By Braulio Giron, Jr. on October 2, 2019
With an increasing number of individuals and organizations looking to make the world a bit of a better place, career opportunities in the social impact-space are no longer limited to the usual non-profits
“Making an impact.” Or “doing my part.” Statements typical of children and young adults who want to make the world a better place. As they become of working age however, such aspirations and idealism somewhat falls to the wayside.
Unfortunately, this because as much as most would like to positively change the world, there is a common belief that there are little to no practical job opportunities in the social impact space. The myth is that no one can make a proper living working for a ‘non-profit’ (or in the Philippines, an ‘NGO’), unless it happens to be a big-name like The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) or the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
However, that is exactly that: a myth. First, most organizations still rely on a paid staff, in addition to having volunteers. Second, the designations ‘nonprofit’, ‘nongovernmental organization (NGO)’, ‘charity’, or ‘foundation’ simply refer to how the revenue they generate goes back into programs that serve their mission, and that they have no stockholders receiving annual financial dividends.
In other words, there is indeed a career to be had in social-impact, and the following are some of the companies that you can apply to now if you have always wanted one where you get to use your skills and expertise in helping make the world a better place in one way or another.
Advancement for Rural Kids, better known as ARK, is a New-York-based venture organization that partners and co-invests alongside rural communities in the developing world. Its flagship program is the “Php2.50 ARK Lunch”, an award-winning school-based lunch program designed to feed kids every day and help get them back in school and eliminate malnutrition overall.
After several years of honing the program in the Western Visayas province of Capiz in the Philippines, and impacting over 4,300 kids and by serving over 800,000 lunches, ARK is now reportedly focused on scaling it to reach more rural communities. This has begun in Coron, Palawan, and will expand further, as the organization is now looking to hire various professionals to fulfill the different responsibilities within their team.
A social enterprise that creates and sells products which allow customers to make a social impact with every purchase they make, GenerationHope is widely recognized for the production and wholesale of “Hope in a Bottle” or HIB. This is purified bottled drinking water which is sold at retail, and 100% of the profit made from the flagship product Generation Hope donates for the building of public school classrooms across the Philippines.
Along with HIB, GenerationHope’s products also include “Hope in a Box”, purified water packed in a recyclable box, and “Hope in a Coconut”–done in partnership with coconut water brand VitaCoco, packaged natural coconut water whose proceeds go directly to helping Filipino coconut farmers, which is part of Vita Coco‘s mission to raise one million members of the global coconut farming community out of poverty.
An environmental protection project, Masungi Georeserve aims to promote sustainability, conservation, and education, with it’s foundation body’s ‘big, hairy, audacious goal’ being to form part of a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Geopark.
The project site is located in Baras, Rizal, while the foundation body’s offices are located in Quezon City. Initiatives for the georeserve are spearheaded by the latter, along with Blue Star Construction & Development Corporation, and done in cooperation with the communities of the aforementioned Baras, as well as Pinugay, Cuyambay, and Tandang Kutyo in Rizal.
Regarded as Southeast Asia’s largest solar company, Solar Philippines also possesses the lowest cost solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) in East Asia. The company’s aim is to accelerate the global transition towards a solar powered future and provide energy at the lowest cost, and eventually help make the Philippines a leading economy not only in the Southeast Asia region, but the entire globe.
Solar Philippines employs a team of 200 highly-skilled in-house engineers and counting who, with the help of the rest of the company employ, are responsible for the organization being able to provide high-quality and lowest cost solar installations, while utilizing world-class design tools and lean concepts in supply chain and construction methodologies.
Sorok Uni Foundation is a non-profit charity organization working for the empowerment and social inclusion of Persons Affected with Leprosy, those of whom Sorok refers to as PALS, as well as the homeless or urban and rural poor. The organization is named after Sorok, the confinement island of PALS in Korea, and UNI (you and I), from Uni-Ship Inc., the Manila-based shipping company of Sorok Uni founder Captain Jae Jung Jang.
Duly accredited by the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Sorok Uni operates on the philosophy: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.” They do this by allowing beneficiaries to farm and be self-supporting at their four Sorok communities; Sorok Uni Village, Sorok MCS Zamboanga, Sorok NCR and Sorok Tala.
A for-purpose, non-stock, non-profit organization, Teach for the Philippines (TFP) enlists the nation’s most promising young leaders to teach for two years in public schools throughout the country in an effort to provide all Filipino children with access to relevant and excellent education. TFP features three core programs which aspiring Teacher Fellow can apply to.
First is the Fellowship Program, where one serves as a teacher and community leader for two years at a public school. Second is the Ambassador Program, in effect an extension of the Fellowship program, where one serves as a Technical Assistant in local and national government agencies to apply community insight to policy making after becoming an alumni of the first program. Then there is the Public School Teacher Pathways, a two years specialized professional development program for licensed and tenured DepEd teachers.
Originally established in 1997 as the Pharmaceutical Health and Family Foundation to cater to the health needs of the communities surrounding the manufacturing plant of Zuellig’s Interphil Laboratories Inc. in Canlubang, Laguna, the Zuellig Family Foundation eventually became the the Zuellig Foundation in 2001 with the broader function of consolidating the selected social responsibility programs of the Zuellig companies.
These days, the Zuellig Family Foundation now operates autonomously from the Zuellig Group, with the former primarily focused on the Zuellig family’s philanthropic efforts to help build the nation through community healthcare, and the latter embarking on its own corporate social responsibilities.
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