Meet the Tiwala Teachers

October 5 is World Teachers’ Day! This month’s newsletter features the entire Tiwala staff team, who are all teachers, so that you can get to know the people behind the educational programs of our organization. 
Mila Alboc 
Mila hails from the northern part of the Philippines and is the longest staying staff of Tiwala. She is in charge of our weekend classes and coordinates with local partners about logistics and program
arrangements. Having stayed in Bicol for over ten years now, she is already fluent in the dialect and knows the ins and outs of the villages where Tiwala is serving. Teacher Mila enjoys spending time with the children both in and outside the classroom. She visits the kids at their homes and talks to their parents about their concerns. 
Mila earned a Bachelor in Elementary Education and passed the
licensure exam for teachers but chose to teach children through Tiwala. She is a hardworking teacher and continues to thirst for learning. Mila shares, “I am very grateful for the opportunity to share my life and faith with the children, to give them hope and encourage them to love and value their education. I love learning from them too. They always teach me to explore and try new things to improve myself so that I can become a better person and a facilitator of learning.”
Emmylou Hallig
Emmylou started out as a volunteer of Tiwala in 2009, teaching
alternative learning system (ALS) classes for out-of-school youth. Prior to volunteering with Tiwala, she served as a staff member of Campus Crusade for Christ and was assigned in Mindanao, Southern Philippines. Although she graduated with a degree in Economics, she pursued a professional teaching credential after college because she believed that education is a key component in helping children and communities break free from the vicious cycle of poverty. 
Aside from her administrative role as director,  Emmylou also crafts Tiwala’s educational curricula, coaches the Tiwala teachers and parents, serves as substitute teacher, and communicates the organization’s mission to government agencies, donors, and other stakeholders. When asked what part of the ministry encourages her the most, she shares,  “It is very motivating to witness the transformation of people’s lives when they are equipped with the resources they need to succeed and when they discover the depths of God’s power, grace, and mercy, as revealed through His Word.”  
Jean de Jesus 
Jean, aka Mommy Jean to the kids and staff, facilitates the family strengthening sessions for moms in six villages in Legazpi City. Her experiences as a married woman and mother help her relate to the concerns of the women she meets weekly for small group sessions, counselling, and discipleship. She loves cooking sumptuous meals for the staff and visitors of Tiwala. She also gets to use the knowledge she gleaned from her degree in Finance Management by serving as the Finance Officer of Tiwala. 
Aside from all of her weekly sessions with moms, Mommy Jean also looks forward to the weekly staff meetings: “I’m happy during our Tiwala staff meetings because it’s the time we talk about our lives. We laugh a lot and cry at times. We worship and pray to God. We also study different kinds of books that help us carry out the ministry that God has given to us. We are not just workmates; we are a family.” 
Anabel Bilolo
Anabel, or Teacher Ann, is in charge of the scholarship and youth
programs. She graduated with a Bachelor in Elementary Education but, instead of applying in a public school, she chose to work for Tiwala, because she wanted to make her life count for eternity. She did not just want to teach core content subjects to children but also share with them about God’s love and grace. 
A native speaker of the Bicol language, Ann fluently and creatively engages her audience – kids and adults – with her story telling and teaching skills. She is also a talented musician and a gifted worship leader.  What makes her stay at Tiwala? Teacher Ann shares, “The sense of call from God and knowing that what I am doing is God’s will. I believe it is what God is calling me to do right now. I find it a privilege to make a difference in the lives of others by nurturing young minds and pointing them to God.” 
Maricris Bonete
Also a licensed teacher, Maricris taught college students in a local
university prior to working at Tiwala Kids & Communities. She applied as a teaching staff of Tiwala because she wanted to make her life count, not just through teaching people about academic skills, but also by imparting to them the life-changing message of the gospel. Aside from teaching weekend classes and tutoring scholars, Maricris also facilitates the weeklong Digi-Eskwela, the digital learning platform that Tiwala offers to three public schools in Legazpi City in order to improve student engagement and increase academic performance. 
Although Maricris has been offered higher paying teaching positions, she continues to stay with Tiwala.  She has a tender heart for people and a clear gift of empathy. When asked what she enjoys most about working in the organization, she shares that it is about learning from the different people she meets everyday. “I enjoy interacting with different people with different life experiences. I’m learning not only from the books and information available on the internet, but also through the lives of every person I encounter, whether a child, a single parent, a street vendor, a teacher, or even just an ordinary person I meet along the road. Listening to the stories of people around me teaches me a lot of lessons about life.” 
We at Tiwala are grateful for the support you extend to us so that we can continue to teach and touch the lives of children and families
here in Bicol, Philippines. Maraming salamat. We pray that you will
also continue to receive the strength and ability you need in order to carry out God’s purposes for your lives. May He continue to use you
to make a difference in the lives of people around you. 
Tiwala Team