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Bringing hope to 82,000 dreamers nationwide Caohagan

As we invest in various opportunities for personal growth, millions of Filipino families spend most of what they have on basic necessities such as food, shelter, and clothing. Worrying about survival everyday, the bottom 30 percent of the country’s population only has 2.3 percent of their income to expend for education, according to the 2015 Family Income and Expenditure Survey. Although they aspire and toil daily for a better life, they are faced with the reality that their dreams are but distant prospects.

Determined to provide underprivileged Filipino children with the school supplies they need to pursue a brighter future through education, integrated marketing communications firm TeamAsia and the IT & Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP) spearheaded My Dream in a Shoebox.

Driven by its commitment to making an impact in the lives of the next generation, My Dream in a Shoebox was able to deliver 82,474 school supply packages to children from all over the Philippines for its 2017 campaign—well over its goal of collecting 75,000 shoeboxes. Kids were inspired to dream again as they received shoeboxes that bore not only school supplies but also a solid reassurance that others believe in their potential. Get a glimpse of the stories of these children from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

Lanao del Sur, Mindanao

It was summer of last year when extremists laid siege to Marawi City, Lanao del Sur, which ended up in a five-month war that claimed lives, displaced residents, and reduced the city to ashes.

Families dispersed: others travelled to Manila to stay with relatives, some rented apartments within the province, and many sought refuge in relocation centers in neighboring cities. As for schooling, numerous institutions set up temporary satellite campuses. Public and private schools in Iligan City also accepted students to sit in, although language served as a barrier for many as the communities differ in their conversational dialects. Sadly, children from destitute families who suffered loss during the war did not have the means to continue their studies.

Seeking to help the students recover after the traumatic turn of events, My Dream in a Shoebox delivered more than 100 books and 1,000 school supply packages to relocated children through the efforts of DSM Manila LLP. Upon receiving the gifts, the kids were encouraged to use the art materials to express their thoughts and feelings as a way to help them cope with their experiences. Although their works reflected devastating images of the war, it also displayed hope in the form of pictures of their families and volunteers.

“Para silang mga batang inagawan ng kanilang kinabukasan dahil sa siege. But seeing their artworks, masasabi mo talaga na they have potential. Kailangan lang talaga nila ng guidance,” testified Settie Mutia-Magumpara, Administrative Officer III of the Institute for Peace and Development in Mindanao (IPDM).

Ten thousand more shoeboxes with school supplies will be sent to Marawi in time for the upcoming school year, through the enablement of VXI Global Solutions, LLC and the Football for Humanity Foundation.

Cebu, Visayas

Popular for its breathtaking tourist destinations and exquisite furniture, Cebu is among the most developed provinces in the Philippines. However, there is also widespread poverty in both its urban and island communities.

Within metropolitan Cebu is Mandaue City, a rising business district frequently affected by flooding and garbage problems. It is home to families that live on scavenged food and belongings from the dumpsite in Barangay Umapad, which also serve as their residence. At a very young age, children in Umapad help out their parents in collecting and trading scrap plastics and metals to earn a living. Although public schools are available to them, many kids decide to skip education and dedicate their lives entirely to helping out their families.

A few miles away from Mandaue City is Caohagan, an islet part of the Olango group of islands. Near its pristine beaches live families that earn from small businesses, being separated from the metro by water. Primary and secondary schools are accessible to the island children but many discontinue afterwards because the institutions that offer the new K to 12 curriculum are located in the city. Dropout rates soared because of the extra amount that has to be paid for daily water transport required to get to the schools.

Poverty and lack of accessibility has shaped the mindset of kids concerning education. Sadly, they lose heart. Their circumstances have persuaded them that merely finishing primary school is enough. To encourage Cebuano kids to dream big, My Dream in a Shoebox partnered with the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation and Wipro Ltd. to bring school supply packages to 1,000 kids throughout the province. Moreover, the turnover of a school boat to an island community is currently being arranged to reduce the students’ daily transport expenses.

“We gave the school supplies to those who need it the most. Sila, kahit bigyan mo lang ng lapis na pudpod, they would love it, malaking bagay na sa kanila ‘yun.” said Ace Pierra Jr., Co-Lead Implementor of the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation’s Cebu Funds For Little Kids.

As an educational movement itself, the Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation has connections to 25 communities throughout Cebu, who they assist via livelihood programs, infrastructure development, and boat provision. Through their support, My Dream in a Shoebox was able to reach not only Mandaue and Olango, but also San Remigio and five different communities within the metro.

