After much preparation, we’re finally back in Cebu! It’s great to be here again, and we’re off to a good start. We finished off most of the work at Reneal’s 26th school in the Philippines, Jugan National High School. Next week we’ll head to northern Cebu (a 3-4 hour trip from here) where some of those schools are located to make follow-up visits.
It’s chaotic again here, trying to prepare for our trip to Cebu. Neal is still putting finishing touches on his new class assignment management tool, and I’m trying to get things together for packing. Sir Jade and the boys were at Jugan National High School this week, beginning the new installation. Neal and I will also have a couple of meetings with other non-profits before we go.
It’s been a diverse week here at Reneal IEO headquarters: exciting meetings at Rotary, less exciting end-of-year financial work, and preparation for the upcoming trip to the Philippines. Just a few more days, and we’ll be back in Cebu!
Happy New Year from Reneal! Although Neal and I have been involved in this work for over ten years now, the non-profit corporation of Reneal will celebrate its 5th birthday this year in April. We are so grateful for the support of individuals and corporations that have allowed us to install 25 computer systems in Philippines and 11 computer systems in Tanzania… so far! Looking ahead to 2017, we have much to be thankful for as we plan additional installations in both countries.
Somewhat ironically, we’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about Tanzania this week even though we’re leaving for the Philippines in a month. That’s life in the international non-profit world – things always take time to unfold, so it’s prudent to start early! The good news is that things in the Philippines are coming together well for our visit. Sir Jade, Rhog, and Lloyd will have everything in place by the time Neal and I arrive in Cebu in late January.
As 2016 wraps up, our thoughts turn ever more frequently to 2017. We leave for Cebu in late January, so Neal is in the midst of some software development for that. I’m getting the books in order for end-of-the-year reports. And both of us have been exploring some exciting new options for Reneal’s future.
The Reneal IEO Board of Directors met last Saturday to review 2016 accomplishments and challenges and to discuss 2017 plans. We also welcomed Katherine Yen as a new member of the Board. Katherine has been an active Reneal supporter for several months now, helping us reach an all-time high in equipment shipped to the Philippines. We are so fortunate to have this committed group of individuals helping to set the organizational direction!
Each time we’re in Cebu, we send a summary of our work to the two Department of Education Division offices that we support, Cebu Province and Mandaue City. This visit was significant in that for the first time, Reneal exceeded one million Philippine pesos in project costs! We couldn’t have done it without generous hardware donations from Free Geek (www.freegeek.org) and Polycom Corporation (www.polycom.com), in addition to the wonderful supporters who support us with cash donations. Seeing five new Reneal labs come to life and seeing the fourteen UCSAP scholars in the midst of the school year make it all worthwhile! We are so grateful to Reneal Team Philippines as well – they helped make it all possible.
It is with a shock that we find ourselves back home at Reneal headquarters again, the 2016 work in Cebu completed. The last couple of weeks ended up being a whirlwind; we’ll publish a recap next week that we shared with the Department of Education Division Offices for Cebu Province and Mandaue City. Happily we were able to complete some unexpected work due to the arrival of much of the Polycom equipment we’d sent in August.
Reneal Team Philippines has been blessed to have many wonderful supporters over the years. Our newest members come to us through long-time Reneal intern Jade Reyes, now a high school computer teacher at Arcelo Memorial National High School. Jade also taught part-time for a while at Cebu Technological University in Danao City. Two of his students at CTU, Rhog Sampan and Lloyd Tuñacao, are doing their on-the-job training in their final year of college with Sir Jade at Arcelo. Part of their responsibility is supporting the Reneal projects in Cebu. It’s been a delight to work side-by-side with these two young men, and we’ll be featuring each of them in a blog article. Last week we featured Rhog. Now it’s time to meet Lloyd!