Livelihood and multi-educational facilities worth P13.7 million were donated by Virlanie Foundation and Association Mondiale des Amis De l'Enfence (AMADE) to the Tiglawigan Elementary School in Barangay Tiglawigan, Cadiz City, Saturday.
Virlanie and AMADE-Mondiale, foundations from France and Monaco, donated seven school buildings containing 14 classrooms complete with facilities, a canteen, restroom, and a stage. After typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) struck the Philippines, Barangay Tiglawigan was the most devastated in Cadiz City.
A ribbon-cutting for the facilities was followed by the hoisting of the Philippines, French and Monacan flags and speeches from the guests.
“When we saw what happened to the school, we saw it as a very difficult situation for the people in the community,” Virlanie founder and chair Dominique Lemay said during the turnover program.
Lemay, a French social worker based in the Philippines for 30 years and in Negros Occidental for 11 years, said they started working on the rehabilitation of the school and constructed additional education facilities right after the typhoon.
AMADE-Mondiale, a foundation formed through Princess Grace of Monaco, was represented by Secretary General Jerome Froissart during the turnover ceremony. With Froissart were Virlanie Vice President Laurent Goirand and its board of directors.
Lemay said they are very happy to see what has happened in the school and we are thankful to the staff, teachers and local government officials for welcoming us in this now very beautiful school.
Also present to bless the new buildings was Fr. Jacques Leclerc du Sablon, Spiritual Director for Chinese Ecclesiastical Students of the Archdiocese of Manila.
French Ambassador to the Philippines and to Micronesia Thierry Mathou said France was among the first foreign countries to help the country after the typhoon.
“But when I say France, it's not only the government but all kinds of stakeholders who came, assessed the damages and invested a lot to rebuild this school,” Mathou said, adding that the French embassy is very happy to support him because he's doing a lot for the Filipinos.
Cadiz City Mayor Patrick Escalante thanked the benefactors for their untiring support to the Tiglawigan community and Cadiz City.
“Virlanie was the first foreign aid that arrived and helped in the rehabilitation of Cadiz City right after the typhoon,” Escalante said.
Escalante said the foundation helped provide materials for the classrooms so classes in Tiglawigan ES could resume as soon as possible.
Department of Education director for Negros Island Region, Gilbert Sadsad, teachers, pupils and Cadiz City officials attended the ceremony. The benefactors and guests were entertained by dance numbers from the Tiglawigan ES pupils and DepEd folk dancers
Lemay said that they will continue working in Cadiz through a project supported by the French ambassador and Cadiz City mayor. Virlanie also leads a swine-fattening livelihood program and distributed boats to the people of Barangay Tiglawigan.
“We will continue to be of service to the community of Tiglawigan and Cadiz City,” Lemay said.*KBC
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