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SM JOINS PETRON, WORLD VISION IN TULONG ARAL
February 26, 2008
Retail industry giant SM recently joined Petron Corporation and World Vision Development Foundation in fueling hope for underprivileged children as a partner of Tulong Aral ng Petron.
Petron's biggest social investment and banner program in education, Tulong Aralis a long-term, strategic initiative that helps send poor children to school, keep them there and make sure they learn. Through Tulong Aral ng Petron, the company is sending poor children to elementary schools in Metro Manila and Mindanao. Now on its sixth year, the company has more than 6,000 scholars under the program. Their benefits include the provision for books, school supplies and uniforms; meal allowances for children; teacher training programs and capability building and livelihood programs for parents.
This initiative is recognized by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) as the only partnership with the private sector that has effectively been sustained. The first batch of 1,000 scholars is set to graduate from Grade 6 by the end of school year 2008-2009.
In simple ceremonies held recently, SM signed a Memorandum of Agreement with Petron and World Vision. Under this agreement, SM will be the center where the scholars can conveniently secure their entitlement under the Tulong Aral program. Petron and World Vision will issue SM vouchers to the scholars, which they will exchange exclusively for school items from designated areas in selected SM outlets in Metro Manila. These items include school uniforms, school bags, socks, notebooks, pens, leather shoes and other school supplies.
"This strategic partnership further strengthens our Tulong Aral program since it will make the distribution of essential school supplies more efficient and convenient for our scholars," Petron Foundation Director Malu G. Erni said. "More importantly, it affirms the success of the program as more and more companies join in our efforts to give underprivileged children the gift of education."