For many students, shopping for school supplies is an exciting activity to look forward to as the school year starts. But for Filipino children coming from underserved communities, the mere act of buying their own notebook or set of pencils is a luxury they cannot afford.
Such lack of access to basic learning materials is just one of the pressing factors that hinder underprivileged students from completing their education, and for geothermal energy leader Energy Development Corporation (EDC), it is also a prominent problem among public schools within the rural communities where it operates.
For over a decade now, EDC has responded to the situation with a corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative of financial support and annual school supplies donation. This year, the company has furthered the reach of its project through a partnership with National Bookstore (NBS) Foundation Inc. and its Project Aral program.
NBS’ Project Aral also gives school supplies to public school kids every year to give back to the youth who are our future leaders and decision-makers.
“Our partnership with EDC is a testament of our continuous support for the education of every Filipino child. We strongly believe that through the merging of efforts of EDC and NBSFI, we are able to serve more children and make education accessible or within their reach. EDC has helped us extend our Project Aral initiative to areas we have not yet covered in the past years,” said NBS Foundation Executive Director Bea Andrea A. Torres.
EDC, together with NBSFI, was able to distribute school supplies to more than 25,000 students in different regions of the Philippines where EDC operates.
EDC’s social mission toward sustainability not only pertains to natural resources but to human resources as well, according to CSR-PR head Atty. Allan Barcena. “Education is the most basic means of capacity-building for our stakeholders, empowering them to improve their lives and contribute positive impact to society and the environment,” he explained.
“Enhancing the education of students by providing them the proper tools and implements for learning is the goal of this simple yet long-running initiative of ours,” he added.
The beneficiaries of the nationwide drive were comprised of over 15,500 pupils in the Visayas, 5,000 students from the Manobo indigenous community in Mindanao, and 4,500 schoolchildren in Luzon, across 85 partner schools. The effort is a private-public collaboration between EDC and its partners together with local government officials.
Mikaela Olasiman, president of the Sabang Elementary School Student Government, a partner school located in the Visayas, was one among the many who expressed gratitude to EDC and NBS Foundation for this year’s school supplies donation: “The support we receive from strong community partners like you make a big difference in our ability as learners. Thank you all so much for the kind and generous work you have been doing for the past several years. Please know that your efforts have touched so many lives. Your efforts truly lift a financial burden.”
EDC is the country’s premier renewable energy company and one of the world’s largest geothermal producers. Its facilities located in specific regions in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao have been delivering 1,457.8MW of clean and renewable energy to the Philippines for almost 40 years.