follow us on

Uber Helps Rebuild Classrooms For Marawi

For four years now, Uber has served the nation’s commuting public with private car services and premium ride-sharing.  They have also gone beyond that in order to contribute to nation-building.  Making a difference is obviously Uber’s way of giving back to the country for their TNVS business success  “So if you look at the theme of our anniversary, we are calling it ‘Four you’” says Cat Avelino , head of communications for Uber Philippines, “So it is really about celebrating with our riders, our driver partners, partners in government and now also the  communities in which we operate.”

Cat Avelino, Head of Communications UBER PH

 

Cat shares how Uber Philippines’ collaboration with Friends of Hope is aiming to change lives, “We have partnered with Friends of Hope to help rebuild classrooms in Marawi, because we all know that Marawi was recently devastated because of conflict. So now about 30,000 children have no access to a safe and comfortable venue for their education.  When Friends of Hope approached us and asked if we could partner with them to help in this endeavor, we said ‘why not?’”

If you’re based in the city you’re most probably familiar with “Hope In A Bottle” mineral water products by Friends of Hope.  These are sold in places like Starbucks and other retail establishments and convenience stores across the country.  Some of you may not be aware of the kind of help your payment for a bottle of water is able to provide. 

 

 

Former actress and now active philanthropist Nanette Medved-Po, founder of Friends of Hope, is a woman we greatly look up to.  She shares that Friends of Hope’s aim through entrepreneurship is to earn and improve the country through supporting educational environments and providing proper spaces for learning and agricultural intervention.

 

 

Former actress and now active philanthropist Nanette Medved-Po, founder of Friends of Hope, is a woman we greatly look up to.  She shares that Friends of Hope’s aim through entrepreneurship is to earn and improve the country through supporting educational environments and providing proper spaces for learning and agricultural intervention. 

“The primary aim of HOPE was to provide, to show a way to do business for good,” Nanette explains,  “The way we wanted to do that is to take the shortcomings of the non-profit sector and blend it with the discipline of the profit sector to create a company that would generate profits but would go to solving important, big problems in our country.  So, rather than going to dividends or increasing shareholder's wealth it would go towards nation building.”

 

 

“We're fortunate because we have a partnership with Department of Education,” Nanette emphasizes, “When this administration first thought about rebuilding in Marawi and this was even before the war has ended, they immediately reached out to their partners, of which HOPE is one, to say that we will eventually need to rebuild. ‘Can you ship your pipeline of classroom buildings all to Marawi, if possible once the coast is clear?’ and of course, when we heard this... I mean we were more than happy to allocate.”

 

 

Friends of Hope officer, Gretchen Phillips, an American CEO of Friends Of Hope has been residing in the Philippines these past four years while working alongside Nanette, “I think Nanette launched back in 2012 our flagship product which is Hope in a bottle, that’s a bottled water product and basically her idea at that point is very simple, which was to launch a product that would sustainably reinvest rather than just relying on donation income in the Philippines in some ways. What we started to do recently is to launch this co-branded flagships with Uber, VitaCoco, with other leading kind of global and domestic brands.”

“So basically we’ve been building classrooms every year, more, and more every year. We were proud to build 20 classrooms last year in 2017. But what we see is that, for as proud as we are to build 10, 20, 30, 50 or a hundred of classrooms, in reality, the gap is far bigger.” Gretchen moves to point out the disparity in demand now for classrooms versus when Friends of Hope was founded. “So when Nanette first launched in 2012 the government articulated something like a 60,000 classroom shortage. Today, with the expansion of K-12 your shortage is something like over 80,000 classrooms. We see that we are not having the scale impact that we would like and that is what prompted us to launch our Hope for Marawi campaign this year, which I think, is our most ambitious campaign yet.”