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The new school year at Datu Ayunan Elementary School starts with the opening of a new classroom building funded by the Embassy of Japan

Cotabato City, 31 August 2022 – A new classroom building was handed over to the community of Datu Ayunan Elementary School to replace its dilapidated classrooms through the funding of the Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) as one of Japan’s latest efforts in supporting the peace and development in Mindanao.

Consul General ISHIKAWA Yoshihisa of the Consulate-General of Japan in Davao and First Secretary OKADA Fumiaki of the Embassy of Japan encouraged the students and teachers to maximize the use of the new and safer classrooms for further development of skills and potentials.

Originally founded in 1960, one of the major challenges faced by Datu Ayunan Elementary School was its outdated and rundown classrooms. The damaged walls, floors and roofs resulting to water leakages during the rainy season had been concerns for the safety of both students and teachers for a long time.

To address this issue, the Embassy of Japan provided a grant amount of USD 67,984 or approximately PHP 3.6 million[1] to the City Government of Cotabato through GGP. The grant covered the construction of a one-storey, three-classroom school building for the school.

The ceremony took place in time for the resumption of face-to-face learning, and a selected group of students and parents gathered along with representatives from LGU and the Department of Education Division of Cotabato City to celebrate the event. Consul General ISHIKAWA expressed his hope that students can now enjoy learning side by side with classmates without worrying about safety.

As the top Official Development Assistance (ODA) donor for the Philippines, the Government of Japan launched the GGP scheme in the Philippines in 1989 to reduce poverty and help communities engage in grassroots activities. Especially in conflict affected areas of Mindanao, Japan has been intensively implementing GGP and other ODA projects since 2006 as part of Japan-Bangsamoro Initiative for Reconstruction and Development (J-BIRD), with the total amount exceeding USD 200 million.

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