"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation, there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: the moment one definitely commits oneself, then … a whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now."
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Official name: Send a Soul to School Movement
Also known as: A Thousand a Semester Movement
Poverty is a disturbing fact in our present society. In the Philippines, as defined by a recent study, the number of poor families already reaches to 4,022,695. In Bohol alone, the number is 65,953 (See “Poverty Incidence,” Philippine Daily Inquirer, Wednesday, June 14, 2006). These poor families in Bohol have an annual per capita of P10, 032.00, as the above study shows. Yet there is no need for any statistics to prove our point here. Just look at our surroundings, many people are poor.
The sad fact is that, these poor families can no longer afford to send their children to college. Education is supposed to be an inalienable right. As the Vatican II document Gravissimum Educationis puts it, “All men of whatever race, condition or age, in virtue of their dignity as human persons, have an inalienable right to education” (n. 1). Now these poor people have been deprived of this right. One cannot just turn one’s eyes away and close one’s ears to this problem. A concrete step must be done. One has to help these poor people. Recalling Jesus’ words, “Whenever you did this to these little ones who are my brothers and sisters, you did it to me” (Mt. 25:40). Thus this movement has been proposed to answer this great challenge before us.
The movement is called SSoS that it may sound SSS. Education can always bring security. It may also sound SOS for education can always rescue one’s life from poverty. Hence, education is a key to a better life. Indeed, every person deserves such kind of life.
The movement is also known as A Thousand a Semester Movement, for every donor will donate one thousand per semester. This is significant for as the saying goes, “A thousand-mile begins with a single step.” The donor’s one thousand really makes a difference in the life of a poor person. This movement shall eventually become a foundation. This is a dream, and every dream begins by taking the first step.
Objectives of the movement:
1.To provide financial assistance to a deserving poor in whatever college/vocational course he or she is capable of.
2.To facilitate the employment of the scholars (graduates) through coordination with TESDA, and the Department of Labor and Employment.
3.To give spiritual and value formations to both scholars, with their parents, and donors or members of the movement.
1.To revive the long lost culture of bayanihan.
2.To help eradicate poverty from our midst through education and formations.
The movement shall begin in the towns of Talibon and Jagna in Bohol. A Board of Trustees shall be created. The board shall consist of nine (9) members, that is, four (4) from Talibon and four (4) from Jagna and with the founder as the other one. Aside from the Board, chapter officers shall be organized. Talibon shall become one chapter. The other is Jagna. Other towns are free to organize their own chapters, subject of course to the movement’s statute (still has to be formulated).
The movement consists of the members of the Board of Trustees, the chapter officers, the donors, and the volunteers. Every donor automatically becomes a member of the movement. The members of the board of trustees, the chapter officers, and the volunteers may not be necessarily donors. The founder himself selectively chooses the members of the board of trustees and the chapter officers. The volunteers may be any individuals as long as they have good reputations in the community they live. Since the aim of the movement is holistic and not just financial assistance, the volunteers, with their time and talents, are of great help to the movement.
Decision-making shall belong to the board of trustees. Chapter officers shall then implement the decisions of the board.
2.Mechanics for funding
The major source of funding comes from the donation of the donors per semester. This shall be in a form of pledging. The donors are free to determine how many semesters they shall give. Fifty percent of a donor’s money shall go to the foundation’s account. The chapter shall use the other half for its own beneficiaries. Each chapter shall determine its beneficiaries. The foundation money shall be invested to generate more funds. Once the foundation’s money is already stable, it shall be used to subsidize a chapter’s need.
However, a donor can also donate more than one thousand. The one thousand for a semester may only be the minimum. Other amount exceeding one thousand for a semester will be appreciated. The donors do not only give money, but also have the task of looking for other donors.
The movement shall also need the help of any funding agency. Groups or other movements or NGO’s that are willing to help financially shall be deeply accepted.
3.The Poor Beneficiaries
Generally, the beneficiaries are the deserving poor. The board of trustees shall then specifically define this.
4. Value Formation
Financial assistance, as we have seen above, is not the only aim of the movement. Value formation to both members and scholars shall also be done. There may be annual retreats to both donors/members and scholars. The parents of the scholars shall also undergo value formations. The movement therefore shall demand a holistic approach.
Soon, a newsletter of the movement shall be produced. It shall contain the update of the movement and the written reflections of both selected members and scholars.
Time Frame of Establishment:
Organizing the movement shall begin this July 2006 until March of next year. Any donor shall initially give a minimum of one thousand pesos. Five hundred donors from both Talibon and Jagna shall be the partial targets of the movement. By June next school year (2007-2008), the movement shall begin sending a soul to school.