Pampanga, Luzon

At the foot of the infamous Mt. Pinatubo live families belonging to the first known inhabitants of the archipelago: the Aetas. Maintaining components of their traditional culture, Aeta communities dwell in their ancestral forests and strive to live on its provisions. However, they are being compelled to shift their way of life as rapid urbanization slowly makes hunting and gathering more unsustainable by the day.

In pursuit of livelihood, some Aeta families travel to the city to find jobs, sell produce, or beg if left with no other choice. Parents encourage their children to study with the hopes of giving them a secure future. Fortunately, the government’s commitment to protecting and promoting the rights of indigenous people have driven the establishment of numerous educational facilities nearby.

But going to school is a daily battle for Aeta students. Aside from the challenge of poverty and arduous commutes, many of them experience discrimination among their peers from the city. Teased for their cultural identity, Aeta kids become disheartened to continue their studies.

Seeking to empower Aeta students to chase after their dreams, My Dream in a Shoebox delivered 100 school supply packages to their community in Porac, Pampanga through the assistance of the National ICT Confederation of the Philippines, Inc.

These are only three of the 96 communities that were reached by My Dream in a Shoebox in its 2017 campaign, through the invaluable contributions of its partners (The Yellow Boat of Hope Foundation, National Book Store, Res|Toe|Run, and Loc & Stor 24-7 Secure Self-Storage, among others), 28 shoebox and cash sponsors, 42 donors, and 589 volunteers. Since its inception in 2009, My Dream in a Shoebox has grown from only 200 shoeboxes, 100 volunteers, and one community into a nationwide movement of education advocates who passionately champion Filipino children’s right to dream.

Visit www.teamasia.com/shoeboxcampaign to know how you can be a part of the 2018 campaign.

 
METROBANK FOUNDATION SWEEPS 10 TROPHIES AT THE 53rd ANVIL AWARDS

Metrobank Foundation, Inc. representatives led by executive director Nicanor L. Torres, Jr. with their Gold and Silver Anvil awards.

The Metrobank Foundation, Inc. (MBFI) received ten (10) trophies at the 53rd Anvil Awards last March 23, 2018 held at the Grand Ballroom Shangri-La The Fort, Taguig City.

Organized by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines (PRSP), the Anvil is the symbol of excellence in public relations awarded by distinguished multi-sectoral jury to outstanding public relations programs and tools. MBFI was nominated for Grand Anvil, received the Anvil Hall of Fame, four (4) Gold Anvils and five (5) Silver Anvils.

Awarded with the Anvil Hall of Fame is the “2017 Metrobank-MTAP-DepEd Math Challenge (MMC)”, the only math competition in Asia spearheaded by a bank that provides a venue for Filipino students both in public and private schools to hone their mathematical skills in an atmosphere of friendly competition. Over the years, it has produced national winners who get to compete and eventually win in international competitions. It is implemented in partnership with the Mathematics Teachers Association of the Philippines (MTAP) and the Department of Education (DepEd). MMC received its five (5) Anvil Awards in 2002, 2012, 2014, 2016, and in 2017.

Meanwhile, awarded with Gold Anvil is the “2017 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos” (OF)Award program. It is the most prestigious career-service award for exemplary public servants in the academe, military, and police sectors. In 2017, ten (10) Outstanding Filipinos—composed of four (4) teachers, three (3) soldiers, and three (3) police officers—have been recognized for going above and beyond the call of duty in their respective pursuits of service to the nation and its citizenry. These 10 Outstanding Filipinos have formally joined the distinguished roster of 655 Outstanding Filipinos—360 teachers, 154 soldiers, and 142 police officers—honored by MBFI since 1984.

Another Gold Anvil was given to “Metrobank Foundation Grants and Social Development Partnerships” program. Through this program, MBFI commits to help raise the quality of the poorest, most vulnerable, and underserved sectors by providing social development assistance to socio-civic, charitable, and development-oriented organizations that implement long-term, high impact projects in line with its adopted SDGs and the H.E.A.L (Health, Education, Arts and Livelihood) framework.

The third Gold Anvil was conferred to the “2017 National Teachers’ Month (NTM)”, a month-long advocacy campaign led by MBFI and the DepEd which recognizes Filipino teachers and educators and their contribution to national development—making the Philippines the only country in the world that celebrates Teachers’ Day for an entire month. Now on its 9th year, NTM has become an annual nationwide tribute recognizing the essential role of teachers in shaping minds and characters across all generations.

Entitled “Beyond Excellence”, the MBFI 2016 Annual Report also won a Gold Anvil for highlighting success stories of select stakeholders instead of simply providing a report of the past year’s accomplishments. By focusing on human interest stories, the publication underscored the success of these CSR programs, not just in terms of numbers and statistics but also on how they created an impact on the lives of stakeholders.

