(from front page) Later, they were able to reach some 100 pupils in Kibalang, Marilog District, with grade levels ranging from day care to high school. At first, the group wasn’t sure about the logistics of their project. How, they asked, would they divide the materials? How much would be the budget for each item? The group eventually decided on budgeting each pack at P50, with the pack including two to three pad papers, 5 pencils, one eraser, one sharpener, a stack of bond papers, one notebook, and an 8-color crayon box. Through the Davao Association of Catholic Schools (DACS) and Phoenix Publishing, the group was also able to ask for expanding envelopes for the kit. Little would the group know that the movement would find a partner in the Filipino comic book industry, whose Metro Manila following numbered thousands at any given time. Johnny Danganan, Ems’ classmate from UP Los Banos, happened to be friends with the who’s who of the Filipino comic book dossier, Johnny himself a talented comic book artist. In 2012, the Komikon (comics convention) annually held in Mandaluyong City added a seemingly unlikely aspect into its usual fiasco of cosplays, comic books both

independent and commercial, and toys. The big names of the industry gave back. Danganan and company, in the form of the Komikeros Group, gathered the works of the likes of Heubert Michael Khan (Vampirella, The Owl), Carlo Pagulayan (Marvel and Dark Horse comics), Carlo Vergara (Zsazsa Zaturnah), Leinil Francis Yu (DC and Marvel comics, among others), Edgar Tadeo (DC, Image, and Marvel comics), as well as Kajo Baldisimo (Trese), and Manix Abrera (Kikomachine). The group was able to raise around P20,000 in auctioned items, including rare panels of rare comic books. This year, the amount raised came close to exceeding the amount collected last year. Just recently, the group held another fundraising, with Leinil Francis Yu gracing the event to donate an on the spot sketch on auction. Ems has been busy distributing the same packs at her area in Iligan, where she is now based. The beneficiaries have been the kids of Sendong survivors, who can barely send their children to school. For these families, a pack of school supplies is more than enough to get them started.

COMPOSTELA, Compostela Valley -- Anthony Timtim, a 27-year old former nurse of a public hospital in Tagum City, has been voluntarily helping young souls who were victims of Typhoon Pablo and who are now residing in the tent city in the municipality. Despite not having a good source of income to help his family nowadays, Timtim has continued to help the children in his village as he was able to upgrade his knowledge in psychosocial handling after undergoing a seminar conducted by Plan International (Plan) on the topic. “Until now, the children in our community have not totally recovered because even if the wind is not too strong or even if it is not raining heavily, they would start trembling with fear and then turn blue,” he explained.

COMMUNITY educator Anthony Timtim (right) and Plan International Country Director Carin van der Hor (left) discuss strategies on how to effectively assist and protect children who have suffered both physically and emotionally as a result of the impact of Typhoon Pablo.

There are times when he would feel the consolation of being able to help the children who, like him, have been trying to survive the impact of what has become the worst typhoon to have ravaged this part of the country. Promoting the rights of women and children Timtim is one of the three community educators of Plan in the municipality. As a community educator, he explains to the people cases like child protection, gender-based violence, human trafficking, abuse, and other related issues. Together with the Barangay Council Protection for Children (BCPC), they would share their knowledge on these cases, which are COMMUNITY educator Anthony Timtim (center) and Plan International Country Director considered pervasive during Carin van der Hor pose with the children outside the child-friendly space in Compostela, Compostela Valley Province. and after a disaster. continued to stay in the tents eight months after the disaster. During community edu“It is not easy to live in a tent. My mother is also sickly. cation sessions, however, some people would enlist themselves even when they were not among those who were What I wish for now is to have our own house. It doesn’t matlisted as participants. When lunchtime comes, Timtim ter if we get to have an ugly house. I just wish I can lie on my and the other community educators would just give their back and see a roof above my head,” he said. “But I find it hard to leave the tent city because I have share of food to those who have joined the session but study sessions with the children here. This is my advocacy are not on the list. This is sometimes the reason why I would get sick, and aside from being a community educator. Of course, I have would be saddened because I know that these people could not started to love the children. In the tent city alone we already also help me. But it would be better that I am the one extending have 132 children. Every Saturdays and Sundays, my time gets divided. There’s study time for 3-6 years old, study time help than the one receiving it,” he said. Timtim said that other than helping the villages, he has for 7-14, and another 15-17,” he concluded. With funds from the United Nations Children's Fund also educated himself about these issues. “Take trafficking as an example. Before, I was indifferent about the matter. Now, I (UNICEF), the child-friendly space (CFS) is another project of can report to the authorities and I know the steps that I would Plan that provides children with a physically safe area where they can learn, play, and be children in the midst of disasters. take,” he added. Plan staff and volunteers organize activities and games inside An educator at heart The community educator said he and the others have been the CFS, helping children come to terms with the effects of trying to cope with the impact of the disaster as they have natural disasters on their lives.