Last February, 17, 2019, ARKEMA, a French chemistry company operating in close to 55 countries, granted Virlanie Foundation, Inc. a financial support amounting for 10,000 € (approximately PHP 570,000 PHP) in order to fund Virlanie’s Education Pillar promoting inclusive education for all children.

This intends to partly fund operations of the Magellan Learning Center, the SiBuHi Center for Creativity and Development and the Special Education (SPED) and Rehabilitation Program for the schoolyear 2020-2021.

ARKEMA Fund for Education

In a world facing considerable ongoing economic, environmental and social challenges, Arkema strives to bring its customers sustainable and innovative solutions contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations.

Read more about ARKEMA’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).

Initiated in 2016, the Arkema Fund for Education  has been designed to help finance projects put forward by Arkema employees who are involved in a personal capacity in an association that promotes education. 32 associations have been rewarded since the launch of the fund, allowing Arkema to support the work of thousands of volunteers involved in educational, humanitarian and teaching projects.

Last December, Virlanie’s Education Pillar has been put forward by Alexandre Goudard, Engineer staff in ARKEMA and former Volunteer Teacher in the Magellan Learning Center.

The case files have been reviewed in December by an international selection committee which comprises Arkema representatives from around the world, as well as HR and Communication representatives, and the Group’s ethics mediator. Virlanie’s project has eventually been selected by the Jury.

 

Last December, Virlanie’s Education Pillar has been put forward by Alexandre Goudard, Engineer staff in ARKEMA and former Volunteer Teacher in the Magellan Learning Center.

The case files have been reviewed in December by an international selection committee which comprises Arkema representatives from around the world, as well as HR and Communication representatives, and the Group’s ethics mediator. Virlanie’s project has eventually been selected by the Jury.

The story of Alexandre Goudard, Engineer staff of Arkema and former Volunteer Teacher in MLC

The partnership was made possible because of the support of Alexandre Goudard, Engineer staff in ARKEMA and a former Volunteer Teacher in the Magellan Learning Center (MLC).

Ten years ago, he was still an engineering student when he decided to take a gap year to engage in a humanitarian mission abroad. A way for him to “help in [his] own way the people who didn’t have the opportunities [he] got”.

Thus, from October 2008 to June 2009, he became volunteer teacher in MLC where he gave tutorial lessons in Mathematics, English and Biology to the Virlanie children. He also facilitated activities in the Reception and Action Center (RAC) where Virlanie was operating before. He recalls: “Many children I use to give class to have shown great progress along the year. Some of them gained self-confidence and hope for a better future.”

As the Arkema Fund for Education helps finance projects put forward by Arkema employees who are involved in a personal capacity in an association that promotes education, Mr. Goudard immediately thought of Virlanie as a potential beneficiary: “after spending 9 months in Virlanie, it came to me naturally that Virlanie’s education programs should benefit of this fund. I am convinced that education is key for the Filipino children to access better opportunities, and this is exactly the advocacy Virlanie is upholding.”

He encouraged his company to support Virlanie’s Education Pillar as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. He shares: “working in a company that promotes CSR is important to me. If companies are wealthy and successful, it is thanks to their employees who got the chance to access quality education. It makes sense to me that these companies also allocate some funds to promote education as a way to give back.”  

Promoting inclusive education for disadvantaged children

In the Philippines, 53% of the out-of-school youth belong to families whose income fall at the bottom 30% on their per capita income. (PSA, 2017) Most of the children under Virlanie’s care have educational delays prior to their admission to Virlanie because they didn’t have access to school, drop out, lack of proper guidance, mainly due to poverty. This result in lack of self-confidence and social exclusion and eventual loss of their love for learning. They are also children with special needs who couldn’t be catered to in special education centers because of their severe conditions.

Virlanie recognizes children’s differences in terms of learning abilities, which were deeply affected by their diverse and difficult backgrounds. We push for inclusive education that would equip all children and youth to become the best person they can be. This will only be possible if child, disability and gender sensitive educational facilities are built and safe, nonviolent, and effective learning environment are accessible for all.

Through its Education Pillar, Virlanie works towards bridging the educational gaps that our children face:

 

  • The Magellan Learning Center prepares the children to enter or resume formal schooling, then provides tutorial and motivational support to help them cope with academic requirements.

Educating children and youth allows them to pursue better opportunities for their selves and thus leave the poverty cycle. It benefits society at large, since education enables the decrease of poverty within the communities, stimulates economic growth, encourages gender equality and promotes peace.

Through Arkema Fund for Education Grant agreement, more than 10% of our Education Pillar’s annual budget will be covered, serving more than 143 children and youth from Virlanie Residential Homes and Street-based programs.

Thank you, Alexandre Goudard for your long-term commitment to the children of Virlanie, and Arkema for your generous support!

Like Arkema, your company/organization/institution can support Virlanie’s programs too! It is through your continuous support that our children can thrive and build a better world.