EDC expands education support and partnerships beyond SIKAT

EDC also partnered with the University of the Philippines Los Baños – College of Development Communication (UPLB-CDC) in conducting the Most Significant Change (MSC) analysis in our CSR activities. The program is a qualitative participatory research that gathers significant change stories from select 43 SIKAT scholars from Bicol, Leyte, Negros, and Mt. Apo.

In the study, the UPLB-CDC reported the following as the most significant impacts of the SIKAT program on the students: character development, exposure to more opportunities, improvement in scholar’s family quality of life, broader awareness of social issues, engagement in environmental protection, and changes in community participation.

In addition, under the Mt. Apo Foundation Inc. (MAFI) located within a 10-kilometer radius from the Mt. Apo National Park, EDC provided scholarship grants to over 300 students since the program started in 1993, wherein 79% were from Indigenous Peoples (IP) communities. From 2020 to 2021, EDC supported 18 MAFI scholars who received stipends, mentoring, and assistance for licensure exam preparations. As a result, four MAFI scholars passed the Licensure Exam for Teachers (LET) and one passed the Licensure Exam for Agriculturists (LEA).

EDC also championed environmental sustainability to the IP communities through webinars focused on awareness and appreciation of biodiversity and their crucial role in conservation through cultural stewardship, and the importance of native tree species was also introduced. The activity concluded with a tree planting activity of more than 900 seedlings by MAFI scholars and alumni. EDC also introduced a Senior High School to College Educational Assistance Project (SHS-CEAP). This provided two-year scholarship grants to 10 students, nine from IP communities.

In addition, EDC further empowered its scholars with the Palayan Binary community-based technical skills training. In partnership with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Sorsogon, First Balfour Inc, the city government of Sorsogon, and the Keitech Foundation, a training program was held for 120 students. After completing the on-thejob experience, the trainees will be absorbed by First Balfour, Inc.

These initiatives underscore EDC’s commitment to its mission of co-creating a regenerative society as we equip and support the next generation.