AUSTRALIAN EMBASSY SUPPORTS BRIGADA ESKWELA 2015
Australian Ambassador to the Philippines Bill Tweddell and Embassy volunteers participated in the Department of Education’s (DepEd) Brigada Eskwela at the Cuneta Elementary School in Pasay City, kicking off a series of clean-up and painting activities by the Embassy for the annual school maintenance program.
“We always look forward to Brigada Eskwela and working side by side with students, teachers, communities and DepEd to help schools get ready for the new school year”, Ambassador Tweddell said. “Our volunteer work is in the true tradition of Australian mateship and in the spirit of Filipino bayanihan, which involves working together to reach a common goal. It is equality, generosity and fellowship,” explained Ambassador Tweddell.
Australia’s support for Brigada Eskwela is part of the broad and longstanding education partnership between Australia and the Philippines, which can be traced back to the 1950s when the first Filipino scholar arrived in Australia under the Colombo Plan. Education continues to be one of the priorities of Australia’s development assistance to the Philippines. From training teachers, assisting DepEd in the development of curricula, to building and repainting classrooms, Australia supports the Philippine Government’s programs and reforms in education to promote inclusive social and economic development and prosperity.
This is the sixth year the Australian Embassy has participated in DepEd’s annual community activity to clean and prepare schools nationwide for the start of classes in June. Since 2010, the Embassy has provided support to 120 schools in the National Capital Region (NCR) and the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) for materials and supplies for cleaning and minor repairs under Brigada Eskwela.
Over 100 volunteers comprising Australian Embassy staff and their families and aid program implementing partners will participate in clean-up activities in five schools in Metro Manila over the coming week. These include: Cuneta Elementary School, Maricaban Elementary School, and Marcelo Marcela Elementary School in Pasay City; Taguig Elementary School in Taguig City; and Captain H Francisco Elementary School in Pateros.