October 20, 2017, 7:59 am
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tacloban school spreads joy two years after typhoon ‘yolanda’ Making a Difference in Communities with Mondelēz International

Mondelēz International continues to put smiles on people’s faces through its delicious, globally-loved, and locally-made products. Formerly known as Kraft Foods, it aims to create delicious moments of joy not only through products like Oreo,  Toblerone and Tang, but also through the impact it is making in communities where it operates. 

Studies showed that more people are now interested in well-being in the broadest sense. People’s concerns include physical health as well as ethical and social responsibility. For families, it is now important not only for their food to be safe, but even for the community which they live in to remain a place where well-being is given priority. Similarly Mondelēz International believes that well-being is holistic and so it continues to implement programs that benefit individuals, communities, and the planet.

Two years since Mondelēz Philippines started Joy Schools, its flagship social responsibility program, heartwarming stories of children who started to improve their nutritional and educational status began to emerge—and even more inspiring are those from Panalaron Central Elementary School in Tacloban City, which had been badly hit by Typhoon ‘Yolanda’ (Haiyan).

After seeing the devastated facilities and hearing of the traumatic experiences of the students and their families, Mondelēz Philippines adopted the Panalaron Central Elementary School into the Joy Schools program. The ongoing three-year project involves not only rebuilding the school facilities to enable the school to maintain its classes—a must for the recovery of the children, but also to bring back joy to their lives by providing a joyful learning environment. 

“Panalaron improved well before other schools in the area were able to do so. Because of Joy Schools, children were motivated to come to school regularly. It helped enhance their reading skills, improve their nutritional status, and achieve better results in their academic performance”, said Concepcion Loren, a teacher at the Panalaron Central Elementary School. 

The nine-month feeding module, which began July 2014, resulted in the reduction of the number of severely undernourished students from 175 to 73. Furthermore, the library and reading corners installed in each classroom encouraged students to read. The program also continues to promote the well-being of the students, their teachers, and their families by conducting teacher training and urban gardening training. 

In 2015, 88 students graduated from Grade 6, with 87 more graduating this year. The students begin to show excellence not only in academics, but also in extra-curricular activities, with several placing at a recent District Level Quiz Bee and District Level Taekwondo meet. 

Bouncing back from the devastation of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), the Panalaron Central Elementary School now sustainably operates as a center for learning and joy. Mondelez Philippines has also started searching new schools to adopt for 2016, as it continues to see delicious moments of joy being created, one community at a time.
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