SCG Sharing the Dream volunteer shares her life-changing experiences
Volunteerism is heavily ingrained in the Filipino culture. Filipinos are always ready to lend a helping hand whenever and wherever possible, from being on call when natural calamities strike to assisting disadvantaged communities through feeding and housing programs, to name a few. Through Corporate Social Responsibility, companies and employees are able to participate in Filipino bayanihan as they roll up their sleeves and get immersed in the communities they help.
Being one of those CSR programs, SCG Sharing the Dream, in particular, has uplifted the lives of 1,700 students from their different partner communities in Batangas, Manila, Bulacan, and Taguig over the course of its 10-year run in the Philippines. SCG also conducts life skills workshops to help students learn values, financial literacy, and more to provide them with a holistic education that they can apply in life.
More than a scholarship program and life skills workshop for its partner communities, it has also been a life-changing experience for the volunteers who took part in it.
For Janalynne Jarillas, Sales Coordinator Manager of SCG Marketing Philippines, Inc., being a volunteer gained her self-fulfillment, strengthened her sense of empathy, and gave her a deeper appreciation when it came to the value of education. As part of the screening committee, she visited the students’ homes, met their families, and learned their story.
“In my first year of volunteering, I met this student who wanted to have a better future for her and her family. I was moved by her story because even though they had financial difficulties and faced a lot of problems at home, she would always be at the top of her class. Her parents were so supportive in her endeavors and so she felt the need to give back by providing them the best in life,” Jarillas recalled.
Getting to know the students’ stories and witnessing their motivation to succeed fueled her desire and commitment to help change their lives through the program. What started out as a volunteer project within the company became a personal mission for her as she worked tirelessly to ensure that the deserving applicants were given the means to continue their studies through SCG’s scholarship program.
“Although we originally set out to change their lives, we never realized that they would also change ours. Some of these students have faced unimaginable hardships and despite what they’ve gone through, they still remain optimistic. Their resilience has inspired me to adopt a more positive outlook as well.” Jarillas said.
Given the learnings she’s had during her experience as an SCG Sharing the Dream volunteer and how much it has helped her grow as a person, Jarillas is recommending that other people try their hand at volunteering as well. Not only is it an opportunity to pay it forward, it’s also a way to broaden one’s horizons.
“I’m proud of this program because it has given me and my fellow SCG volunteers a chance to be instruments of change. It has given me a deeper sense of purpose because I am able to to help other people,” Jarillas closed.
SCG Sharing the Dream is a regional program that has granted scholarships to students in ASEAN countries, including Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand, with the aim to improve the livelihood of people in the region through the support of human development.