With the thought of helping nurture the development of some young disadvantaged learners, Edward S. Agdeppa in 2016 single-handedly and successfully initiated free informal intervention classes for underachieving learners in the poor communities of North Fairview.
A government employee and an expert in systems analysis and Mathematics, Agdeppa modeled his intervention teaching strategy after the DREAMS (Development, Rehabilitation, Education, in the Arts, Media & Sciences), a pedagogy that uses creative drama as an instructional adjunctive tool for socially-disadvantaged learners. Its blueprint was created by Cecile Guidote-Alvarez (RM awardee for Communications & Public Service) that won her the coveted UNESCO Artist for Peace award. He was then a company member, actor, and set designer of Balintataw Film & Theater Arts of the UNESCO Phil. Centre for (ITI) Int’l. Theatre Institute now under its Pres. Emeritus Guidote- Alvarez, also the founder of nationalist theater Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA).
For some years, he held classes on weekends in street alleys shaded by donated tents and makeshift dividers for young learners whose parents cannot provide satisfactory learning intervention for their own children.
These children were lagging behind in the competencies of reading, writing, and computational skills expected of them from regular schooling. Agdeppa called his initiative “I-Volunteer for Filipino Children” (IVFC).
Eventually, a barangay councilor provided him ample space with an air conditioning unit for use as a classroom. This became his pilot center where like-minded colleagues, creative theater pedagogues, volunteer teacher aides, and social workers joined him and who went on to replicate his formula nationwide.
From 2016 to the present time, Agdeppa continues his advocacy even up to the Covid-19 pandemic using an alternate mode of coaching via distance learning even without using the internet. Looking back, he could hardly believe the success of his advocacy seeing to the impressive achievements of his young learners competing and winning major and special awards in local and international competitions.
Incidentally, Agdeppa has recently been nominated by Governor Liza V. Elorde (Rotary International District 3810 RY 2019-2020) to the “THE ONE International Humanitarian Award 2022.” This is intended to recognize an individual whose extraordinary service activity exemplifies the Rotary ideal of “Service Above Self.”