Accenture Philippines has teamed up with Caritas Manila, Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), and Philippine Business for Education (PBed) to undertake programs in response to various COVID-related challenges.
The initiatives include alleviating hunger and promoting health and well-being by assisting families nationwide with their essential needs and feeding malnourished children in the poorest communities, providing livelihood and entrepreneurship programs, upskilling youth for employment, and addressing education gaps made worse by distance and online learning.
Beyond the company’s full support for its employees, Accenture has pledged P240 million for various undertakings with partner groups as part of its commitment to create lasting and inclusive impact in local communities, said Accenture Philippines Managing Director Lito Tayag in a recent virtual conference.
Through the partnership with Accenture, Caritas Manila Executive Director Fr. Anton Pascual said they are assisting 180,000 poorest families nationwide with food vouchers that they can use for their basic needs and undertaking a six-month feeding program for 5,000 malnourished children in communities in Metro Manila and nearby cities.
The brain development of malnourished children has been affected and they have to be helped before they reach nine years old or the damage becomes permanent, he added.
Accenture’s long-standing partnership with the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) focuses on livelihood programs that aim to equip communities with entrepreneurship and technical-vocational skills.
PBSP Executive Director Elvin Uy said they have assisted about 14,000 families and 1,300 individuals through such programs as Mask4All, Super Carinderia, and Kada-Uno, the Hunger Program Hope Fund in selected cities nationwide. The organization has also initiated similar programs for another 3,000 individuals through its support groups such as Plan International, Save the Children, and Leonard Cheshire Disability Philippines Foundation.
“PBSP works continuously to provide livelihood opportunities for low-income families especially during this pandemic and recession. This is one of the ways we sustain our relevance and deliver value to our members, donors, and partner communities. We thank Accenture for their unwavering support and for exemplifying how businesses can fight poverty,” Uy added.
With the shift to distance and online learning, it has become all the more important to address learning gaps brought about by the pandemic, said Philippine Business for Education (PBEd) Executive Director Lovelaine Basillote.
PBEd and Accenture have again joined forces to help 1,000 Kinder to Grade 3 public school students recover learning losses caused by school closures through the Kiddie Learning Train, she added. A total of 1,000 tablets have also been distributed to learners and teacher-facilitators to ensure continued learning even remotely under this program.
Tayag added that Accenture’s various initiatives in collaboration with partner NGOs are on top of additional corporate and employee giving efforts to help communities through the challenges brought about by pandemic.
According to Louise Sabariaga, Corporate Citizenship Executive Sponsor of Accenture Philippines, the company has also initiated programs designed to train and equip current and future workers with valuable skills.
“Our upskilling programs have always been at the core of our corporate citizenship efforts that uniquely harness our strengths as a company and as a community. We have also recalibrated our volunteering programs so that our employees are able to pursue their passion to make a difference in their own way,” she added.
Accenture upskilling and digital volunteering programs include Skills to Succeed Academy, Near-Hire Training, and various learning sessions by employee volunteers. Since its launch in 2018, the Skills to Succeed Academy that aims to improve the employability of Filipino youth through soft skills and confidence-building training has helped 74,000 learners.
Accenture employees, meanwhile, have volunteered over 9,000 hours through initiatives that teach children how to code like Hour of Code and Coder Dojo that teach children learn how to code, map uncharted areas for disaster relief like Missing Maps, and mitigate the effects of climate change through Globe Observer, among other platforms.
Another program to improve the chances of participants getting employed is the Near-Hire Training, which involves 15 days of enhancing basic competencies such as oral English communication skills. Around 1,200 trainees have participated in the program since 2016 and more than half have secured employment in the industry.