By Alex M. Eduque
It’s the fifth school year since MovEd was founded in 2012, and this year was the fifth series of graduations I’ve attended. And while I find myself attending more graduations each passing school year (as the number of sites and students grow) the emotional impact it has on me has not seemed to diminish or even lessen the very slightest. One would think that as one attends five or so every year (reality has it that as much as I’d want to, I’m not able to attend every single one anymore), one would get emotionally desensitized to the nostalgia and bittersweet feeling that comes with it all. Truth is, while each year brings about more promise than the last, and is a re-affirmation to myself and the entire team that we’re on the right track, seeing the children go forth and knowing that they’re no longer officially under our program always beats a pang in my heart. Did we prepare them enough? Years from now, will they remember their MovEd days – how they learned to read, write, and count? Where will they be in ten years? Will they stay in school? And while ideally I’d like to think the answer to all those questions above and more is a “yes,” we can never be quite sure. What we can be certain of though is that we, at MovEd, had the unparalleled honor of being a part of their lives and their early formative years.
That we gave them a gift that can never be taken away from them – no matter where life takes them, what hardships they may go through and what they decide to make out of their lives. We gave them the gift of an early childhood education, and jumpstarted the rest of their educational journey. When I started MovEd five school years ago, my vision for the program was basic: that every child who goes through it will be able to leave our learning labs as confident and hopeful learners, able to read, write and count. I figured that while we cannot teach them everything there is to learn, with those three skills and the values in parted in them, they will have the basics ingrained in them. They will have what it takes to get through life without people fooling them or taking advantage of their naiveté and background. That they are empowered (but not entitled) citizens ready to become an integral part and stakeholders of the progressive Philippines we all envision.
And while our program these days is much more multi-faceted than I originally pictured it to be – with daily in-class feeding programs, and other enrichment workshops for the parents, it is overwhelming to see how a dream is capable of materializing. A wise man once said, “If your plan is for one year, plant rice. If your plan is for ten years, plant trees. If your plan is for one hundred years, educate children” (Confucius). Through the hurdles and the humps, those words remind me every single day of how privileged we at MovEd are to be at the position to be able to join the country in making this difference in the lives of our future generation. That while years from now all we may possibly be in the lives of our past students is a memory, we know in our hearts that somehow, it will be a good one. Much more than that, our greater advocacy is to extend a platform to everyone out there looking for a worthwhile way to start to make a difference and to help out. Believe me, it doesn’t take much but it takes up a huge part of your heart. Because you are giving a child a gift that can never be taken from them. In the same way, you have become somewhat of a hero and enabler of goodwill in the life of a child whose life would otherwise not be as enriched.
For more inquiries on ways to help out MovEd, please visit www.moved.org.ph, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and/or call 552-7006 (weekdays: 9am to 5pm).