Great Start in Southern Leyte


Recently, Dennis Drake, Founder of IDEA, and three staff members from IDEA Philippine’s main office took a 3 hour road trip and 4 hour ferry boat trip from Bohol to visit the one year old IDEA program in Southern Leyte.

IDEA began working with the Department of Education in 2010 and there has already been a marked improvement in the system.



Last year, less than 30 deaf children in the entire province were getting an average of only 12 hours a week of schooling.  The few specially trained government teachers were assigned to spend 90% of their time teaching regular classes.

Now about 35 deaf children are receiving classroom teaching 8 hours a day, 5 days a week (just like the regular hearing kids).  This is a huge paradigm shift in the way DepEd (Department of Education) was looking at deaf education in the past.

IDEA has also trained and placed 3 new teachers for the deaf in the school system.

students and teachers in Maasin City           students and teacher in Sugod town

students in Macrohon town


Francis and Laura Mallorca have move to the small city of Maasin and set up the IDEA Philippines office in that province.  Their task is to coordinate the deaf education expansion project in the entire province.  In the past year they have developed very good working relations with the Department of Education government officials and laid out a road map to reach out to the hundreds of deaf children who are isolated in the mountains, far from the few special schools.

Francis and Laura Mallorca               New IDEA Branch Office in Massin

IDEA and Maasin, Department of Education conclude meeting about deaf educations future.

Dr. Pedro Escobarte, Jr., Maasin's Schools Superintendent, and Dennis Drake agree on the plan.


Dr. Escobarte, Jr has agreed to make an abandoned building located on an elementary school campus in Maasin, available to IDEA for conversion into classrooms and a dormitory.  The long term goal is to have this new Special Education Center provide both elementary and high school training for deaf children.  Because there will be a dormitory, deaf youngsters who are geographically isolated will be able to come down and go to school.

Future Special Education Center, Maasin                   In serious need of repair.

Although the building is in bad disrepair, it promises to be an absolute jewel when fixed up and will be able to provide school and living facilities for 60 or more deaf children.  There is a lot of repair work to do, staff to train, sponsors to find, but the journey has started and we have the goal in sight.