TACLOBAN CITY, (PNA) -– Non-government organization have jointly funded the construction of a learning facility for young scavengers in Tacloban inside the campus of the Northern Tacloban City National High School.

The alternative learning center (ALC) is a joint project of the International Labor Organization (ILO), United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) and Volunteers for the Visayas.

Helen Claire Canayog, director of Volunteer for the Visayas, Inc., said that the facility will cater the targeted 35 scavengers at the open dump-site of this city. The learning program includes character and personality development, basic education, and entrepreneurial courses.

Parents, especially mothers are also encouraged to participate in the alternative learning class, according to Canayog.

“Presently, Volunteer for the Visayas is conducting feeding program for scavengers and out-of-school youth in the northern village this is a way for children to become comfortable to us,” she said.

“We need to befriend them and win their heart because we cannot force them to study. If they are already comfortable with us, that is the time that we will introduce them to ALC.”

Scavengers that can still be integrated with the formal schooling will be sent to regular, school but those who will have hard time to catch-up with lesson on regular school will remain at the ALC.

UNDP Program Manager for Yolanda Recovery Program Eden Garde said that the ALC is the fulfillment of the question on how to help children working at the dumpsite.

“We are really very concern to improve the plight of scavengers especially the children who are vulnerable and expose to all elements and dangers at the dumpsite,” said Garde.

Garde asked the recipient to maintain and sustain the facility and to use it on what is intended for. “You may use it for the use of other students, but always give priority to the children at the dumpsite,” asked Garde.

Jonathan Price of the ILO said that regular student of Northern Tacloban City National High School can also benefit on their donation since they can also use it as their extra classroom when ALS students are not using it.

Northern Tacloban City National High School is in need of additional classrooms after residents in coastal areas of Tacloban relocated to the northern part of the city.

From more than 200 students before super typhoon Yolanda, Northern Tacloban City National High School has almost 700 students now. The number keeps on increasing every month. At present the school has eight functional classrooms.

Price added that those who will use the facility will be assured of acquiring new skills that will enable them to land in a decent work and proper wages which the ILO advocates. (PNA)