Meralco employees reach out to streetchildren

Published by rudy Date posted on April 20, 2009

MANILA, Philippines – The expansive grounds of the Meralco compound in Ortigas was recently transformed into a carnival setting for three days to celebrate the company’s 106th year and “Employees Week.” It turned out as a meaningful endeavor for its employees who pooled their resources in treating the streetchildren to a “Fun-tastic Friendship Fair.”

Held annually as a corporate social responsibility (CSR) effort involving communities within the Meralco’s franchise, the event made it possible for less fortunate children to experience a special day with the employees in a carnival-fair type experience. During the three-day fair from March 17 to 19, streetchildren from the cities of Marikina, Mandaluyong, and Pasig were invited by the different Meralco sponsor groups for a fun-filled activity that highlights Meralco’s CSR thrust.

A total of 210 children frolicked around the spacious oval of Meralco compound, enjoying the rides such as the basket truck, Royal Carousel, Caterpillar, Lantern Wheel, inflatable playground, apart from getting free snacks and treats offered to them all by their “ate” and “kuya” employee-volunteers from Meralco.

Mylene Garcia, a street educator from the Iskul ni Bobby of Pasig City’s Social Welfare Development Office, lauded the efforts of Meralco and its employees for lending a helping hand to the young beneficiaries. This is the second time for Iskul ni Bobby in Pasig to be included in the affair.

“Taos sa puso ang pasasalamat namin sa Meralco dahil napili nila ang Pasig na bigyan ng tulong,” she said. “Tuwang-tuwa ang mga bata, hindi sila matapos sa kakakwento lalo na sa mga pamilya nila at kaibigan, dahil hindi pa nila naranasan ang ganitong kasiyahan,” Garcia added.

The children, aged 7-10 years old, are student-beneficiaries of Pasig City Mayor Bobby Eusebio’s Iskul ni Bobby program. They are mostly drop-outs, or children who are forced to stop schooling because of poverty. But under the program, they get to benefit from free education that prepares them for formal schooling.

Iskul ni Bobby operates three sites in Pasig: the Market site, one in Dilang-Nagpayong in Brgy. Pinagbuhatan, and another in Aral-Aruga which is a community-based setting. Students are gathered here from two to four hours everyday to undergo non-formal education. It was organized seven years ago and continues to benefit children from the indigent families.

Aside from the Iskul ni Bobby in Pasig, the beneficiaries also included 70 children under the care of the Social Welfare & Development Office of Marikina City, and 71 youngsters from Martha’s Vineyard Learning Center in Mandaluyong City.   The Meralco sponsor groups tasked to care for the beneficiaries were the Customer Retail Services, Shared Services & Subsidiaries, and Networks groups.

The Fun-Tastic Friendship Fair, a brainchild of Meralco chairman Manolo Lopez, is also a means of establishing relationships and making sure that the community is part of the company’s celebration. It also provides employees an opportunity to share their blessings with the communities they serve, while sharing with the children the fun and fellowship of a caring company. –Philippine Star

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