Navitaire employee, Roni Ng, writes:
COMMITMENT…DEDICATION…SIMPLICITY.. Those were the things that made a huge impression on me when we visited the children’s community. A mother told me:
“We make pastillas and polvoron for a living… We’re planning to make dilis polvoron next… These should be good for malnourished children.”
“My kids are all grown up…I don’t have a child in grade 4… So I help the community recruit kids for Hungry Minds… I want to give something back to society.”
In the midst of material scarcity and deprivation, these community volunteers make up for the scarcity through their abundance of dedication to help the community members. In spite of the lack of high school diplomas, these community volunteers are still committed to helping the community children find a good education and a good future.
It is amazing how you can learn so much from such simplicity. The people I interacted with had so little in terms of material wealth but had so much of the intangibles…of hope and dedication and faith…intangibles that hold more value than the things we see and buy. In a world where we are too caught up with wanting and needing more, we should take a step back and learn to appreciate what we have and what we hold. Because it is only then when we can truly be happy.
Cargill employee, Mhel Manuguid, relates:
It was 6 AM as the CAN Phils. Team of 9 employees excitedly headed south to meet and interact with the underprivileged children at Hungry Minds Camp in Dasmarinas, Cavite. When the invitation was announced, we made no second thought and decided to devote some personal time and resources to involve ourselves in this community enrichment activity because we believe in the importance of empowering children through our assistance or just by being at their side. Having prepared some games and brought along some grocery items, we knew that the day would be very special in the lives of these children.
As we pulled over to enter the function room at the campsite, we were surprised how these fourth and fifth graders actively and warmly welcomed us with their smiles and greetings. Yes, we knew that our mere presence uplifted and delighted them. Their eyes sparkled with curiosity and anticipation.
The day began filled with fun, laughter and learning when our team set the children in motion by a dance number followed by games that foster teamwork, cooperation, and imagination. Leo Park, CAN Phils. Managing Director, through storytelling shared the Cargill and Purina’s history, products, processes and best practices.
CAN values were also shared when each employee had group encounters. There was a big “AHA!” experience when the children displayed their critical thinking by asking good questions about the information they heard from us. Amazingly, they recited very clearly what we had imparted to them earlier, sincerely showing us the curiosity of their young minds.
We were truly humbled and pleased by these young people who showed humility as well as passion to shine and soar academically. And we were privileged to have supported these promising children in our own little ways to thrive intellectually, physically, emotionally and spiritually. We also gave them a small amount raised from employee’s contributions.
Grateful for our presence and presents, the children rendered in chorus an inspirational song that moved and likewise made us proud of being Cargill employees, who adhere to the importance of adding value to the communities in which we do business through generosity and kindness. Here goes their song…
“There can be miracles when you believe, though hope is frail, it’s hard to keep, Who
knows what miracle you can achieve when you believe, somehow you will…You will
when you believe….”
-Hungry Minds students (When You Believe)
Navitaire employee, Paul Tongson, writes:
Right after finishing my university studies, I decided I wanted to work for an NGO or an organization that gives back to the community.
Although I ended up in the corporate world, I was pleased to find out that Navitaire came up with the Hungry Minds School (along with this knowledge came the realization that I’m part of an organization that makes it a point to be a good corporate citizen.) I decided to become a volunteer by tutoring the kids.
One time we went to the school to assist in art class. I learned prior to the visit that the students had to pass a rigorous screening process to ensure that those who accepted had a good chance of actually finishing their studies. After spending the day with the students, I have no doubt that they will succeed in getting their diplomas. They were bright and eager to learn, and they demonstrated the patience required to finish school.
The students addressed me in English the entire time and I had a field day answering (more like dodging) questions such as “Are you married?” and “How many kids do you have?” (I guess that to them, anyone above the age of 18 must already be married and have kids of their own.) They also let me in on the school gossip. “Did you know who so-and-so’s crush is?”
I’m encouraging everyone to volunteer. Aside from giving back to the community, I assure you that you’ll have a great time!