More than a thousand daycare children in Orani received school supplies and hygiene kits from the Bus ng Pangarap, a charitable project of Afaji Builders, a construction firm based in Orani in the province of Bataan.
The Bus ng Pangarap, which literally means “Bus of Dreams”, is a mobile outreach program that aims to provide educational and health assistance to underprivileged children in remote areas. The bus is equipped with books, toys, games, and other learning materials that can stimulate the children’s curiosity and creativity.
The project is spearheaded by Antonio “Jon” Arizapa Jr., business owner/philanthropist of Afaji Builders. Arizapa said that he was inspired by his own childhood experiences of growing up in poverty and struggling to access quality education. He said that he wanted to give back to the community and help the children achieve their dreams. “I know how hard it is to study without the proper tools and resources. I also know how important it is to have good hygiene and sanitation, especially during this pandemic. That’s why I decided to launch this project, to give these children a chance to learn and grow in a safe and fun environment,” Arizapa said in an interview with this reporter.
The Bus ng Pangarap visited 34 daycare centers in Orani from August 25 to 29, 2023. The team distributed notebooks, pencils, crayons, erasers, rulers, scissors, glue sticks, backpacks, face masks, hand sanitizers, toothbrushes, toothpastes, soaps, and towels to all the daycare children. The team also conducted interactive activities such as storytelling, singing, dancing, drawing, and coloring with the children.
The daycare workers and parents expressed their gratitude to Arizapa and his team for their generosity and kindness. They said that the project was a great help for the children who were preparing to go back to school after months of online learning. “We are very thankful to Sir Jon and his team for bringing the Bus ng Pangarap here. The children were so happy and excited to receive their gifts. They also enjoyed playing and learning with the bus staff. This project is a blessing for us,” said one daycare worker.
Arizapa said that he plans to continue the Bus ng Pangarap project and expand it to other areas in Bataan and beyond. He said that he hopes that his project will inspire other people to share their blessings and make a difference in the lives of others. “I believe that every child deserves a chance to pursue their dreams. I also believe that education is the key to achieving those dreams. That’s why I want to reach out to as many children as possible and give them the tools and opportunities they need. I hope that through this project, I can make them smile and inspire them to dream big,” Arizapa said.