On its 40th year of uplifting the quality of life of many Filipinos, Ayala Foundation honored its partners, donors, and sponsors on “Funders’ Night” on April 22 at Onstage, Greenbelt Mall. The event highlighted various social development and cultural programs as well as future plans of the foundation.
Among those who were acknowledged are Washington SyCip and the SGV Foundation which gave one of their prized Fernando Zobel paintings on permanent loan to Ayala Museum.
Ayala Foundation was established by Col. Joseph McMicking and his wife Mercedes Zobel to uplift Filipinos through education and livelihood. Today, the social development arm of Ayala Corporation continues to focus on projects that build and sustain communities, promote culture and heritage, and provide Filipinos with the means to shape their lives.
Explains Victoria Garchitorena, president of Ayala Foundation: “Ayala Foundation takes up the challenge of empowering Filipinos, especially the under-resourced, to join the country’s journey to progress. We are ready to find innovative solutions to the age-old problems of illiteracy, of homelessness, of environmental degradation, of social turmoil and discontent.”
The foundation’s flagship program for youth development, the Center of Excellence in Elementary Education (Centex) now has more than 400 students in its Tondo and Bauan, Batangas campuses. Centex provides young, bright children from poor families with quality education at par with that of the country’s best private schools. The Centex children presented a musical production called “Ala-Ala-Mat” on Funders’ Night to thank all those who have supported the school and other programs of Ayala Foundation.
Ayala Foundation also unveiled plans for the new Ayala Museum, which is expected to open in 2004 as part of the redeveloped Greenbelt Park. It is set to become the new symbol of art and culture in Makati. As a venue for major international exhibitions, the new Museum aims to promote Filipino artists and the Philippines in the international art arena.
Ayala Foundation is also focusing on information technology projects to help prepare young Filipinos for the global economy. Project Youth Tech provides Internet laboratories and computer training to public high schools all over the country. More than 18,000 students and 180 teachers in 36 public high schools have benefited from the project since it began in 2000. Other IT-related projects of Ayala Foundation such as the Center for Technical Training Excellence, the Intel Computer Clubhouse, and the CISCO Networking Academies give technical skills training to students and out-of-school youth. In arts and culture, the Filipinas Heritage Library (FHL) creates electronic media and online research facilities for Filipiniana materials.
According to Garchitorena, a great part of the foundation’s work is made possible with assistance from generous donors and partners. It is an active member of the League of Corporate Foundations, Association of Foundations, the Makati NGO Network, and the Asia Pacific Philanthropy Consortium.
It has now ventured into tapping Filipinos abroad who wish to help their countrymen by establishing the Ayala Foundation USA as a conduit for their funds which then enjoys tax deductibility as well as a facilitator, monitor and documentor for the projects that will be funded in the country.
Says Garchitorena: “Through our partnerships, Ayala Foundation is able to arm Filipinos with the skills they need to bridge the gap between their dreams and their lives.”