Saturday, July 6, 2013

Smart payITfwd

Last July 3, 2013, I was one of the bloggers who graced the event hosted by Smart in cooperation with CDO bloggers. It was held at Sentro 1850, Velez St. here in CDO at 6 o'clock in the evening. The purpose of this was to spread the good deeds through technology. We all know that in these modern times, it is thru social media where we can easily hear or pick up some good news. Hence, Smart find ways to acknowledge the extraordinary deeds by ordinary people who made a big difference in other people's lives. So with payITfwd, Smart would like to give back their kindness & boosting them by spreading their smart acts. Their goal is to "support, promote, expand, enhance, reward and enable social good efforts that foster learning through technology". That's why Smart were looking for individuals or groups that are community-based projects that tackles knowledge on education, environment, disaster preparedness, health, livelihood and sports. They will be selecting the best 20 entries then will have a 2-round selection as they go along. Selected social good advocates will receive a technology package comprising five tables, 1 Smart Bro Pocket Wi-fi, Smart Bro load worth P3,000 and a cash prize of P50,000.

Anyway, going back to the event, all attendees were to pick up an on-the-spot prize upon registration and I was lucky to get a grey Smart sling bag. I had a chance for some vis-à-vis with other guests before we had a sumptuous dinner. Then the program proper began. Four speakers were present that evening and listening to their advocacies was very inspiring.

The first speaker was Jerome Torres. I admired his volunteerism act. He founded The CDO Street Tutorial Advocacy, Inc. in year 2009. The group was composed of students and professionals who hold tutorial activities to street kids twice a week at the Magsaysay Park, Divisoria. They teach Basic English and Math subjects from 7-8 pm. At first they started with a feeding session and later saw the opportunity to teach the children. Other volunteers then joined and some helped in sponsoring supplemental feeding.

The second speaker was Rhyan Casiño where he established Dire Husi, a youth organization to revive indigenous culture. His advocacy was mainly focused on cultural heritage. He mentored the program for arts, crafts, music that even some other troubled kids later joined and later divert their attention in honing their skills and talents. With the group's talents and creativity, Dire Husi has won the British Council's I am a Changemaker grant and became a finalist in TAYO Awards in 2009.

The third speaker was Esmer Gabutina of Tianbuan Crafts. An epitome of women empowerment, she has helped a lot of women learning how to weave in her native town, Lagonglong. She owns the Tinabuan Arts and Crafts, a sinamay-making enterprise. She gathered women in her town and helped helped them improve their skills by weaving cloth, making bags, placemats and other accessories out of sinamay.

The fourth speaker was Kris Gebe who made community service and helped the Kuya Fish Campaign. The community was formed when the city was hit by Typhoon Sendong in 2011. A Japanese national, Issey Tanaka saw the opportunity to help CDO. Many were quick to acknowledge his International volunteer campaign. Donations came pouring in that helped in educating kids and build houses for those who were affected with the typhoon. Their latest program was "Tambo sa Kaugmaon", a book and bag drive where they support the Badjao Community and St. John Elementary School. They hope to provide and give hope to those marginalized sectors of the community where their main focus are the children.

The event was very insightful and made each one of us to realize that we can also do so much to help other people by sharing our skill, talents, abilities and most especially, a little of our time. Before the event ended, Smart made a raffle draw. One attendee was lucky enough to win an apple iPad and unfortunately, it was not me, hehe. If you have time, do visit some of the speakers site. Perhaps you are interested to know more about their contribution so I suggest you drop by their site.

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