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Monday, July 10, 2017

One Year On: Filipino Social Enterprises Better Equipped to Improve Quality of Education Following Completion of SAP Social Sabbatical Program



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Following the completion of SAP Social Sabbatical Program in the Philippines last year, two participating social enterprises, Teach for the Philippines and Silid Aralan (SAI), reported that their organizations are better able to fulfill their respective missions to improve the quality of education for underprivileged Filipinos.

The program, which ran in the Philippines last year with the aim to help local social enterprises overcome pressing organizations challenges and barriers to growth, has helped SAI and Teach for the Philippines to develop a sustainable business model, allowing these two organizations to maintain more efficient business processes both internally and externally, thereby giving the management more time to focus their efforts on driving outcomes based on their respective mandates.

According to Arcie Mallari, founder and executive director of SAI, the organization previously faced issues in recruiting volunteers. Prior to the SAP Social Sabbatical program, its staffs were also not equipped with the knowledge or skillsets to efficiently manage its resources.

By participating in the SAP Social Sabbatical program as an organization beneficiary, SAI was able to better gain insights on how their resources were being deployed and identify operational areas which were not getting the right amount of support, which then helped the management to acknowledge the need to employ more talents and gain more resources at the right time.

With the support of SAP employee volunteers through the SAP Social Sabbatical initiative, SAI was able to better develop a sustainable operating framework that brings a higher level of organization and sustainability for the organization. The social enterprise can now also function better in fulfilling its mission of boosting the academic performance of low performing and underprivileged students through a more effective and systematized set-up for its tutorial programs.

“SAI has plans to expand our organization and business. We aspire to develop learning hubs across the country by the year 2020. This year, we are putting up learning hubs in seven regions from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao. This endeavor was made possible partly because SAP Social Sabbatical team helped us improve our business model. Through the program, the SAP employee volunteers helped us develop a ‘Franchise Kit’ that we present to potential partners. They had also linked us to possible sponsors. Now, SAI is also more financially stable,” added Mallari.

Meanwhile, SAP also conducted a brand audit focused on further enriching the branding and marketing aspects of Teach for the Philippines. According to Clarissa Isabelle Delgado, co-founder and CEO of Teach Philippines, the brand review allowed them to learn new ideas that have aided them on how they can evolve the organization.

Since Teach for the Philippines enlists young professionals to mentor students in public schools, especially in remote areas in the country, the Social Sabbatical program improved their knowledge on how and what needs to be done to further promote its advocacy. This new-found understanding of the organization’s branding and marketing systems enabled them to create conversations about the social enterprise and its objectives and, in turn, encouraged more volunteers to join their ranks.

“It was helpful to have a third-party review our processes. The full brand review allowed us to have a new baseline to jumpstart conversations among our team on how we want Teach for the Philippines to evolve and improve in our communications – internally and externally,” added Delgado.

SAI and Teach for the Philippines are two social enterprises that aim to address prevailing issues that impede in the education of Filipinos despite the country’s high literacy rate.

While the country’s literacy rate is at 98.1 percent, according to the latest available data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) as of 2013, there has been an increase in the issues that limit the learning capacity of students.

In 2015, Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) revealed that 1 in every 10 Filipinos, aged 6 to 24, was out-of-school or 24 million Filipinos are experiencing hindrances to education due to various reasons. Among the top barriers to education are insufficient family income, the high cost of education and, a lack of interest in schooling.

For its part, SAP Social Sabbatical aspires to reach out to more social enterprises in the country to help them with their advocacies. The SAP Social Sabbatical is a unique program for SAP employees to contribute their time and expertise to assist in empowering organizations in the education or entrepreneurship sector in emerging markets, including assistance in strengthening their leadership competencies, cross industry sector know-how and intercultural sensitivity. Following the successful completion of the program in 2015, SAP is looking at continuing the efforts of supporting local organizations in the Philippines in 2018.

“SAP has long been dedicated to creating ways to help relevant social organizations, in any way that it can. SAP Social Sabbatical is our way of contributing a lasting impact to the society. This is also a big help to our country, especially in further improving education,” said Ryan Poggi, Managing Director, SAP Philippines.

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