April 23, 2018, 12:40 am
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PhilSeven Foundation shares joy of giving

IN the eyes of a child, happiness comes and is expressed in various forms.  But for PhilSeven Foundation, Inc. (PFI) – the corporate social advocacy arm of Philippine Seven Corp., the exclusive local licensor of 7-Eleven convenience store chain brand -- the rewarding joy came in the fulfilment of its mission to be of service to others: a decade-long legacy that continues to inspire hope, bigger dreams, and sow meaningful positive outcomes, one community at a time.

Just recently, PFI officers, along with company volunteers and advocacy partners (Malolos City Social Welfare Office, Sta. Rosa City Social Welfare Office and Calamba City Youth & SWDO) brought early holiday cheers to 40 street children as they treated them to a whole day of educational fun, laughter, and togetherness in celebration of the Foundation’s 10th anniversary at Kidzania Manila.                          

The kids, age 4-12 years old, are beneficiaries of PFI’s most recent “Gulong ng Karunungan (GNK)” Project -- a mobile school project for street children in tie-up with select local government city Social Welfare Development from LGU partners -- in Calamba City, Sta. Rosa City, and Malolos City.  To date, GNK has helped augment the learning, supplemental feeding, and basic medical attention needs of around 2,000 disadvantaged youth, namely out-of-school kids/street children/informal settlers from a PFI-identified city beneficiary.

Together with DSWD LGU representatives, PSC officials headed by Violeta Apolinario (HRAD Head and PFI ManCom Chairperson) and 7-Eleven employees who volunteered as “Parent for a Day”, the children enjoyed the entire educational experience as they tried out different real- life role-playing activities at Kidzania.

Various community CSR projects in various parts of the country, namely playground construction, mobile school donation, classroom donation, feeding programs, medical missions, and disaster/relief operations. 

In commemoration of the Foundation’s decade-long advocacy, Ella S. Ferrer-Lequin, RSW/Agency Head of PFI, in her welcome speech, expressed heartfelt gratitude to all the partners, volunteers, and donors who contributed immensely throughout PFI’s humble journey. 

 “As we mark this historical event for PhilSeven Foundation, our 10th Year Founding Anniversary, I want everyone to be a witness on the life of these kids among us, even just for a day, to give these kids renewed hopes and faith in believing in their dreams.”

“Referencing the beautiful words of our late Chairman Vicente Paterno, volunteerism or active community involvement is crucial in making a difference in the lives of needy people and communities. Every one, in their own way, should take part in creating a nurturing and supportive environment especially for poor children. We should show compassion, give hope, and inspire them to succeed in life, to dream and create a bigger, brighter future for themselves through education,” Lequin said.

Happy, generous hearts

While the entire day may be tiring as it is filled with non-stop walking, strolling, and snacking, 7-Eleven employee volunteers were all smiles as they fulfilled their doting ate and kuya roles to 40 GNK kids.

Natallie Beduya, Public Relations Franchise Specialist-Business Development Division of PSC and first-time Parent For A Day volunteer, described the activity as an “amazing, humbling, and heart-warming experience.”

“I was assigned with two kids, Angelo and Mary Joy.  As I get to know them more, they shared me their dreams that they wanted to become a seaman and a chef, respectively.  I made sure that they get to work or live out their dream professions while playing. They were really happy and in awe to try every role-playing jobs that we came across. It was such a nice thing to know that these kids are really doing their best in pursuing their dreams, and they were so happy and thankful that they got to experience Kidzania. For them, it was a day of fun and discovery of the things they want to do when they grow up,” Beduya narrated.    

In choosing the educational tour in crowning PFI’s milestone anniversary, Lequin said the activity reflected vividly the kind of future that the organization envisions for their beneficiaries. She believes that the experience will open up the children’s eyes and minds to a world of happiness, imagination, and infinite possibilities. 

“We chose to celebrate this way because we find this very meaningful and relevant to our cause. These children used to roam the streets, scavenging for food and begging to earn for a living. We are optimistic that the experience inspired them to dream bigger for a brighter future. And for our employees, to serve as an eye opener on PFI’s cause towards working on access to quality education,” Lequin concluded.
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