[Blueboard] Charity First

pathways at admu.edu.ph pathways at admu.edu.ph
Wed Feb 18 08:07:36 PHT 2004

Good morning! :) I hope that you find the time to read our article today at
The Manila Times. Please help us further our cause by forwarding this to
your friends! Have a good day! God bless!

The link to the article is (cut and paste to your browser):


Or you may read the article below:

Charity First
by: Harvey S. Keh
The Manila Times, February 18,2004 
I was at the Philippine Normal University (PNU) last Sunday to attend a
seminar on Responsible Sexuality organized by the Charity First
Foundation for their participants. The seminar proved to be very
informative and exciting not only for those the students who attended but
even for guests like me. For those who may not have heard about them yet,
Charity First Foundation was formed by a group of successful Filipino
Chinese businessmen who are bound together in their mission to provide
services to our less-fortunate brothers and sisters. The group has
already done much considering that it is only on its second year of
existence. One of their more prominent programs is their scholarship
program that caters to financially disadvantaged students from State
Colleges and Universities. Aside from providing for the students tuition
and fees, Charity First also provides allowances for transportation,
food, books and projects. They are able to do this program through the
help of their friends who act as sponsors for each scholar. Currently,
there are more than 140 students who are part of this program. Aside from
addressing their scholars financial need, Charity First also helps them
enhance their personality through their monthly Life Skills Seminars. The
aims of the life skills seminars is to create students who are not only
academically-gifted but more importantly equipped with the emotional and
social skills that they would need in school and to cope with the
realities of the outside world. Some of the life skills that are
inculcated into the scholars are setting one's vision in life and
prioritizing the day to day concerns that they have. What is remarkable
is that these seminars are facilitated not by outsiders but by the people
who actually comprise Charity First. It is the businessmen and women who
actually sit down with the groups and discuss with them their thoughts
and ideas on the theme at hand. As their President, Mr. Bonifacio Co
explains, this hands-on approach enables them to share with their
scholars their own experiences and learnings in life. At the same time,
they get to know more about their scholars and develop a genuine
relationship with each one of them. A good thing that will also come out
of this personal interaction is that their scholars will not anymore
remain faceless to them thus, they will always feel inspired to help
knowing where their hard-earned money goes to. Aside from scholarship
programs, Charity First also provides free dental check-ups and
treatments through their Dental Missions. One of the areas that they
helped last year was Baseco, if you will recall this was the place that
was recently devoured by a huge fire that left thousands of people
homeless. Another service that this very generous foundation provides is
livelihood training and development. Currently, they are working with the
Mother of Divine Providence Parish in Payatas, Quezon City, to provide
sewing lessons and subsequently sewing machines to the people of Payatas.

Through Charity First, I have seen myself what is the true sense of
sharing what you have with those who have none. The genuineness of their
service has made me realize that indeed there is still hope for this
country if only each of us can follow the lead of foundations such as
Charity First. We hope that our businessmen and women may also follow
their lead and share with others the numerous blessings that they have
received. Congratulations Charity First for continuing to show us what
wonders can be done if people just learn to work together and share with
others what they have. 


Speaking of businessmen doing service for the education of our country,
not many people know that SGV Founder, Washington Sycip is also one of
the major pillars in terms of pushing for basic education reform. For the
past three years, Mr. Sycip has been working with the Ateneo Center for
Education Development (ACED) in creating programs that would train
teachers and improving public schools. Recently, he donated a sizeable
amount to the tune of P 2 million to the Synergeia Foundation to help
finance its reading programs nationwide. Why the sudden interest in
helping the basic education sector you may ask? Well, the answer is plain
and simple, Mr. Sycip is a product of a public school, he studied at
Burgos Elementary School and Mapa High School in Manila. To Mr. Sycip,
thank you for continuing to believe in the Filipino child! 


The Ateneo de Manila-Pathways to Higher Education Program is currently
organizing its 1st Pathways National Youth Conference. This conference
aims to gather students and administrators from different colleges and
universities nationwide in the hope of creating projects and programs
within their schools that would help students coming from the
marginalized sector access higher education. The three-day conference
will culminate with the launching of the Pathways Small Grants
Competition for the student groups who participated in the conference.
The conference will be held from April 14-16, 2004, at the Ateneo de
Manila University. 

For more details, you may contact Ms. Ira Tamis at 426-6001 loc. 4049 or
e-mail her at pathways at admu.edu.ph 

For comments, you may email the writer at hkeh at ateneo.edu

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