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Smart bares top ten entries for social good initiative payITfwd

by SMART Public Affairs | Oct 03, 2013
[3 October 2013] What do a medical doctor and group of medical personnel from General Santos City, a high school student from Montalban, an insurance agent from Iloilo, an alternative learning teacher based in Palawan, twins from Davao, yuppies from Iligan, mountaineers from Cagayan de Oro, fresh graduates from Legazpi, and a group advocating ecology from Negros Occidental have in common?

What do a medical doctor and group of medical personnel from General Santos City, a high school student from Montalban, an insurance agent from Iloilo, an alternative learning teacher based in Palawan, twins from Davao, yuppies from Iligan, mountaineers from Cagayan de Oro, fresh graduates from Legazpi, and a group advocating ecology from Negros Occidental have in common?  

They may come from all walks of life and from different parts of the country but they all have one and the same purpose—to promote social good and give back to their communities.  

They are also among the ten projects that stood out among over a hundred entries that were submitted to Smart Communications Inc. (Smart) during the first round of its newest social development initiative, payITfwd.

“Through payItfwd, Smart hopes to enable the spread of social good acts that foster learning using our technology.  Through this, social good advocates can scale up so that more communities can benefit from their cause,” said Ramon Isberto, head of Smart Public Affairs.

To recognize their good deeds and help scale up their efforts through technology, the telco leader is rewarding each of these 10 community-based projects with 5 tablets and a technology grant of P50,000.

Smart Bro will enable connectivity to the devices with a Smart Pocket Wi-Fi, and P3,000 worth of load credit.

“Technology can help increase efficiency in operations and expand the reach of these community-based projects.  Most often than not most of these social good deeds are done by volunteers with limited resources.  With Smart’s technology solutions, we hope to help spread social good to keep the ‘good’ going,” added Isberto.

Participants submitted their entries in video, demonstrating the nature of the project, how it is helping the beneficiary community, and how Smart’s technology package and grant can help to further scale up the good deed.

Dr. Roel Z. Cagape, a medical doctor from General Santos City, has witnessed at an early age how poverty prevented his community to access even the simplest of medical services.

As a doctor, he made it his life-long commitment to bring these services even in far-flung areas. He introduced virtual health centers where patients can do consultation via SMS.

Hearts and Brains, Inc. or HABI, also based in General Santos, is composed of doctors nurses and other medical personnel that would conduct medical missions, feeding programs and livelihood assistance to the marginalized sectors of the community.

The group developed the Walking Blood Data Bank in aid of patients needing blood donors.

The Notebook Exchange Project is a social entrepreneurship program that aims to combat the garbage problem in a community in Montalban.  Seems like a big concept for a 13-year-old, right?

But for Julio Babagay and his fellow kids, it is simply recycling their old notebooks, redesigning them, and then selling them.  A portion of the proceeds are donated to charity.

When Rowena Verona Silvederio founded the Kalibo Sakeros Football Club, Inc., she envisioned it to be more than just a game of two teams competing on who gets to send the ball into the goal of the opposing team a lot more than the other.

She believed football development program in the grassroots will also enhance the kids’ social values.

For alternative learning teacher Reuben C. Herrera, teaching both kid and adult learners is just about anywhere is no longer good enough.  He had to build a school in the mountains of Palawan so that his students will have a regular site for learning, thus, giving them a semblance of how things are in formal education.

Switotwins.com is a digital storytelling journal for kids.  It features children stories in video format.  For Swito (which translates to expert in the vernacular) twins Gloryrose and Glorypearl Dy, the site is a venue for people to showcase their creativity and rekindle the child within them by contributing stories, helping with the animations and illustrations for the videos.

HOPE Project is all about Helping Other People Earn. The project, based in Iligan City, trains students on how to get online jobs as a means to earn extra income and support their way through college. HOPE also teaches working students create their profiles to make them viable hires in the online jobs marketplace.

ROTA or Rebirth Outdoor Trekkers are comprised of mountaineers who combine nurture-nature-related outdoor activities with community service.

With their “Trek and Treat,” the group regularly delivers sponsored school supplies, food and shoes to students in schools from the hinterlands of Mindanao. 

Hinabing Buhay is a community-building enterprise led by young Bikolano visionaries brought together by their aspirations of seeing the country a better place for every Filipino.  It started as a school requirement that eventually became a budding business.

These young professionals trained a community of mothers in Legazpi City how to create Mr. Kengkoy backpacks for their livelihood.

Rural Education and Cultural Outreach Program (RECOP) is an 18-man volunteer team that goes up the mountains of Negros Occidental to offer two-day outreach program for impoverished communities.  The program includes training on nutrition and first aid and CPR; interactive storytelling sessions; art and culture; film showings, art exhibits and competitions. 

These 10 social good doers are blessings to their beneficiary communities.  With Smart’s payITfwd, these projects will be further scaled up so that more communities can benefit from their good deeds.

Smart will be accepting entries for the second round of payITfwd until end-November.  For more details, click on www.smart.com.ph/payITfwd.