Help out-of-school kids the fun way

Published January 14, 2023, 11:36 AM

by Deedee Siytangco

ANGEL THOUGHTS

In an ideal world, education is for all.

But the harsh reality shows there is still so much work to be done to address the issue of the growing out-of-school population worldwide as many young individuals are still missing out on their education for many different reasons.

Student scholars

A 2017 Philippine Statistics Authority data revealed that nine percent or more than three million of the estimated 39 million Filipinos aged six to 24 years old are out-of-school children and youth. Individuals aged 16 to 24 dominated a large fraction of this number with 83.1 percent, followed by individuals 12 to 15 years old, and individuals six to 11 years old with 5.7 percent.

You don’t need a statistician to conclude that poverty is the main reason for our youth’s meager access to education.

As the African proverb goes: “It takes a village to raise a child.” This is the reason Jollibee Group Foundation (JGF), the social development arm of the Jollibee Group, launched the “Scholarship Coin Bank” to further technical-vocational trainings in the country.

The proceeds of the program will benefit youth scholars of the foundation taking up Quick Service Restaurant Operation (QSRO) and agriculture courses. Through this program, JGF aims to pave the way for these individuals to have access to education and employment, helping them rise out of extreme poverty.

“Through our coin banks, the public can now actively support more youth who dream of completing their education, accessing employment opportunities, and providing a better life for themselves and their family,” said JGF executive director Gisela Tiongson.

Jorgielou Rabaria, 21, is one of the scholars currently enrolled under the program’s QSRO course at Anihan Technical School in Laguna. In 2020, at the height of the pandemic, Rabaria had to stop schooling due to health and financial reasons.

“As a student who came from a less privileged family, being a JGF scholar is a great help to reduce my parents’ financial burden. It also motivates me to strive more in my studies,” Rabaria said in vernacular.

Meanwhile, agro-entrepreneurship scholar Christina Gamilde, a young farmer whose family owns a small piggery, said in Filipino, “by taking the agro-entrepreneurship course, I learned how to upgrade our business so I can take the lead in managing it.”

“Learning agro-entrepreneurship has been a big help. I can now see the earnings from our piggery, and this encourages me to further grow our business. I hope we don’t lose faith in agriculture,” Gamilde added.

In the past, JGF has been engaging the company’s customers in supporting school feeding and disaster response initiatives through the coin banks placed in Jollibee Group restaurants across the country.

When the pandemic began, these coin banks were also made available online via www.jollibeefoundation.org so customers can donate via GCash, Maya, and GrabRewards, and do bank account transfers from anywhere around the country and the world.

“We are very grateful to everyone who has donated through our coin banks over the years. Now, donations to these coin banks will also help build the next generation of dreamers who wish to follow a career in the food industry or agriculture,” Tiongson added.

Aside from donating through the physical coin banks in the stores of Jollibee Group brands, there are four other ways interested donors may donate.

The public may send donations through online bank transfer to the foundation’s Metrobank (Account number: 473-7-473-01406-4, SWIFT Code: MBTCPHMM) and RCBC (1253-10519-0) accounts.

Another way to donate is by using GrabRewards points. In the Grab app, go to the Donate with Points section, look for Jollibee Group Foundation, select the amount of points to donate, and click Redeem (DSWD-SB-SP-00035-2022). Please donate and help a young Filipino get access to a proper education.

Meanwhile, let me say “mea culpa” to my readers last Sunday. I wrote in my item on Winter Wonderland in Lakeshore Development that the picturesque residential development is in Angeles, Pampanga. Well, it isn’t…it’s in the city before Angeles, it’s in Mexico!

So look for the winter and snow fun in Mexico and you will be dazzled by the beautiful snow show at Lakeshore Philippines. It will be a year-round offering, so we heard.

 
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