Doing good deeds is contagious. The acts of kindness of a few influence the behavior of many, according to a US study made by a physician and a social scientist.
This is validated many times over nationwide by individuals and organizations engaged in community projects. Smart Communications Inc. is drawing them out through payITfwd, its latest social development program, aimed at upscaling, through information technology (IT), outstanding projects that foster learning or the sharing of knowledge and skills.
Smart has organized gatherings all over the country to showcase their work and invite others to present their own projects. Smart will choose those that can be supported through a technology package that can widen their reach. (More about payITfwd at www.smart.com.ph/ payITfwd.)
Among the significant projects is Pens of Hope of Davao City, started by a blogger who was once at the receiving end of numerous acts of kindness by strangers. The project (pensofhope.blogspot.com) collects pens, pencils, and other school supplies to be given to poor students.
It has been adopted by the Social Involvement Coordinating Office, the social arm of Ateneo de Davao University; Davao City bloggers; and other volunteers.
In the aftermath of Typhoon ”Pablo” last December, Pens of Hope not only joined relief operations nut also conducted an art therapy workshop for children in Cateel, one of the hardest hit coastal towns in Davao Oriental. The workshop has spawned the Help Cateel Movement.
In Cagayan de Oro, Rhyan Casiño, a passionate promoter of cultural identity, started a mentoring program to help hone talent among troubled youths. Through Dire Husi Initiatives, Inc., Casiño hopes to awaken young people’s interest in indigenous culture while using their artistic pursuits to build self-reliance and social responsibility.
“Indigenous is hip” is the program’s motto bannered on its website (www.direhusi.blogspot.com).
Exposed to the various tribes of Bukidnon, Casiño developed a deep appreciation of their music and culture, particularly the Talaandig, and embarked on a mission to bring them closer to urban communities. He works in coordination with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the Department of Tourism, and the Philippine Tourism Authority.
Dire Husi has won the British Council’s I am a Changemaker grant and the 2012 Ten Accomplished Youth Organizations (TAYO) Awards. It also represents the youth sector in the National Anti-Poverty Commission.
Women are the beneficiaries of the work of Esmer Gabutina, owner of Tinabuan Arts and Crafts, a sinamay crafts business. A pharmacist by profession, she has provided the underemployed womenfolk of Lagonglong, Misamis Oriental, a means of livelihood by producing bags, placemats, and accessories from woven sinamay cloth.
The business (www.facebook.com/TinabuanArtsCrafts) is under the One Town One Product program of the Department of Trade and Industry. It promotes entrepreneurship by encouraging local governments to identify and develop a product or service that has competitive advantage.
From old tires to furniture—that’s the novel recycling miracle taking place in Oton, Iloilo, through the initiative of Roger Esmaña. He has trained a pool of craftsmen who transform used tires collected around the town into beautifully designed garden chairs and tables, even fences. His project has also contributed to the improvement of the environment.
Dr. Buboy Tapia is a medical educator and researcher at the Cebu Institute of Medicine. He is afflicted with polycystic kidney disease (PKD), a disorder in which clusters of cysts develop primarily within the kidneys. Through his blog Even with PKD Life Goes On (www.cebumd.com), the good doctor is helping to disseminate information about the disease and networking with patients and their relatives to form support groups.
Cebu’s first medical doctor blogger also shares his knowledge of and experience in public health, microbiology, parasitology and immunology.
By next month, Smart will name the 10 best projects that will receive a technology package, which includes five tablets, Smart Bro Pocket Wi-fi, P3,000 worth of Smart Bro load, and a P50,000 grant.
Through payITfwd, Smart hopes to sustain the culture of social good and nation-building.