With the resumption of face-to-face classes in areas with low COVID-19 alert levels, the presence of new hygiene facilities provides a sense of security for parents and teachers that learners can be still protected through proper handwashing from communicable diseases while in school.
This is the goal in mind when Aboitiz Foundation partnered with Manila Water Foundation to support the Department of Education’s WASH in Schools (WinS) program through the League of Corporate Foundations (LCF) WinS: Lingap Eskwela sa Pandemya.
Aboitiz Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of the Aboitiz Group together with its business units, joined the League of Corporate Foundations’ (LCF) call to support the WASH in Schools (WinS) program and Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan of the Department of Education through the synergy project LCFWinS: Lingap Eskwela sa Pandemya. Implemented by LCF-member Manila Water Foundation, Manila Water’s social development arm, the LCFWinS is designed to conduct WASH interventions that address the current COVID-19 challenges in schools.
Through the LCFWinS, Aboitiz Foundation and Aboitiz Group business units funded the construction of 10 units of 10-faucet hygiene facilities in 10 schools in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao from August 2021 to March 2022.
Among the business units of Aboitiz Group that sponsored the facilities are Therma Luzon, Therma Visayas, AP Renewables, Davao Light and Power Company, Subic Enerzone, San Carlos Sun Power, and Lima Enerzone.
“As Aboitiz Foundation moves forward to its enhanced strategy of building resilient, empowered, and sustainable communities, joining a bigger initiative such as LCFWinS is a good venue to maximize our resources and create a long-term impact in both education and health sectors. We all take a significant part in making sure that our public schools become safe and resilient learning environments in the future. We thank the League of Corporate Foundations and Manila Water Foundation, for your commitment to making a long-term impact in the schools and the communities.” Aboitiz Foundation President and COO Maribeth Marasigan said.
The hygiene facilities are designed to respond to COVID-19 challenges, hence, included pedal-operated, properly distanced faucets one meter apart, to ensure physical distancing during group handwashing and facilitate the behavior of contactless handwashing. Each is equipped with a soap dish, to promote handwashing with soap, and with signages on the steps to proper handwashing, toothbrushing, and COVID-19 precautionary measures. Other interventions included the distribution of hygiene kits and IEC materials and the conduct of virtual hygiene education sessions.
“With the impact that this meaningful and sustainable project will provide, we commend Aboitiz Foundation and Aboitiz Group as they co-create resilient and empowered learning environment and build a kinder world for our learners and teachers in ten public elementary schools across the country. This is the positive energy we need during these times.” said MWF Executive Director Reginald Andal.
Under the LCFWinS, Aboitiz Foundation’s support of the LCFWinS project benefited more than 24,000 students, teachers, and staff, improving access to WASH facilities and the student-to-faucet ratio by 44%.
LCFWinS is a collaboration among corporations and corporate foundations in support of the WASH in Schools program of the Department of Education. It also supports the Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan of the Department at this time of the Pandemic. LCFWinS is aligned with one of the League of Corporate Foundations’ strategic pillars – Collective Impact, which is the network’s ability to convene, participate, collaborate, and build partnerships among its members and other stakeholders toward addressing gaps in social development.