Since the beginning of 1997, the organization has:
- Received 394 donated books.
- Purchased an additional 126 books for a total of 520 books.
- Delivered 420 books to Numancia (100 more on the way).
- Received a $2000 grant and a Macintosh computer from the Cecille Gomez Memorial Fund (details below).
- Prepared and filed California State Tax Exemption and Articles.
- Recruited collaborating individuals and organizations.
- Established a working relationship with the Municipal Mayor and Sangguniang Bayan (Municipal Board) of Numancia, Aklan.
- Designated Ms. Judy Maravilla Tansinco—Sangguniang Bayan Secretary—as Regional Director in Numancia.
- Named Evelyn Wang as Secretary of the organization.
- Established location for library (in Numancia Municipal Hall).
- Entered into an agreement with CyberCafe in Manila.
These achievements were made possible by my trip to the Philippines in February and March. During my visit I was able to establish relationships with a number of individuals and organizations who have embraced the project and, I'm confident, will help make the library a success.
It is important to me that Filipinos living in the Philippines embrace this project and that it not become yet another example of American imperialism. My aim is simple—to leverage the economic disparity between the United States and the Philippines in order to do something positive for the people of Numancia. A relatively small amount of US dollars goes a long way in the provinces of the Philippines. For example, $1300 will pay a librarian's salary for a year.
The local government in Numancia has agreed to allocate funds in the 1997 second quarter budget for the renovation of a room to house the library in the Municipal Hall. This is great news! The Municipal Hall is ideally located in the center of town on the National Highway. The second floor location affords good natural light which will be supplemented by installed lighting provided as part of the renovation. Bookcases, tables and chairs will also be provided.
The responsibilities of the organization will be to provide books and to pay the librarian's salary. To date, $5660 has been raised towards the first year operational goal of $7250.
On the bureaucratic front, the organization has filed California State Tax Exemption and Articles with the California Secretary of State. This is the first step towards incorporating the organization as Cecille Gonzales Gomez Library, Inc. Once the incorporation goes through, we'll be able to accept tax deductible donations and grants. Our first grant has been designated - $2000 and a Macintosh computer from the Cecille Gomez Memorial Fund (established by David Mitchell and Steven Moss as a charitable division of M. Cubed).