UPS gears for nutrition promotion in Pampanga-A A +A
Thursday, January 24, 2013
FLORIDABLANCA - The UPS Philippines employees of Clark Freeport banded together to support a school-based agriculture, mentoring, and feeding program at the Sto. Rosario Elementary School here in celebration of the 10th annual Global Volunteer Month.
Some 203 UPS employees and their families recently dedicated one day to preparing the plots and organic fertilizers, as well as repairing fences, for both the vegetable garden and the tree nursery of the school.
The volunteers also conducted a food clinic, wherein they fed 250 students and mentored pre-school to Grade 3 students.
In addition to setting up the vegetable garden and tree nursery, UPS employees and their families also prepared gift packs with juice, biscuits, and candies for the students.
For UPS Philippines, their ongoing partnership with the AWECA Foundation is an opportunity to promote sustainable development in Filipino communities, especially in addressing key issues in health and education.
“One of the focus areas for The UPS Foundation is encouraging sustainable development,” said Tim Gohoc, managing director of UPS Philippines.
“Through our work with the AWECA Foundation, we hope that more schoolchildren will learn about organic farming and agriculture, and reap the benefits of nutritious meals prepared with the harvests from their gardens,” Gohoc added.
This year’s Global Volunteer Month initiative is in support of The UPS Foundation and AWECA Foundation’s School Caravan: Generating school-based food sources through Upgrading the Learning on Agriculture of the Youth (Gulay) program, a year-long project involving 572 students from Grades 1-6 in three schools in Pampanga.
The program aims to educate students on the fundamentals of organic farming, provide farm tools and materials for the schools’ vegetable gardens and nurseries, construct a food clinic, and set up feeding programs to address malnutrition in school-aged children.
The vegetables harvested in the school nurseries will be used for the students’ meals, while the food clinic will charge three pesos for meals, to help support the project.
For UPS employees, this year’s Global Volunteer Month was opportunity for them to help their fellow Filipinos combat the high drop-out rates in schools through education and proper nutrition.
“Good nutrition plays an important role in ensuring that these children are prepared for school, while their knowledge of organic farming will benefit themselves, their families and communities,” said UPS Clark Community Involvement Committee Head Rolando Nierva.
“This activity was a good reminder of what we can share with the communities we work with, and what we can do to drive change wherever we are,” he added.
In Asia, about 5,700 employees, with their families and friends, volunteered more than 26,000 hours of service. Through The UPS Foundation, over US$1.7 million in grants and charitable giving were also distributed to about 50 non-profit organizations within the Asia Pacific region in 2012. Many of these grant beneficiaries have been organizations with whom UPS employees volunteer.
“UPS has always embraced the philosophy of giving back to the community through volunteerism, and has been making incremental investments in resources to ensure that we are contributing to Asia’s development and growth at the pace it demands," said Pete Elroy, vice-president of Human Resources, UPS Asia Pacific Region.
"From the 2,400 employees that volunteered 10 years ago in the inaugural volunteer month, we are very pleased to share that nearly 5,700 Asia-Pacific employees, along with their families and friends, have contributed their hours in making their communities more environmentally sustainable this year. We look forward to delivering more in the years to come," he added.
Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on January 25, 2013.