The new school year has started but many public elementary and secondary schools would not have been ready for class opening if not for the collective effort of communities and stakeholders all over the country.
Before summer vacation ended, an army of volunteers from different parts of the Philippines equipped with cleaning materials and carpentry tools, trouped to different schools nationwide to repair and prepare classrooms and make them conducive to learning.
Among those concerned citizens were 1,187 employee-volunteers from Globe Telecom who heeded the call of the Department of Education (DepEd) for Brigada Eskwela also known as the “Bayanihan Para sa Paaralan” (Working Together for School) which has been going on for 13 years. They were joined by Globe partner organizations --- Habitat for Humanity, Ayala Foundation, Inc., and Fort Bonifacio Development Foundation, Inc.
Globe volunteers at Ma. Eustaquia Lizares Elementary School in Talisay City, Negros Occidental repair the classrooms…
…while their counterparts in Gat Andres Bonifacio Elementary School in Taguig City, Metro Manila paint the school.
“We are so thankful to the Globe volunteers and our partners who were able to lend their time and effort to help 81 public schools across the country which in turn, benefitted 96,743 students. Even after the official period given for Brigada Eskwela, we still continue to receive requests from our employees to continue with repair and beautification of schools in their areas. This only shows how important it is for Globe and its people to give back to the communities. Brigada Eskwela provided our employees with another source of pride and purpose,” said Fernando Esguerra, Globe Director for Citizenship.
For a holistic personal development, Globe offers activity-based or skill-based volunteering opportunities to support their employee advocacies. The employees are also provided with two-day volunteer leave to enable them to share in their desire to contribute to social development.
Thomafaith Kalingking of the Human Resources Group said: “We are forever grateful to be a Ka-Globe who participates in this kind of activity. It is good to know that our second home is sharing the same values as ours. We are lucky to be part of a purpose-led organization.”
Not content with simply making the classrooms presentable and usable, the Globe volunteers also provided snacks and school supplies for the children as well as prepared a short program participated in by the eager students. Some employee volunteer groups also provided appliances such as electric fans, computers, and television sets through the funds that they raised themselves.
Grade 1 pupils of San Jose de Urquico Elementary School in Tarlac enjoy their snacks.
Excited pupils of Castanes Elementary School in Sariaya, Quezon proudly show their new school bags and supplies.
Jireh Develles, Retail Specialist for the Globe Store in Robinson’s Bacolod, only had happiness in his heart despite having to travel far just to reach his assigned school. "I have always been proud of how Globe created this advocacy to encourage employees to expose themselves to social responsibility. The experience was so overwhelming and fulfilling even though the school was far flung, near the mountains. It was such an achievement to spend time and bond with the children, see them all eager and excited for school.”
It’s coloring time for the kids of Armada-Pelaez Memorial Elementary School in Mina, Iloilo.
Aside from Brigada Eskwela, Globe is also a partner of DepEd in various Information and Communications Technology (ICT) collaboration for education such as the Global Filipino Schools and Global Filipino Teachers programs and Text2Teach, among others. The company has also built and donated classrooms in Aklan to DepEd as part of Project 1 Phone e-waste recycling advocacy and its support for the rehabilitation and recovery of the province after Typhoon Haiyan.