USAID education funding
The 3-year program called “Gabay: Strengthening Inclusive Education for Blind/Deaf Children”, aims to provide health and educational support to blind and deaf children in the Philippines. In photo: USAID Mission Director Lawrence Hardy II (5th from right) joins partners from the Philippines Department of Education, and NGO Resources for the Blind, Inc. in Quezon City to formally launch USAID’s Gabay project.

The deaf and the blind kids’ community in the Philippines received a fund boost with Php92.3M worth of program aid given by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

The 3-year program called “Gabay: Strengthening Inclusive Education for Blind/Deaf Children”, aims to provide health and educational support to blind and deaf children in the Philippines.

The communities in the provinces of Batangas, Sorsogon, and Southern Leyte have been marked to benefit from the program that also aims to increase the capacity of both the service providers and the health workers to detect the needs of the blind and deaf children.

The Department of Education (DepEd), the Resources for Blind, Inc. (RBI), and local government units have been tapped to work together in identifying students from kindergarten to Level 3 with vision and/or hearing impairments.

The program also aims to improve the abilities of the teachers in preparing and delivering the right learning plans specifically designed for these communities and enhancing the local government as well as other groups’ response to the needs of these children.

The program is a part of the US government’s commitment to improving the quality of basic education to support broad-based and inclusive growth in the country.

USAID Mission Director Lawrence Hardy said during the program launch in September in Quezon City, “We believe that people with disabilities have and should have all the same rights as others.”

Various efforts have been made by Filipinos to alleviate the plight of the deaf and blind communities in the Philippines including American music icon Apl de Ap of Black Eyed Peas who was himself diagnosed with blindness, Elaits Artisanal Ice Cream store’s deaf advocacy, Forbes-recognized Filipino philanthropists, and the Department of Tourism’s efforts to hire deaf tourist guides.

SEND well wishes in the comments below to the deaf and blind communities who will benefit from the Gabay program!

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