Philippines, July 11, 2014 – Gawad Kalinga’s latest SIBOL Learning Center sponsored by global bank Credit Suisse, officially opened on June 25 at GK Santa Ana Village, Pateros, Metro Manila, benefitting 30 children aged from three to four years old. In addition, Credit Suisse is also supporting a SIBOL education program package for 30 children at the center for one year, covering teachers’ training, school tuition for the 30 students and procurement of school supplies.
With a grant from Credit Suisse, construction of the center began last October with the participation of Gawad Kalinga (GK) management, the kapitbahayans (community caretakers) and community workers as well as Credit Suisse staff volunteers from its Philippine office. The bank’s local staff will be volunteering at the school on a regular basis this coming school year, providing classroom assistance under the SIBOL program.
SIBOL (meaning “to grow”) is a community-based pre-school program, under the GK Child & Youth Development Program (recognized by the Department of Education), designed for children between three and four years old to imbue them with positive Filipino values and to academically prepare them for formal schooling.
Besides sponsoring the SIBOL Learning Center, in support of GK’s social innovation program, Credit Suisse is also sponsoring 11 Filipino scholars for two years at GK Enchanted Farm’s School for Experiential and Entrepreneurial Development (SEED), commencing in August 2014. SEED provides an education-based solution for rural development. The two year curriculum provides hands on training along with academic courses to groom new social entrepreneurs and give them real life experience through a paid apprenticeship and mentoring to develop their own social enterprise in the fields of agribusiness, agri-processing, culinary arts, or tourism and hospitality.
Johnny Escaler, Credit Suisse’s Co-Head of Investment Banking Department for the Philippines said at the opening of the SIBOL Learning Center, “We are very happy to partner with Gawad Kalinga and support their efforts in building holistic and sustainable communities since 2013, both as a sponsor of GK projects and through the volunteerism of our employees. In total, over 75 Credit Suisse staff from the Philippines and Singapore have taken part in various GK community and home building activities in GK Manggahan-Kawayanan and GK Santa Ana Villages, as well as GK Alangalang Village in Leyte as part of our commitment to help re-build Leyte post Typhoon Yolanda. In addition, Credit Suisse is sponsoring the building of 21 homes in Ticad, Bantayan Island, and 50 GK homes in Cadiz Viejo, Negros Occidental, with our staff volunteers from the Philippines, Singapore and Hong Kong taking part in a build in Cadiz Viejo in September.”
In the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda, Credit Suisse and its global staff made a donation of PHP15 million towards GK’s relief efforts, providing immediate emergency relief to the victims in the short term and helping rebuilding efforts in the affected communities in the long term. Globally, the bank and its employees donated over USD 630,000 to support the relief efforts of Gawad Kalinga, Habitat for Humanity Philippines and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
Claire Pascua, General Manger, GK Singapore, said “I have always been impressed by the commitment and hands-on involvement of Credit Suisse in all our projects. I think this SIBOL school in GK Sta. Ana is a tangible manifestation of that. It is easily one of the best constructed and decorated learning centers I have seen! I hope that this will be just the start of what will hopefully be a long-term partnership between GK and Credit Suisse in shaping the hearts and minds of future leaders of our country through education.”
As a global bank with operations in over 50 countries employing 46,000 individuals, Credit Suisse supports a wide range of humanitarian and charitable projects in all the regions and key markets in which it operates and encourages employee volunteering activities.
Lito Camacho, the bank’s Vice Chairman Asia Pacific said, “At Credit Suisse, we are committed to engaging in activities that go beyond our core business to support the economic and social development in the local markets where we operate, with a particular focus on education and microfinance projects in Asia Pacific. In the past five years, Credit Suisse has provided over 300 grants and currently funds 14 partner organizations across Asia in their education and social welfare programs, benefitting more than 4,000 children.”
“In addition, volunteerism is a core part of Credit Suisse’s corporate responsibility. In 2013, globally more than 17,500 of our staff dedicated over 185,000 hours to voluntary work, including 3,500 Asia Pacific staff who spent close to 32,000 volunteering hours. We believe that employee volunteering creates mutual benefits. By participating in the charitable projects run by our partner organizations, we gain better insights into the needs of the community in which we live and work, build mutual trust and promote the transfer of skills and knowledge between our staff and our partners. At the same time, these activities further enhance the interpersonal skills of our people and promote team spirit – ultimately strengthening our corporate culture.”
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Credit Suisse AG
Credit Suisse AG is one of the world’s leading financial services providers and is part of the Credit Suisse group of companies (referred to here as ‘Credit Suisse’). As an integrated bank, Credit Suisse is able to offer clients its expertise in the areas of private banking, investment banking and asset management from a single source. Credit Suisse provides specialist advisory services, comprehensive solutions and innovative products to companies, institutional clients and high net worth private clients worldwide, and also to retail clients in Switzerland. Credit Suisse is headquartered in Zurich and operates in over 50 countries worldwide. The group employs approximately 45,600 people. The registered shares (CSGN) of Credit Suisse’s parent company, Credit Suisse Group AG, are listed in Switzerland and, in the form of American Depositary Shares (CS), in New York. Further information about Credit Suisse can be found at www.credit-suisse.com.
ENDING POVERTY FOR 5 MILLION FAMILIES BY 2024 “Gawad Kalinga,” translated in English means to “give care”, is a Philippine-based movement that aims to end poverty by first restoring the dignity of the poor. It employs an integrated and holistic approach to empowerment with values-formation and leadership development at its core. Established in 2003, GK has built over 2,000 communities in the Philippines and has been recognized as the 2006 Ramon Magsaysay Awardee & 2012 Skoll Awardee for Social Entrepreneurship.