Happy kid. One of the many smiles that captivated us during our visit was that of Lance’s. Such an adorable boy!
While donations and other means of financial support can make a difference in the lives of children in need, what’s more meaningful and worthwhile is taking the time to spread happiness to the young ones and motivate them to study hard. This was experienced firsthand by Growth Rocket team members who recently visited a public elementary school in Caloocan, a city in northern Manila, Philippines.
Smiles as warm and bright as the sunny morning that day welcomed the team. The students were so awestruck meeting a visitor from the United States for the first time. They couldn’t contain their glee, as they had a blast high fiving, fist bumping, and taking selfies with their ate and kuyas from Growth Rocket. The adults were just happy to oblige!
Growth Rocket is the first Save the Children corporate sponsor to visit the children in the community where they live and go to school. “We did this because we wanted to actively reach out to the community and see firsthand the impact of our sponsorships on the lives of the children we touch,” said Growth Rocket CEO Houman Akhavan.
Growth Rocket has been partnering with Save the Children, the world’s leading independent children’s organization that provides emergency and long-term support to Filipino children. Aside from sponsoring children, the company has been supporting Save the Children’s Health and Nutrition, Education, Emergency Response, and Advocacy programs.
Value of education
The entire experience became an eye-opener for everyone in the team, composed mostly of Filipino members. It made us realize that more has to be done to help these students, strengthening our commitment to sponsor more children in the future.
Despite the difficult conditions these children are in such as cramped classrooms, lack of school facilities, and low teacher-to-student ratio, their sheer drive to go to school and learn everyday—as well as the school’s low dropout rate—speaks a lot about the value their families put on education. This inspires us even more to ensure that the children we’re helping enjoy good health, access to education, and better quality of life that they deserve.
Also worth noting is how the students were able to converse fluently in English with their foreign visitor. This goes to show that even with limited resources, the Philippine public school system has been equipping students with basic skills such as communicating in English.
“Naintindihan ko karamihan ng English na sinabi niya. Nakipag-English-an pa nga ako! (I can understand most of what he told me. I even got to speak with him in English!)” a kindergarten pupil—around five years old—ecstatically told the Growth Rocket team, referring to his brief conversation with Houman.
The team also took the opportunity to personally meet some of the children that Growth Rocket has been sponsoring in partnership with Save the Children. Highlighting the visit was a read-aloud session to Grade 4 classes by Houman with sponsored kids Ma. Luisa and Joshua.
Ma. Luisa, 11, likes Mathematics and dreams of becoming a teacher someday. Joshua, 12, loves computers and wants to be an athlete when he grows up. The team also met with another sponsored kid, Primitivo, 5, a kindergarten pupil who wants to be a police officer in the future.
“Study hard. A good education will help you become successful when you grow up,” Houman told Ma. Luisa, Joshua, and Primitivo. This is the first time he met the kids, describing his experience as fun and fulfilling.
Giving back to the community
The educated workforce in the Philippines has been helping many offshore companies grow their business. Being socially responsible is a way to give back to the community.
“We call on all companies to support the communities in the Philippines by working with child advocacy organizations such as Save the Children. Corporate social responsibility does not just begin and end with donations. Let’s be compassionate and caring to them, too. Uplifting their lives in any way we can is something we owe to the community,” Houman said.
Share the gift of love in this season of giving. No help is too big or too small. You, too, can make a difference by supporting Save the Children’s cause. Visit its website for more details.