SM Foundation collaborated with DSWD NCR and Ronald McDonalds House Charities to distribute assistance to 4Ps beneficiaries in Manila. Seventy (70) beneficiaries received shoes from The SM Store, food packs from DSWD and snacks courtesy of McDonalds Philippines. The activity was attended by SM Foundation AVP for Outreach and Livelihood Programs Cristie Angeles, Dir. Gemma Gabuya, National Program Manager, 4Ps DSWD Central Office; DSWD NCR Asst. Dir .for Operations Lea Mae Swindler, and Ms. Len Adlawan, Admin and Finance Officer of Ronald McDonalds House Charities.
The beneficiaries were all smiles as they received the shoes and food packs. One of the beneficiaries, Vangie Arawag from Paco, Manila said she intends to give the shoes to her child who will be attending school. According to Dir. Gabuya poverty is multi-dimensional and addressing this needs the help from the private sector or civic organizations. For her part, Cristie Angeles lauded the partnership of SMFI and DSWD since 1998. SM Foundation continues to extend its help in DSWD programs through its relief distribution in times of calamities, livelihood training through the Kabalikat sa Kabuhayan and recently through its apprenticeship program.
The apprenticeship program is the latest initiative of SM Foundation aimed at increasing the employability of Filipinos to address poverty. Under the Apprenticeship Program, the participants undergo 900 hours (four-and-a-half months) of training to master the skills needed by prospective employers like cashiering, barcoding, responding to customers’ queries, and manning customer service booths, among others. Program partners are DSWD, DoLE, TESDA, SM Markets, and SM Homeworld, among others.