Powering the Possible (Dell)
By Earl D.C. Bracamonte
Total solutions company Dell announced very recently that it will support the advocacy of Children’s Joy Foundation, Inc. (CJFI) in helping close the learning gap among abandoned and underserved children in Metro Manila and its six other centers around the archipelago. CJFI will receive funding from Dell’s ‘Powering the Possible’ grant that will facilitate its aim to empower misplaced youth through education and computer literacy.
CJFi’s initiatives to support learning empowers the young wards by closing the technology gap and providing training in information & communications technology skills – all focused on improving, enhancing and jumpstarting learning for life. By placing state-of-the-art computer labs into underserved communities and working with non-profit organizations, Dell’s action helps marginalized young people discover new possibilities, change their lives, and unleash their true potential.
Dell’s ‘Powering the Possible grant’ is focused on four areas of giving that includes children’s cancer care, disaster relief, social entrepreneurship, and learning. CJFI belong to the latter category; addressing the concern by targeting the marginal children and youth, most especially indigent children in their serviced community who have the interest to learn computer, as well as other life skills.
A better tomorrow
In the Philippine setting, public school students, especially those in the elementary and secondary levels, have less access to computer literacy. So you can just imagine how grim the chances are of those who are unschooled, particularly the out-of-school youth, because of tight resources. They are the neediest in the area of learning. In its own way, this program helps address the ever-widening gap of access to learning. The children at CJFI are being taught by volunteers in classroom settings at the center in Proj. 8, Quezon City. CJFI has been working with depressed communities when it was established over a decade ago as this is the vision of its founders. This program is a vital instrument for the organization to be able to help the children and youth under its care to realize their dreams, and eventually enable their latent capabilities. The Proj. 8 center that we visited has 17 wards under its care.
The rapid growth of the information and computer technology has opened the minds and interest of many children and youth to get a profession in ICT. For the last three years, state universities and colleges in the Philippines have an increasing average of students who graduated in IT related courses or discipline. According to the DepEd data, 69% of the public schools in the Philippines have at least one computer unit. The rest of the public schools have no computer set thus depriving many school children of the opportunity to learn or at least familiarize themselves with the basic operations of a computer. Dell’s support on CJF’s program, in effect, affords better chances to these kids than those enrolled in public schools.
Grants such as this will greatly help CJFI sustain its efforts and continue to monitor the welfare of the children and the impact of the program on their development.
"Our grants to children’s centers like CJFI mark an important milestone in our CSR efforts. It is special because of the strategic focus of these projects; most specially the Computer Literacy Program. Building these computer laboratories affirm the best use of Dell technology.
“Even our employees donate their free time to teach the children technical and IT skills. We approach the program in a more structured way now, unlike in the past. For every 10 hours of volunteered time in every quarter, each employee receives $150 that they donate to any of Dell’s charitable causes,” remarked Richard Teo, president of Dell Int’l Services - Philippines.
Home away from home
Children’s Joy Foundation, Inc. was established in 1998, the year of the Philippine Centennial, when a group of good-hearted individuals from Davao City saw the miserable plight of poor Filipino children particularly children along the streets, and they felt a burden in their hearts to help and protect these innocent and needy children by subsidized means. They wanted that these children improve their lives and experience happiness and contentment in their hearts. They envisioned that these children would have joy, peace, protection, and become productive citizens in the country when they grow up.
From one residential center for children established in 1998, Children’s Joy has expanded to seven (7) children’s residential centers across the country serving and catering to the poor and needy. Aside from Davao City, the other CJFI centers are located in Butuan, Cebu, Pampanga, Cavite, Laguna and Quezon City. Children’s Joy feed the children, clothe them, teach them the good values, and send them to public schools within the area.
“We are very lucky that Dell turned its eyes on the children of our foundation; whose experiences would have been otherwise very limited. Dell computers are in all our computer laboratories nationwide. Our wards have all been screened by the DSWD before moving here from their respective families. The children are aged from 6 to 17 years old,” intimated CJFI executive director Rosemarie Dimagnaong
Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) listens to customers and delivers innovative technology and services that give them the power to do more. ‘Powering the Possible’ is Dell’s commitment to put technology and expertise to work where it can do the most good for people and the planet. Dell works with nonprofit organizations to address pressing social issues by donating a combination of Dell technologies and solutions, funding, expertise and volunteer support. In 2012, Dell team members volunteered more than 700,000 hours in their communities and contributed an estimated $32 million through employee match and rewards programs. To learn more about Dell’s initiatives, simply visit their Web site, www.dell.com/communities.