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Monday, October 26, 2009

Vote Efren Peñaflorida Jr for the 1st Filipino CNN Hero

Actually, I already voted Efren Peñaflorida Jr as the 1st Filipino CNN Hero about 2 weeks ago. I was really touched and inspired by his advocacy to teach poor children using a when I read his pushcart classroom story at CNN.

To begin with, Efren during his high school years in Cavite was being bullied by gangs just like most students. But despite this, he still managed to finish his studies. However, his great concern for chidren and their education inspired him to start Dynamic Teen Company or DTC at the age of 16.

It offered his classmates an outlet to lift up themselves and their community. For Peñaflorida, that meant returning to the slums of his childhood to give kids the education he felt they deserved.

"They need education to be successful in life. It's just giving them what others gave to me," Efren says.

Since then, Peñaflorida and his team of teen volunteers have taught basic reading and writing to children living on the streets. Amazingly, their main tool is a pushcart classroom. Efren now at 28 hopes to expand the pushcart to other areas, giving more children the chance to learn and stay out of gangs.

As of 1997, an estimated 10,000 members have helped teach more than 1,500 children living in the slums. The organization supports its efforts by making and selling crafts and collecting items to recycle.

A few months ago, the story of Efren touched many lives and reached the international news. Now, he is among the top 10 CNN Heroes finalist for 2009.

With this, I am requesting all fellow Filipinos everywhere to vote for him in which the winner will be awarded with a $100,000 cash prize. This will definitely be a big help for his advocacy.

To cast your vote, you can visit the image below.

I just hope he will serve as an inspiration to all of us that poverty is never a hinder to finish school, and to help others as well.

And to all politicians and public officials, I am pleading to you not to use his name and popularity just to look good in the coming 2010 elections. Instead, I am requesting you to vote for him without mentioning it in public.

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