On the other hand, a Silver Anvil went to the “2017 Bags of Blessing”, a program spearheaded by the family foundation of Dr. George S.K. Ty—GT Foundation, Inc. in partnership with MBFI.  Held every Chinese New Year, PhP 10 million worth of food packages benefit 10,000 underprivileged families nationwide.

Moreover, under the PR Tools category, the Foundation also took home four (4) Silver Anvils for the following: Metrobank Foundation bi-annual newsletter “ExceLetter”; “2017 Metrobank Foundation Outstanding Filipinos Souvenir Program”; “2017 Metrobank Art & Design Excellence (MADE) Awarding Ceremony & Exhibit Opening”; and “2017 Art MADE Public”, respectively.

MBFI has been winning Anvil awards since 1985. To date, it has won 77 Anvil awards for its various programs and public relations tools, including the much coveted Grand Anvil gaining the record as the first corporate foundation to win a back-to-back Grand Anvil (2009 and 2010) and 2 Platinum Anvils in the history of the award-giving body.

 
Memorandum of Agreement Signing for another Philam Paaralan building in partnership with Team Energy Foundation

 

 

Philam Foundation, Inc. and Team Energy Foundation has set to partner for another 1-storey 3-classroom Philam Paaralan building in Pagbilao National High School, Pagbilao Quezon.

 

The Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) Signing was held at Pagbilao Municipal Hall on March 6, 2018. Present during the MoA signing were Mr. Maximillan Ventura, President of Philam Foundation, Mr. Ricky De Castro, Executive Director of Team Energy Foundation and Former Mayor Venus Portes, Representative from LGU of Pagbilao.

 

 

There are also representatives from the agency force that were present during the MoA Signing, headed by Ms. Irenea Sisperez, Manager of Quezon-Sisperez Agency.

 

The project will start this March and set to be inaugurated during school opening on June.

 

 

 
Majayjay flies high with new health center

For five long years, the medical workers of Majayjay, a municipality in the province of Laguna, served their constituents in makeshift consultation and treatment rooms. It was difficult to deliver healthcare services as the facilities were not meant for this purpose. 

That was until BDO Foundation came into the picture. The corporate social responsibility arm of BDO Unibank, in partnership with the local government unit, recently rehabilitated Rural Health Unit Majayjay. With the project completed, the town's health officer, nurses and midwives can now attend to patients more efficiently in rooms designed specifically for medical care. 

"Fly high, Majayjay!" the people exclaimed as they witnessed the unveiling of the two-storey health center, which was turned over to local officials by BDO Foundation president Mario Deriquito and BDO Foundation program director Rose Espinosa. They were joined by BDO Laguna area head Antonio Roña, BDO Laguna-Sta. Cruz branch head Jason Alimario, BDO Laguna-Pagsanjan branch head Marlette Coral and BDO Laguna-Sta. Cruz National Highway branch head Rowena Dizon. BDO branches support the foundation's rehabilitation program, disaster response efforts and other corporate citizenship initiatives. 

The newly rehabilitated Rural Health Unit Majayjay was graciously accepted by municipal mayor Carlo Clado, municipal health officer Dr. Ivan Villareal and local officials of the Department of Health. The event was witnessed by Laguna vice governor Karen Agapay, who lauded BDO Foundation's projects in the province. 

A population of more than 37,000 people from 40 barangays stands to benefit from the newly rehabilitated Rural Health Unit Majayjay. The health center's overall structure, lobby and waiting areas, offices, consultation room, laboratory, nurses' station, dental clinic and birthing facilities were renovated by BDO Foundation. The foundation also installed a breastfeeding station, play area for children and waiting lounge for senior citizens. New furniture and fixtures were donated.

The improvement of the rural health unit in Majayjay, Laguna is in line with BDO Foundation's advocacy to promote the health and well-being of people of all ages.

 

 
Vivant Foundation pioneers solar power curriculum in Bantayan, donates equipment

Through photos and imagination. That was how Electrical Installation and Maintenance (EIM) students of Bantayan National High School learned some of their lessons, said Grade 12 student Mc Jemart Martinez.

Not anymore. The students will soon start working with actual wires, pliers, and other electrical equipment after the Vivant Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of Vivant Corporation, donated equipment to the school last Saturday.

The donation includes materials and equipment for EIM and the new solar power component that Vivant Foundation formulated with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the Department of Education (DEPED).

EXTRA ADVANTAGE. Vivant Foundation Executive Director Shem Garcia said the pioneering solar power track of the Electrical Installation and Management course in Bantayan National High School will give its students “that extra advantage that’s needed for the future.” Also shown in the photo are the equipment that the foundation donated to the school last Saturday.

