Member News
Aboitiz Team Members Join Forces for 10th Brigada Eskwela

Several Aboitiz Group team members from Manila and Cebu came together and painted desks, planted seedlings, and covered textbooks in public schools in Taguig, Pateros, and Cebu last May 21, Saturday, as part of the Aboitiz Group’s 10th annual Brigada Eskwela. The simultaneous activities were graced by DepEd and DA USecs. Tonisito M.C. Umali and Ranibai Dilangalen; Elsa Parot, Agricultural Training Institute Chief of Partnerships and Accreditation; Taguig City and Pateros Mayors Laarni Cayetano and Miguel Ponce III; and Francis Barrameda, Taguig City Admin for Education. “Brigada Eskwela plays a central role in the Aboitiz Group’s brand promise of advancing business and communities through the work of Aboitiz Foundation in co-creating safe, empowered, and sustainable communities. We are guided by our desire to make even more significant impact on the lives of our beneficiaries through our projects in education, enterprise development, and the environment,” said Erramon I. Aboitiz, Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. President & CEO.

 

 
#WeatherWiser Campaign bags coveted Anvil Award

WeatherPhilippines Foundation, an Aboitiz-led private weather information provider, has been recognized as one of the country’s most outstanding organizations in public relations at the 53rd Anvil Awards held at Shangri-La at The Fort last March 23, 2018.



Presented by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines (PRSP), WeatherPhilippines, received the Silver Anvil Award for Specialized Public Relations- Advocacy Campaign for its Building a #WeatherWiser Nation, a campaign focused on showcasing the foundation’s strategy in bringing weather resilience and disaster preparedness to the consciousness of Filipinos.

WeatherPhilippines is proud to share this honor with its partners in advancing business and communities by helping build a #WeatherWiser nation.

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Presented by the Public Relations Society of the Philippines, the Anvil Awards is a nationally-coveted symbol of excellence in the field of public relations. The 53rd Anvil Awards included the following categories: PR Programs on Sustained Bases, PR Programs Directed at Specific Stakeholders, and Specialized PR Programs (advocacy campaign), and PR Tools covering Publications, Multimedia, and Exhibits and Special Events.

 

 

 
Bringing play to the displaced children of Mayon

Ikaw ang aking Superhero. Students of San Jose and Calbayog Elementary Schools dance to the tune of ‘Superhero,’ empowered by the belief that each one of them is a superhero.

Play It Forward Resilience (PIFR), Unilab Foundation’s therapeutic play program for children in vulnerable areas, in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd), recently provided psychosocial support to students and parents from San Jose Elementary School (SJES) and evacuees from Calbayog Elementary School (CES) in Malilipot, Albay, in response to the Mayon volcano eruptions.

‘Sanay na po kami’

Since January 2018, the Mayon volcano eruptions have dominated the news. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) raised the alert level to 4 (hazardous eruption within days), and ordered the evacuation of residents, especially those living within the six-kilometer Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ). Reports say approximately 21,000 families or 81,200 individuals have been evacuated.

Nag-start mag-erupt ang Mayon volcano noong January 14. ‘Yun din yung araw na lumipat ‘yung from Calbayog and part of San Roque, pumunta sila dito sa school namin para mag-evacuate. Alam na nila ang gagawin. Calbayog is within the six-kilometer danger zone,” explains Sincletica Buena, Principal and Camp Chief of SJES.

As the designated evacuation site in Malilipot, Albay, SJES now caters over 1,000 learners. Because the evacuees are sheltered in the classrooms, DepEd has designated Temporary Learning Spaces (TLS) for classes. Students from SJES take the morning shift, from 6:00am to 12:00nn, while the displaced students from CES are scheduled for 12:00nn to 6:00pm.

“Naapektuhan po talaga ang pag-aaral ng mga bata. Kasi isipin po natin, ‘yung one day na teaching, ginagawa lang natin dito’ng half day. Although lahat ng subjects natuturo sa kanila, kaya lang nasu-shorten ‘yung time,” shares Marilou Arizapa, Principal of CES.

