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Hedcor masonry scholars construct youth hand washing facility
October 17, 2023
Tossing a stone to a body of water creates ripples, causing a wider change that is felt beyond the initial toss.
Figuratively but also quite literally, the masonry scholars of Aboitiz Power Corporation subsidiary Hedcor and Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (Aboitiz Foundation) — who work with brick, concrete, and mortar — have casted their stone, making a positive difference to their families and the local community.
With the help of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the local Public Employment Service Office (PESO), 20 scholars in Barangay Lingion, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon successfully completed an intensive month-long skills development program to hone their skills in masonry. They later finished their TESDA-accredited National Certification I at the PESO Municipal Training Center in the same municipality.
Notably, all of the scholars were out-of-school youths.
“I previously lost hope in life because of the hardships I experienced. But because of the knowledge and opportunities I gained from Hedcor's assistance, I was encouraged to strive to find a good job to alleviate my family's difficulties,” Rollet Ompoc, one of the scholars, said in the vernacular.
“I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to Hedcor and the Aboitiz Foundation for granting me the chance to acquire new skills. These skills have made a remarkable difference in my capabilities, particularly in the field of construction,” added Wendil Roselim, another scholar.
The group’s first “toss” into the water was the construction of a hand washing facility for Gaboc Elementary School in Manolo Fortich.
In time for the new school year, the new hand washing facility sought to address the need for proper hygiene infrastructure in educational institutions. Although a relatively humble project, it hopes to instill in the children the habit of constantly washing their hands, which in and of itself can be another ripple effect.
“This hand washing facility is not just a physical structure, it represents an investment in the health and well-being of our students. We are immensely grateful to Hedcor and the Aboitiz Foundation, as well as to the hardworking masons, for this generous gift to our school. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” said Gaboc Elementary School Principal Sherryjoy Susana in a mix of English and the local dialect.
"I appreciate Hedcor's unwavering collaboration in addressing the community's needs, reiterating their dedication to working hand-in-hand for the welfare of the local residents," added Lingion Barangay Captain Elbern Onahon. “We are proud to have them as part of our community, and we look forward to more collaborations that benefit our residents."
Hedcor and Aboitiz Foundation’s support for the masonry scholars and the construction of the hand washing facility draws inspiration from the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The former is aligned with the aspiration of delivering “Decent Work and Economic Growth”, while the latter focuses on “Clean Water and Sanitation”.
“Hedcor believes that, through education and opportunity, community members will enhance their productivity and reap the plentiful rewards of their relentless efforts,” said Hedcor President and COO Rolando G. Pacquiao. "We also believe in promoting the importance of maintaining the health and sanitation of our communities, especially to our young learners. This hand washing facility is but one example of our efforts in furthering both causes.”
“We aspire to continually support similar initiatives that help create a more productive and healthier future for our communities,” he added.
This story first appeared in the Lifestyle section of Manila Bulletin.
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