Electrical course with solar component

“No school in the Philippines offers EIM with the solar component and we found that it was time that somebody did, especially considering that renewable energies are playing a bigger part of our power distribution and generation,” said Vivant Foundation Executive Director Shem Garcia. “Tomorrow’s electricians need to know how to handle solar power so together with TESDA and DEPED, we created a new curriculum that would be taught for the first time in the entire country here in Bantayan National High School.”

Garcia said that for Bantayan National High School, they are donating equipment listed by TESDA as requirements for teaching the EIM course. Before the donation, the school had to make do with the scant materials that were available, said teacher John Ray Tejero Tapales.

Tapales and Martinez said they were excited to be able to work with the equipment in their EIM classes. The school has 36 Grade 12 EIM students and only 15 Grade 11 EIM pupils. Tapales said sign-ups to the course dropped after students realized there were no equipment.

Training for teacher

During the summer break, Tapales will be going to Cebu City for training on the solar component, said Garcia. Vivant Foundation also donated solar panels, inverters, and batteries so they will learn to set the system up, he said.

“We’re not the first group to do solar panel electrification for off-grid areas like in mountain schools in Luzon and Mindanao and island schools in the Visayas,” Garcia said in an interview. “But what we have that’s unique is incorporating the idea of having a larger high school that offers EIM and updating their course to include solar. In exchange for them getting the equipment and the training, they’re gonna check in on the island school that’s being electrified to make sure that it’s maintained.”

Garcia said maintenance is important when it comes to solar power. Solar panels are designed to last up to 25 years but installations that are not maintained break down after just a few years.

The students who will be trained will be the ones to maintain the solar power rooftop installation that Vivant Foundation is donating to nearby Hilotongan Integrated School. The rooftop installation will power the school’s lighting and the batch of 100 computers that arrived last year but haven’t been turned on for lack of power, said Garcia.

TRAINING. Raji Roullo (left), planning and design engineer of Vivant, explains how solar panels work to a group of Electrical Installation and Maintenance students of Bantayan National High School.

Cheaper in the long run

The foundation will be spending P3.3 million for the solar power system and more in logistics cost to power the school in Hilotongan.

“It sounds like a lot but it comes out cheaper in the long run than paying fuel for the generator. And also, consider that their generator only did their light bulbs and their electric fans and they had a hundred computers that they couldn’t even turn on,” Garcia said. “The hundred computers arrived towards the end of last year but they haven’t put it on yet because they don’t have electricity.”

The system will be installed in Hilotongan from March to May, in time for the opening of the new school year.

After Tapales is trained, he will then handle the solar power component for the 2nd year of the EIM course.

Garcia said the instructor and the top students can then make quarterly trips to Hilotongan to check on the solar power setup. They will also be the ones to handle repair requests. This partnership will also give the students the needed hours of on-the-job training for their certification.

This training on solar, he said, will give students “that extra advantage that’s needed for the future.”

The students will have a lot of opportunities in a growing industry, said Provincial Board Member Horacio Franco.

AGREEMENT. Vivant Foundation Executive Director Shem Garcia signs the agreement that covers the donation and program. Seated at right is Provincial Board Member Horacio Franco. The donation was held last Saturday at the Bantayan National High School.

Increasing interest

Garcia said that with solar “getting cheaper” every year, they hope to encourage adoption in areas like Bantayan Island.

With heightened awareness on eco-tourism and environmental issues, “there would be increasing interest in solar and especially if businesses know that there are people who can do the maintenance and repair,” he said.

Garcia said their foundation decided to focus on technology and K to 12 education after going around the different communities in the Philippines to study the needs that they could address.

“At the same time, I also went to a symposium by PhilDev and USAID where they were talking about how we needed to increase our innovation in our country because we actually lag behind our other ASEAN neighbors in science education,” he said.

They started with donating science labs and equipment as well as training teachers in Palawan, where they have a power plants.

The Bantayan Island project, he said, is “a big part of our next step.” He said they intend to make it nationwide and would be assessing its impact, particularly of the solar power curriculum, for the needed improvements.

Self-sustaining program

He said the students in Bantayan who will be trained on solar power can potentially serve the community, including five other islet schools.

“That’s basically the idea – that it would be self-sustaining on the education side. It creates people that are skilled at jobs that are growing in demand. Solar is getting cheaper every year, so the demand has been increasing every year. And we think places like this are ideal to have people educated in solar because it is known for the beautiful beaches, the beautiful water,” Garcia said.

When Hilotongan Integrated School is energized with solar power, Garcia said they could do other side projects like putting up an adult learning program on computers during weekends, when there are no regular classes.

 

 

 

 
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