Information company does its bit for communityBy Marlet D. Salazar
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Giving back is already in the DNA of many of the employees of Thomson Reuters Manila.
The company, which provides content, product development and customer and consulting services on behalf of Thomson Reuters to markets in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America, recently celebrated its third year in the Philippines.
A significant number of workers marked the event by participating in the annual Volunteer for the Community.
Around 270 Thomson Reuters employees spent one morning building houses, caring for the sick, especially kids and painting classrooms.
Marla Alvarez of Thomson Reuters’ markets division, says more people could have participated in the community work but only a few could be accommodated in the activities for the day.
Alvarez is the lead organizer of the volunteer activity on April 21.
During the Annual Volunteer Day for the Community, seven non-governmental organizations and institutions benefited from the workers’ efforts. These were Childhaus, CRIBS, Gawad Kalinga-Bulacan, Isang Litro ng Liwanag, Kythe Foundation, UP PAUW Child Development Center and Virlanie Foundation.
According to Alvarez, they seek the assistance of the Manila Volunteers Council in identifying the beneficiaries.
This advocacy of Thomson Reuters is part of a worldwide effort of Thomas Reuters Foundation (TRF) to help the underprivileged in every way they can. Alvarez says that the company’s corporate responsibility revolves around: community, culture and the arts, education and environment.
In the Philippines, Thomson Reuters concentrates on education and training, “not just because we are an information agency but also that’s the area where we see that there is the most need at present,” says Alvarez.
The company has been a partner of TEN (The Entire Nation) Moves since it was launched last year by the Department of Education, Ayala Foundation, and other organizations. Their aim is to build 10,000 classrooms in 10 months.
The company also does “telementoring,” where an employee adopts a student and helps the child in his or her homework or school project via video conferencing.
Apart from the two projects, Thomson Reuters also participated in the Pencils for the Mountains project where volunteers from its Extreme Adventure group help bring supplies to schools in far-flung areas.
During calamities, Thomson Reuters course their donations through the Philippine National Red Cross.
“All-year round our employees have outreach activities. We support them either by communicating to other employees so we can pool in resources or by providing some funding,” says Peter Buenasada, senior site manager of Thomson Reuters Manila.
The beneficiaries and activities are tailor-fit to the company’s internal interest groups or clubs. The groups include Airsoft Club, Extreme Adventure, Film Enthusiasts (FEST), Faith Unlimited, Mixed Martial Arts, Thomson Reuters Chorale and Working Moms.
This year, Childhaus is the recipient of the company’s Matching Grant program. Many of the employees were moved by the plight of Childhaus when it was evicted from its original location. Childhaus serves as a half-way house for indigent ill children and their families while they are seeking medical help in Metro Manila.
Since then, Thomson Reuters’ legal division has spearheaded Project 20 campaign where employees are encouraged to donate P20 every pay day for Childhaus.
TRF’s Matching Grant allows employees or a group of employees to apply for a fund matching of up to $1,000 per employee/group for specific projects.
Hera Paner of the company’s legal division says that from June to December last year, they have collected P50,000 for Thomson Reuters Foundation Matching Grant.
Alvarez is amazed at the employees’ activism. At Thomson Reuters, workers are mostly between 20 and 40 years old.
Paner says that volunteerism is a two-way street.
“We also get something in return,” she says, “It allows us to recognize how blessed we are.”
Short URL: http://business.inquirer.net/?p=57559