Rosario Bien, a Grade 1 teacher in SJES adds, “’Yung ibang mga bata, may masakit ang ulo, nahihilo, minsan nagkakaroon ng lagnat, kasi na-se-stress din sila, kahit hindi sila yung masyadong apektado ng Mayon kasi na-displace sila sa kanilang classroom.”

Although parents like Precy Bitara say that her children are used to evacuations every now and then, both the teachers and students suffer. “’Yung ibang bata talaga, parang may trauma na sila siguro sa naranasan na nila, kaya natatakot sila,” shares Bitara.

The power of play

Studies show that children can use play not only to cope with difficult emotions, but also as a way to accelerate healing and recovery from trauma.

To address the need for psychosocial support, the DepEd tapped PIFR for two days of play for the students in Malilipot, Albay.

Play It Forward is a science- and evidence-based program that provides opportunities for children to express and understand their feelings through a play curriculum and a structured or mobile play space.

Twenty-six teachers and Disaster Risk and Reduction Management coordinators from DepEd Region V and DepEd Albay Division received training on PIFR from March 25 to 26, 2018, enabling them to become PIFR facilitators equipped to provide basic psychological first aid to parents and children.

Bien, who facilitated play sessions for her Grade 1 students, shares, “Ang paglalaro po kasi, nawawala ang problema sa kanila. Instead na isipin nila na natakot sila nung pumutok yung bulkan, mas na-enjoy nila yung karanasan nila sa paglalaro.”

Joseph John Jimenez Perez, Project Development Officer II of the DepEd Sorsogon Province, was also trained as a volunteer facilitator. Perez affirmed, “It gives them a sense of normalcy, [since] the evacuation center is definitely a very abnormal situation: this is not their home, this is a learning institution. So through play, it gives them a sense of normalcy that everything will be okay.”

Building resilience, one child at a time

After the play days, teacher-facilitators began preparations to cascade their experience and knowledge to their respective divisions.

A total of 209 students from SJES and CES, from Grades 1 to 6, participated in the PIFR play days on March 27 and 28. In addition, 59 parents also learned about how disasters and crises situations like the volcanic eruption can have severe effects on children, and how understanding and caring for them can help with healing and renewed growth.

PIFR has brought the intervention to disaster-stricken areas: post-Yolanda Tacloban in 2016; Isabela, which was devastated by Super Typhoon Lawin in 2017; and Typhoon Nina-hit Marinduque also in 2017. The program also held play days for children who were affected by the 6.7 magnitude earthquake in Surigao City last year.

Aside from providing response, this year, PIFR is set to build resilience among children in the 10 most vulnerable areas in the Philippines, including Pampanga and Eastern Samar.

Unilab Foundation, Inc. is the corporate foundation of United Laboratories. True to the belief that quality healthcare is for all, it is Unilab Foundation’s mission to build a healthier Philippines, one person, one community at a time.

It's a great day for play. The students of San Jose Elementary School and Calbayog Elementary School were all smiles during the Play It Forward Resilience Play Day in Malilipot, Albay.


Learn more about Play It Forward Resilience at www.unilabfoundation.org.

Sources:

https://reliefweb.int/report/philippines/philippines-mayon-volcano-eruption-snapshot-31-march-2018

 

 
Island School in Palawan Receives Knowledge Channel

 

An island barangay school in Coron, Palawan was the lucky recipient of educational television equipment provided by the Malampaya Foundation, a long-time partner and supporter of the Knowledge Channel and its mission to empower learners through media and technology.

The teacher training and equipment turnover event took place at the Canipo Elementary School early this month in the isolated sitio of Coron.  The school was also given a photo-voltaic or solar panel power system by Malampaya Foundation with which to power its new electronic educational TV equipment.

The island’s welcoming committee of 237 learners and 7 teachers were visibly excited by the visit of Malampaya Foundation Executive Director Karen Agabin and Knowledge Channel executives Doris Nuval and Vin Conmigo and Sky Direct’s direct-to-home satellite service installers.

Read it also here: http://www.knowledgechannel.org/archives/6204

 

 

 
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.

 
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