One of the difficulties faced by parents every school year is providing for the school supplies, uniform and other expenses of their children. Meager wages, unstable jobs and increasing prices of commodities make it really hard for families to send their children to school. Even if their children attend public schools where there is no tuition fee, their schooling would still require other expenses – uniform, fare, food, school supplies, books, projects, etc.
It is especially hard for workers in precarious jobs, with low wages and those who are suffering different forms of human rights violations to provide for all the needs of their children in school. Knowing this difficulty, CTUHR has launched Pen & Notebook Campaign since 2004 to provide support to children of labor leaders and organizers, urban poor and families of victims of extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances and other human rights violations. Last June 4, 2016, CTUHR gathered support from the Filipino community in Oyama, Japan for the Pen and Notebook Campaign. A total of 180 children of labor leaders, Women WISE3 members in Caloocan City, and striking workers in Laguna were given school bags with basic school supplies (notebooks, pad papers, pencils, pens) necessary for their studies.
On June 4, CTUHR and Women WISE3 held a program at Ina ng Laging Saklolo Chapel in Franville 2 in Caloocan City and distributed over a hundred school bags with complete school supplies to members of Women WISE3 in Camarin Residences in Caloocan City. Other beneficiaries are children of workers and displaced workers from other parts of the Metro and Southern Luzon. (Watch video of Pen and Notebook Campaign 2016)
Beyond charity, CTUHR recognizes the program as something that support members and strengthen organizations in order to continue pursuing the struggle for their right to decent wages, regular employment and unions. But at the same “we hope there will come a time when urban poor and workers no longer need to seek support and charity for the school needs of their children because they already have capacity to provide their needs.”###