano of Smart Public Affairs during the culminating activity at the Mabolo Elementary School, which was also attended by Atty. Ma. Jane Paredes, senior manager of Smart Public Affairs.

Just like in 2013, Smart also reached out to the children in Inawayan, Cebu City. Around 50 kids joined the storytelling activities at the Community Nazarene Christian School. Assisted by 24 volunteers from the University of San Juan Recoletos’ Sacred and PruLife UK, school supplies and raincoats were handed over to the kids, who are mostly from the Inayawan dumpsite.

Distance was not an issue for Smart and its volunteers when they also conducted a similar activity in Bato, Samboan, which is located at the southernmost tip of the Cebu Province.  A total of 335 kids joined the sessions, the most number recorded so far for the activity.

The number of kids that participated in the activity was quite overwhelming considering that it was the first time for Smart to hold such activity in the area.  Our Lady of Consolacion Parish Youth Coordinating Council helped facilitate the sessions to the kids representing 10 chapels under the parish’s jurisdiction. School supplies were also given to the children during the closing ceremonies.

More than just the activities, these kids will always have a story to tell other people. For them, summer was not just about fun and play, but also about inspiring stories that help in values formation.  It was indeed the smartest way to spend their summer.

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