Hapinoy wins award
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Singapore National Committee for UN Women (UN Women Singapore) and MasterCard Worldwide awarded a Women’s Empowerment grant worth $25,000 to “The Hapinoy Program” from the Philippines during the grand finals of Project Inspire: 5 Minutes to Change the World held at the Insead Asia Campus in Singapore.
Paolo Benigno Aquino IV, who represented his team for The Hapinoy Program, was among the 10 finalists who pitched their project ideas to a live judging panel comprised of today’s top global development and social entrepreneurial experts, social advocates and business leaders.
Their winning project aims to support 1,000 women sari-sari (or neighborhood convenience store) owners in Luzon in the southern Philippines through micro-finance. Hapinoy trains the women micro-entrepreneurs in personal and business development, management systems, and better priced goods, and introduces additional revenue channels. The Grand Finals was broadcast live to a worldwide audience via the Project Inspire website at www.5minutestochangetheworld.org.
A joint initiative by UN Women Singapore and MasterCard, Project Inspire was launched in March to commemorate the 100th year of International Women’s Day and to celebrate MasterCard’s 25th year in the region. The 10 finalists—from Australia (2), Ghana, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore (2), India and the Philippines (2)—were selected out of 450 youth teams worldwide who submitted their life-changing ideas to empower women and girls across Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa in the form of 5-minute pitch videos (or written proposals) for a chance to win the $25,000 grant.
The judges also awarded a special grant of $10,000 to Mark Cox, who represented his team from Thailand for the Best Financial Literacy/Livelihood proposal. Their project, “UPLift Initiative,” will empower Burmese women migrants living in landfills at the border of Thailand and Myanmar by building a women’s resource center that provides financial literacy training and skills for income generation activities.
In a surprise development during the grand finals, MasterCard put forward a $10,000 special prize for the Most Creative Community Outreach proposal, which the judges awarded to Madhura Dutta for “Painting the Road to Empowerment” from India. Her team’s program benefits abused and discriminated women from Pingla, East India, who have a unique culture of earning a living by singing and painting. Her winning project aims to replicate the successful Pingla model in the nearby village of Chandipur, bringing this artistic talent to the production of diversified products including decorative scrolls and other artworks.
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