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The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI)



The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) is the family foundation of the family line of Don Ramon Aboitiz. Established in 1966, RAFI works to elevate the lives of people in the Visayas and Mindanao. Its main program domains include: economic, focused on improving the economic well-being of communities; social, creating opportunities for growth and improving a sense of identity and purpose; and physical, building healthy, resilient, and livable communities.

Project Spotlight: 
Leadership in times of crisis

COVID-19 upended education systems around the world, leading to prolonged and intermittent school closures, lowered rates of re-enrollment, and months if not years of lost teaching and learning. This setting was the catalyst for our work in the Philippines and our partnership with the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI). 


We created the Upya (Swahili for renewal) program to help school leaders guide their schools through the crisis and transition to alternative teaching methods like remote and blended instruction. The program equips partner organizations with content and skills to facilitate learning and support school leaders throughout crises. The Upya site hosts an online library of curated content and resources designed to prepare leaders for school re-opening and set up remote learning mechanisms to deal with learning disruptions due to COVID-19. The modules are divided into three main categories: school re-opening, technology for learning and management and emergency remote and blended teaching. 


The RAFI team took GSL resources and contextualized them to the needs of Philippine Upya schools, complete with examples and activities that school leaders and teachers can repeat in their schools and classrooms. In the Philippines, the program has only been open to schools in Cebu until now but will be available to schools across the Philippines by 2024.

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GSL’s role and future work of our partnership

The Upya curriculum was accredited by the Philippines Department of Education and will be used to prepare school leaders for school closures due to natural disasters faced frequently in the country.  We are working with RAFI to develop plans along with the regional Department of Education to create a comprehensive school leaders training program in the region.   

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