Santa Rosa Elementary School Central is a large green and yellow two-story building located in the heart of Santa Rosa, Laguna in Manila. At first sight, it doesn’t look like a place of learning, but there’s no mistaking the buzz of young people as you approach the courtyard. The school has come a long way since it opened nearly 40 years ago, growing to more than 2,500 students and 52 teachers, but over time parts of the campus have begun to show their age. So when Brigada Eskwela (School Brigade), or National Schools Maintenance Week, was approaching, my colleagues and I knew exactly where we would volunteer our time.
More than 140 local DTCC employees dedicated about 2,000 hours over the course of two days to painting classrooms, fixing the gardens and making repairs to improve the building and other locations in preparation for the upcoming school year.
While this was hard work, which became even more challenging as the bright sun and humidity began to blanket us in the late morning, we seemed to gain energy. By the time we were done, our clothing was filthy, we were soaked with sweat and more tired than we had felt in years, but we were all overwhelmed with joy. The smiles from the teachers and students eased our sore backs and legs and reminded us of our own good fortune and the importance of giving back to others.
Brigada Eskwela was just one of many CSR successes for us last year. As Manila's site lead, I am deeply involved in helping to organize how we support the local community. With so many good causes to choose from, we want to identify opportunities to showcase our employees’ creativity and leadership expertise and make the biggest impact on the largest number of people. That's why we also dedicated time to initiatives that empower visually impaired individuals through livelihood assistance, support tree planting programs and participate in blood drives. I know our team can’t wait to continue giving back even more in 2020.
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