Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Steps to Success: Mano Amiga students go on a DLSU Campus tour

Last November 23, hardworking officers and members of Business Management Society (BMS) of De La Salle University- Manila put together a memorable event that opened the eyes of the Mano Amiga Academy scholars to a world of opportunities and brighter future.

For an early Christmas celebration, committed and enthusiastic BMS members hosted a university tour for 4th grade scholars.

“This is an important and meaningful activity for the scholars. BMS did not only teach the students to dream big and aspire for the best College education opportunities, the experience also motivated the Mano Amiga students and their families to continue working hard in order to reach this goal,” Grade 4 Homeroom Teacher She Maquiran said.

BMS, a leading professional organization in DLSU-Manila, collaborated with Mano Amiga in fulfilling its mission of fostering passionate student leaders, maximizing student potentials and providing developmental opportunities for La Sallian business students.

 “The aim of the immersion activity is to provide our members an avenue where they could gain exposure and insight into the lives of children from underprivileged communities.” Assistant Vice President for Marketing and Socio-Civic, Ms. Patricia Verona shared. “We hope the experience helped in fostering a culture of generosity through the gift-giving activity and by sharing our time and talents. We hope that even through a small way, we made a difference in the lives of these children by inspiring them to aim high. For our members, we hope the event encouraged them to be of service to others, and to inculcate in them the readiness to help. We look forward to having more  regular activities with them.”

The article found below is a firsthand account of this inspiring activity, as shared by the BMS members:


Upon arrival in DLSU gate, the children oohhed and ahhed with the size of the university, when we went in they were thrilled and delighted to see that the campus is so much bigger than what they saw from the outside. The excitement in their faces energized us to make the activities planned for the whole day worthwhile.

During the AM session, the kids attentively listened to the remarks given by BMS officers and actively enjoyed the mini games we have prepared for them. After that, we guided the children to Yuchengco grounds and had our scrumptious lunch to keep us energized for the next part of activities. It was fun just watching the kids enjoy their meal and have small talks with them about their dreams and life ambition. Some wanted to be an astronaut, doctor, teacher, scientist and many more, which are fascinating, and heartwarming indeed. Afterwards, we had a campus tour to introduce DLSU campus to the children. We walked to the different buildings including DLSU’s newest structure, the Henry Sy Sr. building. The kids were eager to explore DLSU with us as they were very participative during the tour. After familiarizing themselves to the different buildings, we briefed the children for our last activity, which is The Amazing Race where the children showcased their talents and skills accompanied by their newly acquired knowledge about the university together with our BMS representatives. We ended the day with an awarding ceremony and a small merienda feast for everyone.

…It was a tiring yet fulfilling experience especially knowing that the children had a great time leaning about the University with us even just for a day. Though we only have limited time to bond with them, it was certainly the best experience because each one of us is aware that we worked hard for this event to be possible and that it turned out to be a success. We will surely miss the kids of Mano Amiga Academy.”

To learn more about BMS, visit their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/bms.dlsu?fref=ts

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Creating a better tomorrow with Microsoft Citizenship Asia Pacific

In today's world, having the ability to use technology is not enough. Students must be empowered to use technology to learn, analyse, and innovate. For a low-cost private school like Mano Amiga, the latest technology is a luxury we do not always have access to.

Thanks to the Microsoft Small and Midmarket Solutions and Partners (SMS&P) team, our students had the opportunity to explore various gadgets, and experience the power of technology to enrich and transform people's lives.


Engaging Young Minds through Technology at Mano Amiga Academy By Cheryll Ann Selda, Citizenship Specialist, Microsoft Philippines

On 7 August, our Small and Midmarket Solutions and Partners (SMS&P) team, together with Director, Diana Tibbs, held our best Financial Year Kick-off Activity at Mano Amiga Academy.

The Mano Amiga Academy is part of a network of over 30 Mano Amiga schools across seven countries, with a shared mission of providing education and development services tailored to the needs of local communities. In Taguig City, the Academy works with the underprivileged, serving students from the most deprived sections of the community. I have to interject with pride here that Lynn Pinugu, who founded the Academy in the Philippines, is an alumna member of Microsoft’s Innovate for Good programme.

For the one-day volunteering activity, the organisation and our team decided that it would be most useful for us to engage with the Grade Four students in play activities. We brought our personal devices, including Microsoft Kinect and tablets, for them to have a go. It was quite a sight to have over 30 adults teaching digital games on a work day.

It isn’t every day that the children get a chance to try their hands on the latest technologies and gadgets, if at all. Being able to experience the devices allowed the children to understand how to use the technology and the ways in which technology can serve them. Hopefully, this would be a useful step for them in learning ‘vital 21st century skills’ and content.

