Lao Foundation’s Insights on Binhi English Literacy Foundation

According to Mr. Paul Alfaro, he came across Binhi English Literacy Foundation through their foundation’s social worker Ms. Tina Viray who invited her friend Ms. Jenny Hidalgo, former Binhi employee, to present and explain what Binhi was all about.

Ms. Jennifer Hidalgo prepared and presented the material to Mr. Alfaro and Ms. Viray. As she was presenting they had noted several relevant things about Binhi Foundation that he thought would be a great fit to their foundation. Mr. Alfaro was convinced that the BINHI concept would surely attract the interest of LAO Foundation’s Board of Trustees since they have a strong belief that “one of the thrust of the foundation is education”. It is something that the Board has carried over the years.

The things that particularly caught their attention were:

  1. The focus of Binhi on something very basic, which is literacy; the focus on specific target groups of non-readers in grade 1, 2 and 3;
  2. The involvement of the founding members of Binhi from developing the materials, to training volunteer teachers to monitoring and measuring progress; Engaging their partners to be part of the literacy program for implementation in sites where they want to participate in;
  3. The relatively low cost program but high in impact and the well studied pedagogy that is a simple and practical implementation that uses local educational materials.

One big difference that the Lao Foundation has observed between BINHI Foundation and other groups was that the BINHI ensures that they submit progress reports of students to show the program’s effectiveness thus making it easier for the Foundation to decide whether to continue sponsoring the program.

While Mr. Alfaro was discussing Binhi and Lao Foundation partnership he was also asked something a little personal: “What are some of your memorable experiences during the implementation of the program?” He recalls, “Watching the BINHI members train volunteer teachers is highly notable. They come well prepared and really take the training seriously. They are accomplished people who gave up their precious professional time for BINHI. Seeing the kids who were not able to read or comprehend 6 months ago then (have them) transformed is indeed very rewarding. It is like gifting these kids with a brighter future that cannot be quantified.”

Now, in one year alone, the Lao Foundation has sponsored a total of five sites across Metro Manila: one in Philippine Christian Foundation in Tondo Manila, one in San Ramon Elementary School in Laguna, one in Tomas Earnshaw Elementary School in Punta Manila and two in Quezon City, one of which was the first approved site by the Board of Trustees, Bagumbayan Elementary School and Libis Elementary School.

Asked whether he would recommend BINHI to other foundations he replied with a genuine smile saying, “We believe that BINHI possess the right recipe, and would certainly recommend the BINHI program to others.”

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