World Literacy Day in Purok 4

Help Kids Go To School on World Literacy Day

International Literacy Day is held on 8 September every year and this year I’ll be celebrating with the children of Botongon as well as some accomplished artists, writers and musicians from Iloilo City. As a special treat, my friend and children’s author Dr June Perkins will be joining us via skype to engage with the children about the subjects closest to her heart: family, the natural world and the importance of going to school. And you can join us too, LIVE via YouTube or Facebook.

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Did you know that almost 27 million Filipinos live in poverty and many never have the opportunity to finish primary school, some remaining completely illiterate their whole lives. Others can read and write basic things but have difficulty with tasks like hospital admission forms or opening a bank account. They are easily misled or mistreated and are frequently swindled. Ultimately poverty perpetuates for yet another generation.

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One of the reasons a lot of children from the Philippines don’t go to school is because they can’t afford a uniform and are ashamed to wear only rags to class. At other times they have nothing to eat and again (feeling ashamed), they stay at home.

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help kids go to school in the Philippines

Inspiring the Children with Magic Fish Dreaming
Living in the Philippines away from my family and friends can get very isolating at times and I’m always looking at ways to connect. How wonderful that accomplished poet and author Dr June Perkins is donating her time to read to the children from her book Magic Fish Dreaming! By special permission from June and her collaborator, illustrator Helene Magisson, I am able to gift illustrated poems to each of the children as well as decorate the space with some of the beautiful drawings. Thank you ladies, this is a gift more precious than you realise.

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Magic Fish Dreaming a book of poetry by June Perkins

Maybe you’d like to help out too!
Sometimes my family and friends send donations to help with my projects, like my “retired” Uncle Richard in NSW who sells stamps online. Maybe you’re interested in helping too? I have a long term vision of running a dedicated learning centre right here in the local community where children have a safe space to learn and play. With your help this could really happen.

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We’ll Be Livestreaming
And don’t worry if you can’t make it here to the Philippines, the whole event will be broadcast live over YouTube and Facebook. I will be answering questions live as well as shouting out the amazing people who have donated money to help the children here. I’ll be updating this space regularly with details on how to join in as well as other live events we’ll be holding here with special guest artists, musicians and writers.

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Why Help the Kids?
Every single person who gives a donation receives a personal email from me, photographs of how I spent their money as well as regular updates. Because I use my own money to pay for things like bank charges and international transfer fees, I can guarantee that 100% of what you send goes directly to the children. (Unless of course it’s a huge donation, I probably can’t cover the bank charges on a million bucks, but that would sure buy an awesome learning centre and employ a lot of the local mums).

PLEASE NOTE: I am completely independent and not associated with any NGOs, charities, religions or political organisations. I’m not against any of these institutions, I just want everything I do to come from a genuine heart-space of giving, rather than pushing an agenda or some sort of ideology.

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How to Help?
There are four ways you can help.

1. Make a donation

I have a dedicated bank account and PAYPAL account for fundraising.

Bank: ME Bank
BSB: 944600
Account Number: 000153372
Name: Melinda J Irvine (Humanitarian Aid Account)

2. Tell your friends

Share this post out with your friends, family, colleagues, co-workers, clients and customers.

3. Join us Live

We’ll be livestreaming on YouTube and Facebook on Friday, 8 September 2017 at 6.30pm AEST.

4. Subscribe to the email list

Click on the link to join my email list and receive informative (but not spammy updates).

end poverty everywhere

© 2017 Melinda J. Irvine

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9 responses to “World Literacy Day in Purok 4”

  1. […] It was watching little Shan Michael and the other children of Botongon overcome their initial reservation and fear of the microphone in the lead up to World Literacy Day. […]

  2. […] me some distance to see my priorities a little more clearly. As much as I love working with the children, it’s essential I build a long-term sustainable income. As Oprah says “you can only […]

  3. […] you missed the livestream of our World Literacy Day celebrations you can watch the replay here. Children’s author and poet, Dr June Perkins […]

  4. […] than a week now until World Literacy Day 2017 and I’d like to invite all my readers and supporters to join us live via YouTube on Friday, […]

  5. Susan W Goldstein Avatar

    I am a volunteer tutor in a mostly Haitian-Honduran second language school, and I really think the pictures and words would resonate with my kids.

    1. Melinda J. Irvine Avatar
      Melinda J. Irvine

      Susan this is really awesome what you are doing with literacy. It feels great doesn’t it, encouraging children to read.

      Would you be interested in me interviewing you and writing about what you are doing on my blog?

      You’ve just given me a great idea to reach out to others who are promoting literacy in all it’s forms (both English and in native languages) in the lead up to World Literacy Day.

      If you are interested I could skype, phone or email you with some questions. If you had any photos of you and the kids that would be awesome too.

      I think it’s so important to share the things we do helping others. It’s not about bragging it’s about giving other people the confidence to help too. On my blog my aim is to show that I’m just a regular person but able to help.

      Anyway that would be the theme if you wanted to participate.


  6. Susan W Goldstein Avatar

    I can’t seem to find a US outlet that sells this book!! Any suggestions … besides paying $25 shipping fee?

    1. Melinda J. Irvine Avatar
      Melinda J. Irvine

      Hi Susan

      June’s book is really lovely and I’m sure your kids would love it. To my knowledge it’s only available in print form from Australian distributors, I’m not sure on the postal rates to the US.

      Get in touch with June directly on you can tell her you learned about her book from my blog. We don’t do kickbacks it’s just she’s doing the whole thing on Literacy Day for free and I’d love to see her sell a few books.


  7. […] very honoured to support this project of my dear friend and fellow creative Mel Irvine who has invited me to via skype to an International Literacy day in Botongon.  It’s been […]