A foreigner’s calling helped the parents of Tinglayan educate their children.
In December of 1982, the road leading to Tulgao, a Barangay in Tinglayan, was being constructed by a Belgian Priest Gilbert Obin. Most of the workers were from the local communities, many of whom were working hard for their children’s education. The salaries were barely enough with the increase of educational expenses. Some kids may have to stop every now and then until there’s enough money for them to pursue their studies.

A tourist from Germany Klaus Otl Ottmar happened to pass by Tinglayan and lived with some of the families there. He saw firsthand the hardship of living back then. Although they never run out of the basic necessities like food and shelter, earning extra money for education was very hard. He went home to Germany and searched for a way to help these deprived individuals. He returned later and stayed a longer time.

On July 16, 1984, Klaus Otl Ottmar started the TETTNANG SCHOLARSHIP FOUNDATION. The mission of the foundation was to provide scholarship for the children’s Highschool expenses. The first beneficiaries were 5 villages of Tinglayan and one of very first sponsors were Ottmar’s family. It started with 14 High school students. On the 2nd year of the foundation, the sponsors grew to 40 families.

 As the foundation grew, they were able to sponsor students from other barangays as well. Mostly the ones with good scholasic records. They were also able to sponsor about 50 kids through their college education.

At present there are about 336 students under the foundation and about 270 sponsor families in Germany. Mr. Ottmar is still tireless in helping the people of Tinglayan. In the year 2009, the foundation will celebrate its silver anniversary.

When asked who’s going to continue the foundation when he retires, he said there’s none yet at the moment. Klaus has no plan to retire yet or rather like what he said, he “can’t retire yet” until someone can take over the work that he started. Let’s hope that there will be more like him to continue this compassionate work that has helped hundreds of aspiring underprivileged children of Tinglayan. Tettnang is a small City in Germany where Ottmar came from.