Tools for Schools

Education Behind Bars: MCI ‘s 2nd batch of Tools for School in the Davao City Jail, July 27, 2016

Minority Care International’s goal to raise awareness of the importance of giving was made possible through the community outreach project Tools for Schools. MCI’s Community based Rotaractors experienced the joy of giving by handing out school supplies to the delighted detainees in the Davao City Jail on July 2016. MCI teaches that giving is living and living is giving. This was MCI 2nd batch of tools for school in the Davao city jail .The purpose of the project is to teach the recipients the value of education and to inspire them to become the hope and role model of their generation. Also, MCI is not just giving but also teaching its scholars how to give back to the community; this was an opportunity for the Rotaractors of MCI to return something of themselves to the community.

Education Behind Bars: MCI's Annual Tools for School in the Davao City Jail

It was another Christmas season when Minority Care International’s goal to raise awareness of the importance of giving was made possible through the community outreach project Tools for Schools. MCI’s scholarship recipients also experienced the joy of giving by handing out school supplies to the delighted detainees in the Davao City Jail. MCI teaches that giving is living and living is giving. For the eighth year, MCI had its annual Tools for School project, this year distributing school supplies in the Davao City Jail. The purpose of the project is to teach the recipients the value of education and to inspire them to become the hope and role model of their generation. Also, MCI is not just giving but also teaching its scholars how to give back to the community; this was an opportunity for the scholars of MCI to return something of themselves to the community.

Education behind Bars presents an opportunity for the detainees to prepare for success upon release from jail. If prison inmates get the general education and vocational training, they are more likely to find a job than the ones who do not have such an opportunity. Most of the detainees at the Davao City Jail are drug related cases, and most of them are very young. The jail has a teaching program, so the staff needs school supplies for detainees. Extreme overcrowding is the most punishing aspect of doing time in jails maintained by the Bureau of Jail and Management Penology, which is an agency of the Department of Interior and the local government. The Davao City Jail accounts for 2500 inmates, which is more prisoners than the official capacity they can accommodate. Living in cramped spaces is dangerous to health and human life. Those conditions breed diseases, which creates a system that adds punishment on another level.

An official in charge of the Davao City Jail has launched an alternative education system for some of the young detainees that could give prison inmates a chance for rehabilitation and a meaningful life after imprisonment. Sometimes laws, rules, and regulations do not change people; only changes of the heart can break the chains of incarceration. Many of those who are in jail try to do things their ways and consequently have turned to the wrong solutions by numbing themselves with drugs, alcohol, gambling, and other addictions as a result of the abuse or the unworthiness that they have experienced in their lives. Prison is not the end of the line for many detainees; instead, it can be the beginning of a very special life for them with the right programs. They become aware that there is a very different life outside the jail than the one they knew when they came in. It is about breaking down the barriers and letting the inmates know their life does not have to be like this. We want them to come out changed because if they leave changed, they will not have the desire for their old lifestyle.

The right educational programs are crucial for several reasons. They help detainees with a successful reentry into society by giving them the education they need to make the right decisions in their lives. The right educational program also gives detainees the necessary interview and job skills to find a job when they get out of jail. Without a job they are much more likely to end up right back in jail. The problem is that the programs are too expensive to fund, but it could be more costly to keep them in jail without educational programs because those are more likely to commit more crimes and be incarcerated again. Education is the key to prevent the cycle of crime because it allows detainees to learn from their mistakes and have a better chance at a life without crime when they are released. Now, without at least a high school education or some type of college degree finding a job is very hard for today’s global economy.

MCI believes education if founded upon the acquisition of knowledge and core skills that are integrated with life experiences. This knowledge gained through hard work and discipline will inform new experiences and transform lives into committed and productive members of society. MCI believes in a need for quality education that enables the total development of the individual who has personal value and can become an independent creative thinker and, as such, be socially responsible as an agent for change. Our century needs and will be shaped by today’s youth. It is important because meeting the challenges and opportunities in the global world will require versatile, intellectual competence and uncompromised principals. Those who thrive in and contribute to our world will have a sense of who they are and a respect for others. They will have passion to become the best they can be and to help others achieve their best. MCI is committed to develop such individuals.

