MANILA – Efren Peñaflorida expressed elation over the recent feat of his project “Kariton Klasrum” which was acclaimed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as the Best Practices Program.
Peñaflorida, president of Dynamic Teen Company, said he is very much honored and happy that the efforts of his group have been recognized internationally which enables the project to venture into the different parts of the Asia Pacific hailing from Cavite streets.
A report from News5 revealed that Efren’s volunteers were equally happy and proud because their efforts have paid off and their time was not wasted; notwithstanding the fact that they have greatly contributed to the betterment of the out-of school children who have been deprived of education.
In an Interaksyon report, Peñaflorida said the UNESCO recognition came as a blessing especially to the children.
He said the Kariton Klasrum project has best practices that other countries can replicate as they found it promising and some countries have been doing it to reach out to children who need education.
The Kariton Klasrum whose goals are in consonance with the Education for All movement is a global commitment to provide quality basic education for all children, youth and adults.
The movement was launched in 1990 with the aim to reduce illiteracy.
With the Kariton project, Peñaflorida, the 34-year-old Filipino teacher and social worker, has opened new hopes for the Filipino youth; offering an alternative to street gangs through education, where he has set up school settings in unconventional locations such as cemeteries and trash dumps.
In March 2009, Peñaflorida was named as the CNN Hero of the Year in 2009 as part of the network’s program to honor individuals who make extraordinary contributions to help others.
Dynamic Teen Company started as a friendship club of around 20 members. The group aimed to provide youth awareness projects, talent and self-development activities, and community services. They collaborated with Club 8586 to better pursue their goals.
Gleaned from the Wikipedia, the Dynamic Teen Company eventually pioneered the idea of the “pushcart” classroom.
The group fill pushcarts with books, pens, tables, and chairs, and other school materials and then use those on Saturdays to recreate school settings even sans the usual setting of a school classroom..
Peñaflorida was nominated for CNN Heroes by Club 8586; the youth group that financed his elementary and high school education and was chosen as one of 28 heroes from among the 9, 000 nominees from more than a hundred countries.