By Marra Chona
More than 200 school children in Calacala Elementary School, Balingasag, Misamis Oriental received storybooks, school supplies and a pair of slippers each under the initiative: “A Thousand Books for a Thousand Children” of Jil Lasaca, a US-based Cagayanon and twice-awarded outstanding therapist, in partnership with the Youth for Good Governance (YGG), a youth organization in Balingasag and with the Local Government Unit of Balingasag, led by Mayor Alexis S. Quina.
Jil Lasaca launched last year a fundraising initiative called 1,000 books for 1,000 children to encourage a love for reading among children from poor families in her hometown.
The book giving cum feeding activities were participated by more than a 100 school children from poor families in Barangay Macasandig, Cagayan de Oro City. She’s training her eyes to reach out to 1,000 children by giving them access to storybooks. She’s currently raising funds to achieve it while raising awareness on the need to feed the young minds and souls with stories that will stir their imagination and give them life lessons.
What motivated her to launch such a project? “I always credit my success in life to my love for books, which expanded my imagination and knowledge,” Jil Lasaca said. “It is important for children to develop the love for books before any digital gadgets will capture their curiosity .”
“Growing up, my imagination was tickled by the many magical stories that my father, a wonderful storyteller, told during bedtime,” she recalled.
Jil’s life indeed is a testament to her advocacy about the power of reading books. Having developed the love and habit of reading gave her an excellent grasp of English and broad vocabulary. She graduating high school with honors and was awarded a full scholarship. Despite limited financial capacity and misgivings of her parents, she studied at Cebu Doctors College.
A few years ago, she started her own company Excellence Therapy Solutions in Dallas to serve home health patients’ need for occupational therapy.