There’s a story about a girl in the Philippines and a guy from.Europe who back and forth to each other. The guy sends a Shoebox to her containing stuff she needs to live a decent life and finish her schooling. Such is an amazing gesture that changes a life.
Education in the now normal continues to be a struggle for many Filipino children, especially those in the marginalized sector. The crisis and disruption brought by the pandemic do not only add to the existing education disparities, but also hamper the learning process and opportunities of the youth. Thus, ensuring learning continuity is imperative now more than ever.
As the education sector pivots and innovates from the impact of the pandemic, new approaches and different learning modalities have been developed to better support it. For My Dream in a Shoebox (MDIAS), education is the one thing that must not be taken away from a child, most especially in times of need. Last year, it shifted its gears to help answer the changing needs of students today.
As annual education campaign spearheaded by TeamAsia, MDIAS aims to equip less fortunate Filipino children with educational assistance and help them make their #BiggerDreams come true. Innovating its dream kits and scholarships for its 12th year, MDIAS transformed its Do-It-Yourself shoeboxes and adapted the calls of the Department of Education to cater to the needs of distance learning. Aside from school supplies, MDIAS has added calls for donations of solar-powered and rechargeable transistor radios, old or new tablets, old usable computers with mobile internet dongle, working printers with ink tank and refillable ink, and photocopy machine with affordable toners to help make learning sustainable for students and teachers in the now normal.
For partners of MDIAS like the Yellow Boat of Hope (YBH) Foundation, the pandemic has surely changed educational efforts. Seeing as the resources that beneficiaries urgently need are educational support to
help them implement the Distance Modular learning approach, YBH quickly pivoted from their yellow school boats bringing kids to school to delivering educational modules to the doorsteps of the learners to ensure that no child will be left behind. Through MDIAS, their scholarship program for 100 vulnerable elementary school kids will continue.
According to Father Didoy Molina, one of MDIAS’ beneficiaries from Christ the King Parish, school supplies given out to their parish scholars greatly improve their capacity to study, increase their confidence and performance, and enhance their self-esteem. He explained that the tools do not only help the children do well in their studies, but are also instruments of love and care shared with them by their parents and by the generous donors, telling them that they are cared for, and that their dreams are supported.
“I am looking forward to seeing more smiles and grateful faces as they receive beautiful boxes filled with school supplies, wrapped with care by generous donors. These memorable experiences really stay with me for life and inspire me to hope for our young people,” Father Didoy shared.
For Bea Lim, Managing Director of TeamAsia and MDIAS Chief Dreambuilder, corporate social responsibility is not just about giving back to the community when things get tough. It is a continuous commitment to inclusive growth, progress and development that will ultimately lead to a stronger, sustainable and thriving society.
“This now normal we are in today highlights the importance of bayanihan and malasakit to work together to fight this pandemic and push for economic recovery with compassion, empathy, and faith that we can all get through this together,” Lim emphasized.