I believe every one of us has a place in society. That part cannot be played by anybody else in the world. Being poor and underprivileged or having made wrong choices in life does not really matter. We have all made some bad choices in the past. Life is about choices we make. If we make good choices, generally they will lead to a good life, and if we make bad choices, those will lead to bad consequences with jails being a clear consequence of bad choices. What matters is that the inmates take advantage of the opportunity available to them to be motivated to obtain an education that will enable them to make the most of their individual gifts. Education can help students to become nurses, businessmen, bankers, politicians, or priests. Most things may be lost, but an education, once gained, may not be taken away. In addition, it is important to recognize the crucial role of education in contributing to building a culture of peace.

A culture of peace and non-violence goes to the substance of fundamental human rights: social justice, democracy, literacy, respect and dignity for all. Education is a key tool in combating poverty and in promoting peace, social justice, human rights, democracy, cultural diversity, and environmental awareness.

Our life is just like a road full of detours, corners, crossroads, crooked or straight paths, and smooth or rocky ways; sometimes we do not know which road to choose or to take, and sometimes even we do not know where a road will lead us until we take it. That is one of the facts about our life. We have the choice between being a lost traveller or an accidental tourist in life or even a sojourner with purpose. Trusting someone completely does not always guarantee that the person will not betray you; loving someone with all your heart does not mean that person will love you in return. Sometimes we do not have power over the situation. The only things we have power over are the decisions we make and how we will react to difference situations. If we learn from our mistakes, they are no longer mistakes, but rather become successes, because they help us not to make the same mistake again. When I saw those young detainees, the question I had was what options did their situation give them? What options does our situation give us? We are in part products of our environment. Whatever mistakes or wrong decisions we make, we should always learn from them and remember that we always have the chance to make better choices in the future because good choices usually lead to a good life.

MCI's Tools for Schools 2014

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By Jerwin J. Capuras
Another season of selfless sharing happened last Dec 23, 2014 as several young students of Minority Care Intl (MCI) jumped upon the chance to participate on its annual Christmas outreach program dubbed as “Tools for School”. At least 30 kindred youth members of MCI, a civic organization manned by a group of college-serving students, distributed 70 back packs filled with complete set of school supplies and hygiene kits to school-age children at Al-Wawranha Islamic School, a small Madrasah seated along north side of Davao.

The goal of the project is to teach the recipients the value of education and inspire them to become the hope and role model of their generation. It also aims to teach the young members of MCI the value of giving this yuletide season.

“It was just wonderful how our youths seized this valuable opportunity to not only give but teach and inspire those who benefited from this project the importance of giving back.” says Lutchie Benogsudan, the current president of the student-run organization.

It has been an amazing 7 year run for this MCI project already. The project began last 2007 where school-age children who live under Bankerohan bridge received complete set of school supplies which pushed them ready for school after their week-long Christmas break. The “Tools for School” project was made possible by the utmost support of funds raised by people of Greenville in Texas where a group of benefactors opted to share their gifts to young people albeit time and distance.

MCI looks forward to the next round of its Tools for School project. MCI also eyes for greater youth involvement this 2015.

MCI's Tools for Schools 2008

December 27, 2008 - It was another Christmas season when Minority Care International aims to raise awareness on the importance of giving made possible through the community outreach project Tools for Schools. This time around, MCI selected a Muslim elementary school situated on Isla Verde, Boulevard as the recipient of Tools for Schools 2008.

Support for Tools for Schools was provided by funds raised by the "Greenville Youth Community," a fund-raising endeavor by young people in Greenville, Texas. The Texas youngsters raised money for their faraway Filipino friends as a way of learning that Christmas is about giving instead of receiving. They chose to give gifts to other young people that they did not know individually, only that they were less fortunate.

Local MCI scholarship recipients also experienced the joy of giving, handing out backpacks to the delighted school children. MCI seized this valuable opportunity to not only give but also to teach those benefiting from scholarships the value of giving while underscoring a key MCI lesson that giving is living and living is giving.

MCI's Tools for Schools 2007

The Christmas season of selfless caring and sharing begins early for a chosen underprivileged community in Davao City every year. Minority Care International facilitates Tools for School to distribute backpacks filled with school supplies to hand out to school-age children. The program began last year in the community of Bankerohan where children who live under the bridge received backpacks that geared them ready for school.