We had our share of learning to do as well. Diana remarked, “Seeing how excited the children were made me realise I have been taking technology and gadgets for granted. I am more aware now how digital access is such a privilege.”

Joel Garcia, Server and Tools Business Group Lead, Microsoft Philippines, commented, “I don’t know who was more immersed in the experience — the children or me cheering them on when we were playing our games!”

Joel Garcia, Server and Tools Business Group Lead, Microsoft Philippines, playing digital games with the students of Mano Amiga Academy, Taguig City

Connecting with the children at Mano Amiga Academy represents a key step towards Diana’s goal of inculcating a ‘Culture of Service’ within SMS&P. Diana shared, “We hope to put in place a ‘Culture of Sharing’, with ‘Service’ forming the core of our efforts.

Our team plans to repeat this event at least once a year, and will also pursue other volunteering opportunities throughout the year. We are also looking at how we can provide capacity-building support for the academy. I’m very excited by these plans, for they show that technology can contribute to empowerment, especially when it comes with a human touch. #

Friday, December 6, 2013

Mano Amiga community helps in the Yolanda relief efforts

Days after Typhoon Yolanda struck the country, Mano Amiga Academy community organized a relief effort to help the victims of the super typhoon. Despite of their limited resources, the Mano Amiga scholars and their parents extended their sympathy by donating their hard-earned money, as well as  relief items such as used clothes, books and food packs. The students prepared prayer cards and included them in the relief goods to help bring smiles and hope to the survivors.

Bistro 3846 also joined the effort by donating proceeds from the snack sales to purchase medicine for the Yolanda victims. In just two weeks, the team was able to raise over 3,000 pieces of needed medicine which were brought to survivors living in Tacloban, Malapascua and Coron.

The spirit of compassion, love, and camaraderie brought everyone together. Everyone worked hand in hand in the hope that their simple help would help alleviate the suffering of the survivors and bring them hope and peace.

A simple prayer was prepared by the principal and teachers which they offered for the special intentions of those who were affected by the storm:

We pray for the victims of tropical storm Yolanda. May those who have lost homes and properties find shelter, enough food and clean water.

Comfort those who are traumatized and those who are grieving for the loss of their families, neighbors and friends. Bless those who are sick and those who are injured that their health may be restored and their wounds cured.

May you lead all who are stranded or lost back to those who love them. Guide the hands of the rescuers, the doctors and nurses and other volunteers and give them strength as they serve others with joy.

May this calamity bring people closer together, to help each other and to care for the environment. Give us the faith, hope and love to carry on. This we ask through Jesus Christ, Our Lord.  Amen

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

THANK YOU SO MUCH Advance Paper Corporation!

Photo shows (L-R): Ms. Kris Garcia from Mano Amiga Academy, Mr. Keith Bryan Haw the Vice President of Advance Paper Corporation, Ms. Rev Tria Siasoyco, Mano Amiga Principal and Mano Amiga kindergarten scholars

Mano Amiga scholars received an early Christmas treat from Advance Paper Corporation!

Last October 3, Mr. Keith Bryan Haw, the Vice President of Advance Paper Corporation, one of the leading paper product companies in the Philippines, visited Mano Amiga and graced the turnover of more than 1,300 notebooks and other office supplies for Mano Amiga  Academy and it scholars. Mano Amiga Academy is a non-profit foundation whose mission is to help underprivileged children from low-income families lift themselves out of poverty through quality education and holistic formation.

“We are very grateful for the generosity of the Advance Paper Corporation, especially Mr. Haw who in spite of his busy schedule found the time to visit the school.  We are very excited about the new partnership and we are looking forward to strengthening our collaboration.” said Mano Amiga Academy Institutional Development Manager Kris Garcia.

The donation will help provide 109 Mano Amiga scholars from kindergarten to Grade much needed school materials to help prepare for another year of learning and discovery! This effort is part of the Advance Paper Corporation’s initiative to give back to the community by sharing its high quality, affordable and innovative products to provide the children an optimum learning experience. #

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Richelle's Run for a Cause

Richelle May Penalba, a Fil-American based in California is running 13.1 miles at the Long Beach Half Marathon for the first time to raise funds for education scholarships.  Her goal is to raise $1,200 from pledges to be able to send two children to Mano Amiga Academy for one whole year!

 In 20 days, 23 people have already supported her cause enabling her to raise $751 about a month to go before the marathon won October 13, 2013. She plans to visit the Philippines this coming December so she could personally meet the Mano Amiga scholars she'll be helping. 

Please spread the word and support Richelle in her endeavor to finish her first ever marathon and to provide two deserving children a full scholarship in the school.  

You may learn more about her project at: http:///gofundme.com/richellerunsLB