PNBC offers CSR flavour in its new Networking Luncheon

At noon time of 27 September, 2012, 38 members and guests of the Philippines Norway Business Council (PNBC) trooped to I’m Angus Steakhouse in Yakal St., Makati City to attend the Council’s regular Networking Luncheon. 

Norwegian Ambassador Knut Solem and Counselor Knut-Are Okstad graced the event with their presence. To the delight of everyone, the attendees were treated to a different flavor this time. As there had been business-oriented and economy-related presentations in the past, this time the presentations were on corporate social responsibility.

CSR Working group Head and VP for External Affairs Rodolfo “Ozone” Azanza, Jr. of SN Power Philippines introduced the three speakers, highlighting that all three will be talking about education as key in stopping the vicious cycle of poverty in the Philippines, a concept subscribed to in full by PNBC itself.

First to speak was Erlend Johanessen, the young Norwegian founder of Streetlight, an NGO that provides care and educational support to children in Tacloban City. Streetlight’s unique and effective approach is the involvement of the fathers of the children, who after failing to provide for the basic needs of their children, have lost their own dignity, self-worth and sense of pride. But as Streetlight allowed them to help construct the school building where their children will later go to gain access to books, computers and teachers, they managed to regain the pride of fatherhood, and became interested to participate anew in the honing process of their kids.

PNBC President Ivar Thomasli of TSM handed a check from the Council to support Streetlight’s programs. Likewise, Knutsen Philippines, Inc. President, Capt.  Leopoldo Arcilla and General Manager Bryant Arcilla and Knutsen OAS’ Owner’s Representative Capt. Einar Aaserud came forward with a donation of Php125,000. Finally, Yara’s HR Manager Herminia P. Coronel handed over 20 dictionaries for the children under the care of the Foundation.

The next 2 speakers discussed the Department of Education’s TEN Moves (The Entire Nation Moves) Program. DepEd Assistant Secretary Jess Mateo gave an overview of the nationwide campaign to address the massive shortage of classrooms. The details were then fleshed out by Mr. Mario Deriquito of the Ayala Foundation. It was explained how individuals can participate by setting aside 10 Pesos for 10 months to support a vision of building 10,000 classrooms nationwide. Corporations can also make a pledge through: http://www.tenmoves.org/make-your-pledge/

All in all it was a very productive networking luncheon, thanks to the organizing efforts of PNBC VP for Internal Affairs, Jannicke Steen of Grieg Star Shipping. Participants listened to two great and healthy ways to feed a person’s spirit and a company’s soul.

To know more about how you can support streetlight, please visit: http://www.streetlight.org/

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