Three years after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck Bohol and damaged the dormitories housing deaf students, the Loon Special Education (SPED) students have been provided with a fully furnished, two-story dormitory designed to withstand earthquakes.
The memory of that traumatic earthquake is still fresh to all who lived through it, but there were gracious gifts that came following of the tragedy.
The new dormitory is a collaboration of Christian Blind Mission (CBM) and R.C. Trust, partner organizations of IDEA Philippines, Inc.
A ceremonial ribbon-cutting last Tuesday at Loon South Central Elementary School inaugurated the new facility.
Gracing the event were students, CBM Regional Director, Emergency Response Manager and staff, R.C. Trustâ€™s representative, Loon Mayor Elvie Peter Relampagos, the Schools Division Superintendent Wilfreda Bongalos and SPED coordinator Carmelita Restificar.
Smiles beam in childrenâ€™s faces as they enjoyed the dorm while some spectators were brought to tears witnessing the students perform various dances and song interpretation.
The dorm is a luxury, providing an entirely new quality of living, providing safety add-ons. Its emergency alarm system is designed especially well for the deaf with strobe light fire alarms, flashing light signals, and visual guidance to emergency routes. It is also built with wheelchair access ramps, wide doorways enough for a wheelchair user, adequate handrails and grab bars, and toilets with sufficient space to allow a wheelchair user to move around comfortably.
In all aspects, the students are well cared for. Though the dorm has generous space for the current 51 resident deaf children, it is designed to be able to accommodate as many as 100 students.Â This dormitory is designed for anticipated functions.
IDEA Philippines, Inc. said: â€œOur most significant opportunities are indeed found in times of greatest challenge. A million thanks again to CBM and R.C. Trust for helping us rebuild a home for our deaf students. We at IDEA canâ€™t wait to see these kids create new memories in their beautiful new home.â€