by Clarissa Rodriguez
PANABO CITY – “To create globally competent leaders who inspire others to make the world a better place” was the vision of Mrs. Cherry Lyn V. Balbacal when she launched Project LIDERES (Lead in Developing Responsible Student Leaders of Global Citizenship) which served as her Re-Entry Application Project (REAP) after she represented the country in the Korea-Philippines Teacher Exchange Programme (KPTEP) held in South Korea from April 8 to July 8, 2019.
Mrs. Balbacal, a teacher at Rizal Elementary School (RES), has been training young leaders through the Supreme Pupil Government (SPG) at Rizal Elementary School (RES) in Davao, the same region where President Rodrigo Duterte hailed from.
Tagged as the school having the biggest student population in Panabo City, the RES had discovered some problems that will hinder its programs if not addressed properly; thus, Mrs. Balbacal spearheaded LIDERES to augment the SPG’s mandated programs, activities and projects by empowering every student leader.
“This project molded the young learners to be responsible leaders of the world in the future,” Mrs. Balbacal said.
Globally competitive student leaders
According to Mrs. Balbacal, LIDERES supported the Global Citizenship Education (GCED) and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
“The project aims to empower student leaders to become proactive contributors to a more peaceful, tolerant, inclusive and secure world,” she reiterated.
Compared to other existing leadership empowerment projects, LIDERES has the edge of molding globally competent leaders since its processes do not only aim to impact local or national citizens, but also foreign countries and residents.
During the project implementation, Mrs. Balbacal admitted that LIDERES partakers encountered some struggles such as overlapping school activities, organizing committees in every activity, and financial resources but these circumstances had helped them to become stronger and highly motivated.
To accomplish the goals of the project, Mrs. Balbacal said that she worked in close coordination with her school principal, Mrs. Ramelyn F. Antalan, and tapped other teachers, officers of Parent-Teacher Association, and other volunteers in the conduct of their different activities.
LIDERES also attributed its success to the three-year partnership it secured with Debiasi Custom Design (DCD) Foundation from Michigan from the United States.
“I felt honored to be trusted for a long time by DCD Foundation, which aims to help the less fortunate learners and support DepEd’s programs, projects,and activities,” Mrs. Balbacal said as she pointed out the international partnership that she has worked with through transparency and honesty.
From one school to one world
Through Project LIDERES, the SPG officers, club and classroom presidents were empowered as the forefront of the learners’ rights, welfare, model of excellence and deep sense of moral values.
Mrs. Balbacal believed that the school was a good place in GCED promotion for it sheltered several potential leaders honed through leadership trainings, GCED-integrated lectures, 2019 Family Walk for Wellness, Pasiklaban, and 2019 Pamaskong Handog Alay sa Bata/Alay Kay Lola at Lolo (To the identified Last, Least, Lost Students) in partnership with DCD Foundation.
Project LIDERES with DCD Foundation endowed the 4,521 RES students and their families by providing GCED knowledge, keys to sharpen leadership skills, healthy lifestyle-promoting activities, school supplies and books.
“My project was only a dream before but dream without a plan is just a wish. I planned thoroughly and worked hard because I want to inspire others and to touch young leaders’ lives to make the world healthier and happier,” Mrs. Balbacal said as she shared her happiness in the outcome of the project.