Saturday, March 31, 2012

Nokia Steps Up Drive to Educate Underprivileged Filipino Kids Through London Philippine Fashion Show Sponsorship

Taking to heart its commitment to help provide educational support for underprivileged Filipino children, Nokia Philippines recently lent support as a major sponsor to the first-ever London Philippine Fashion Show held at the Victoria House Basement in Holborn, London.

The fashion show, presented by Prospero World, a UK-based international philanthropy consultancy organization, brought together 15 of the Philippines’ most celebrated fashion designers and local brands to showcase the latest in local fashion design.

Photo shows Ayala Corporation’s Fernando Ayala de Zobel (far right) with esteemed guests (from left), BBC ‘Antiques Roadshow’ presenter Philip Mould; Prospero World’s Bridget Franklin and Sita Schutt; Mia Borromeo; Prospero World’s Sandra Lauckner-Rothschild; Veera Johnson of UK-based bank, Templewood; and Prospero World’s Anna-Louisa Psarras.

Participating in the historic fashion show were renowned Filipino designers Josie Natori, Michael Cinco, Pepito Albert, Randy Ortiz, Rajo Laurel, Lulu Tan Gan, Cary Santiago, Jun Escario, Mich Dulce, Wynn Wynn Ong, Jasper Garvida, Lesley Mobo, Federico de Vera, and Joyce Makitalo, and joined by top local fashion brands Celestina, Bergamo, and Silk Cocoon.

Nokia Philippines supported the event for the benefit of The Ayala Foundation’s Centre of Excellence in State Supported Elementary Education (CENTEX) project, a program which aims to support the education of talented but disadvantaged Filipino children in the Metro Manila area.

“Nokia has always prioritized education as a main thrust of its corporate social responsibility. Here in the Philippines, there is a lot to be done to help underprivileged kids. The company believes that every Filipino child deserves a fair chance at education so that they can build a bright future for themselves,” said Dharmesh Goshalia, general manager and head of sales of Nokia Philippines.

The successful event raised £160,000 from tickets and donations, as well as auctions of antiques, fashion items, and Asian travel packages. Part of the funds were raised by a group of 12 ‘sponsored models’ who are actually business professionals, sharing the catwalk with the real models. One of the ‘sponsored models’ was Alice Motte-Munoz, who is half-Filipina, half-French. The raised funds will be able to support the education of 500 children under the CENTEX education program.

Launched in 1998, the CENTEX program aims to provide high-quality education to bright students from the poorest backgrounds in the Philippines. The program gives selected kids an outstanding education from age 5 to 12 years. To date, the project helps 1,000 children a year, at a cost of $500 per child/school year. It currently works with two state schools in Manila and Batangas, and has consistently topped rankings for the National Achievement Tests in the country. CENTEX also actively supports its alumni by helping them secure scholarships in top high schools, colleges and universities.

The CENTEX program is just one of the efforts being supported by Nokia Philippines that aims to provide educational support to Filipino kids. Among its ongoing efforts is the Text2Teach program, a project it conceptualized in 2004 together with other partners and Ayala Foundation. Text2Teach uses mobile phones as a tool to make learning more fun and effective for grades 5 and 6 students. To date, almost 57,000 students in public elementary schools are learning using mobile technology. Phase 4 of the program is ongoing with an objective to develop new curriculum-based content, reach far-flung areas, enhance teacher training, and upgrade existing programs.

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