UNHCR restores space for learning and refuge in Davao del Norte community

Students of Pinamuno Elementary School rejoice in the re-opening of their classroom after its rehabilitation by UNHCR

Davao del Norte, Mindanao--A teacher explains a few math concepts as the children sit on dust floors and water droppings from the old and holey roof. Motorcycles often stir the dirt on the streets outside. This is how classes used to be conducted in Pinamuno Elementary School in San Isidro, Davao del Norte.

“In our previous classroom, we were not like students. We felt like construction workers. It was very dusty. When it rained, we would gather near the blackboard so we wouldn't get wet. Also, our room before served as a parking ground for motorcycles and goats because it was very open,” said Cyrill, a sixth grade student.

Their classroom was covered with a layer of dirt. Children endured the dusty and occasionally muddy conditions of the classroom so that they can learn. The parents and the teachers of the school decided that it was time to take action in order to improve the learning conditions of their kids.

For months, stakeholders were requesting to have their classroom rehabilitated. The school administrators were granted some funding by their municipal government in order to cover the cost of the repairs. However, it was not enough to cover the repairs. This is where the support of UNHCR Philippines and its partners came in.

During a protection monitoring visit last July 2019, the members of the barangay highlighted the value of this classroom, not only to the children, but also to the community. The building serves as an emergency center when families are forced to flee from fighting and natural disasters.

For months, workers and volunteers replaced the roof and reconstructed the walls. The newly rehabilitated classroom was handed over to the municipality last 15 November 2019. It is through the support of donors and partners that the room is a place of learning and a safe space for the most vulnerable families.

“Now that our classroom was repaired, we feel more comfortable and safer. I now like going to school,” Cyrill said with a smile.


Quick Impact Projects (QIPs) promote confidence and self-reliance among the most vulnerable families. These projects are made possible through the support of donors like you, and are implemented in collaboration with partners like ACCORD. QIPs typically involve social infrastructure, livelihood, capacity building, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH).

UN entities involved in this initiative
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees