Believing in the Filipino tradition of “bayanihan” (roughly translated into a sense of community and volunteerism), CEMEX Philippines Foundation mobilizes employee-led voluntary efforts for education.
CEMEX Philippines Foundation supported the Department of Education (DepEd) by participating and organizing its series of Brigada Eskwela activities. The Foundation held its clean-up drive in Dalig Elementary School and San Ysiro Elementary School in Rizal, Mainit Elementary School in Cebu, and Benigno Aquino, Jr. Elementary School in Manila.
The program was participated by CEMEX Holdings Philippines’ (CHP) employees who were also dubbed as CEMEX H.E.R.O. (Help. Engage. Reach. Out.) volunteers.
“I’ve been joining the Brigada Eskwela for almost a decade now,” shared Daisy Delos Angeles, treasury operations team lead at CHP. “When I was younger, I personally looked forward to going back to school to see my friends again. Participating in the H.E.R.O. program is a chance for me to pay it forward since I’ve always appreciated clean classrooms whenever I go back to school every June.”
The company’s participation in Brigada Eskwela, also known as the National School Maintenance Week, is in answer to DepEd’s call for a nationwide voluntary effort to help clean, repair or maintain public school classrooms and facilities around the country.
The theme for this year is “Tayo Para sa Paaralang Ligtas, Maayos at Handa Mula Kindergarten Hanggang Senior High School,” which sees to it that classrooms and facilities are also safe learning spaces for Filipino learners.
“Education plays an important role in youth development. Some of the most essential values are formed in school. This is why many of our community and outreach programs are designed to promote education for every Filipino,” explained Megi Garcia, corporate social responsibility officer at CHP.
Before Brigada Eskwela began in 2003, students would spend the first few days of classes cleaning, repairing, and preparing the classrooms themselves. Through the DepEd initiative, armies of volunteers consisting of parents, teachers, students, alumni, community members, and private institutions join hands to ensure students get a clean and safe place conducive for learning.
“We see education as a great equalizer that can change a young person’s life and set them on a path filled with opportunities. Participating in Brigada Eskwela is our small way of making sure children will have a clean and safe place to maximize their potential,” added Garcia. Alongside the Brigada Eskwela initiative, CEMEX Philippines Foundation also constructed a library project in Dalig Elementary School.
This year’s Brigada Eskwela spearheaded by DepEd was held from May 30 to June 4, 2016.
CEMEX H.E.R.O. volunteers support the Brigada Eskwela initiative. Among the clean-up activities is repainting the outer walls of the classrooms for a refreshed and polished look ready for the upcoming school year.
Show of collaboration. CEMEX H.E.R.O. employee volunteers joined forces for the annual Brigada Eskwela. Wooden armchairs were refurbished, cleaned, and repainted– all set for a happy start of the school year.
Brigada Eskwela has become a tradition for CEMEX. Photos show the H.E.R.O volunteers at the (left) Benigno Aquino, Jr. Elementary School in Manila and Dalig Elementary School in Antipolo Rizal.