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    LIKAS-KAYANG KAPALIGIRAN projects in response to Laudato Si: On Care for Our Common Home

    Strategies for a Transformational Approach Fr. Benigno P. Beltran, SVD

    Lead Coordinator Philippine Sustainability Challenge

  • Let ours be a time remembered for the awakening of a new reverence for life, the firm resolve to achieve sustainability, the quickening of the struggle for justice and peace, and the joyful celebration of life. (Pope Francis, Laudato Si: On Care For Our Common Home, #148)

    Executive Summary:

    The Philippine Sustainability Challenge (PSC) is a network of people and organizations which connect, share and learn about sustainable development. They also share resources, strategies and innovative approaches to meet the challenges of sustainable development in the Philippines.

    The PSC supports the spirit of Pope Francis encyclical on the environment Laudato Si!: Let ours be a time remembered for the awakening of a new reverence for life, the firm resolve to achieve sustainability, the quickening of the struggle for justice and peace, and the joyful celebration of life. This is in response to Pope Francis social encyclical calling on every person on earth to help achieve achieve sustainability: What

  • kind of world do we want to leave to those who come after us, to children who are now growing up? (no. 160)

    An encyclical is a letter that is a teaching document by the Holy Father. A social encyclical applies the consistent, traditional moral teachings of the Church to the social and economic challenges of the current day. The title of Pope Francis social encyclical, Laudato Si is taken from the first line of the the canticle of St. Francis of Assisi, Laudato Si, mi Signore, or Praise be to you, my Lord. In this beautiful canticle, Saint Francis of Assisi reminds us that our common home is like a sister with whom we share our life and a beautiful mother who opens her arms to embrace us.

    The subtitle of the encyclical is On Care For Our Common Home. In the words of Pope Francis: The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change (# 13). The social encyclical declares that human-induced climate change is a scientific reality and its control a moral imperative for humanity.

    Pope Francis called not only on Catholics but on all people of goodwill, no matter what the race, creed or nationality to take up the sustainability challenge: I urgently appeal . . . for a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet. We need a conversation which includes everyone, since the environmental challenge we are undergoing, and its human roots, concern and affect us all (# 14). He goes on to say that, Whether believers or not, we are agreed today that the earth is essentially a shared inheritance, whose fruits are meant to benefit everyone (# 93). In his speech to the the US Joint House of Congress, September 24, 2095, Pope Francis declared: Now is the time for courageous actions and strategies, aimed at implementing a culture of care and an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature.

    This collaboration is needed, according to Pope Francis, because, Everything is connected. Concern for the environment thus needs to be joined to a sincere love for our fellow human beings and an unwavering commitment to resolving the problems of society (# 91). He continues: A global consensus is essential for confronting the deeper problems, which cannot be resolved by unilateral actions on the part of individual countries. Such a consensus could lead, for example, to planning a sustainable and diversified agriculture, developing renewable and less polluting forms of energy, encouraging a more efficient use of energy, promoting a better management of marine and forest resources, and ensuring universal access to drinking water (no. 164).

    The concrete response to the call of Pope Francis will be implemented by the PSC through the attainment of the UNs Sustainable Development Goals. It should be the government that is primary implementor, in collaboration with corporations, civil society

  • and religious institutions: Public pressure has to be exerted in order to bring about decisive political action. Society, through non-governmental organizations and intermediate groups, must put pressure on governments to develop more rigorous regulations, procedures and controls. Unless citizens control political power national, regional and municipal it will not be possible to control damage to the environment. Local legislation can be more effective, too, if agreements exist between neighboring communities to support the same environmental policies. (no. 179)

    In the year 2000, 189 member-states of the United Nations signed the Millennium Declaration. Eight Millennium Development Goals were identified, with 18 specific targets and 48 indicators to be achieved. These were used as a major reference point for international development cooperation. The goals were targeted to be achieved by 2015. Many of these goals will be not attained as 2015 ends.

    For the Philippines, achieving the MDGs would have meant mean more than 10 million people lifted out of poverty; 240,000 more children reaching their fifth birthday; the lives of 12,000 mothers saved; 6.7 million more people given access to safe drinking water.

    The Tondo Millennium Challenge was put up to achieve the MDGs in Tondo, Manila as shown in Fig. 1 below.

    Figure 1. JPIC Tondo projects combined aim to a5ain the Millennium Development Goals in the area.

  • The Philippine Sustainability Challenge grew out of the Tondo Millennium Challenge. In the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio + 20) in June of 2012, the Millennium Development Goals were changed into Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The UN Post-2015 Development Agenda sets out a universal program to eradicate extreme poverty from the face of the earth by 2030, and deliver on the promise of sustainable development. In light of this, the plan to help attain the Philippine Sustainability Challenge will be channelled through the activities of three social enterprises which started in Smokey Mountain, the former dumpsite in Tondo, Manila.

    The UN General Assemblys Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals forwarded to the Assembly its proposal for a set of goals that consider economic, social and environmental dimensions to improve peoples lives and protect the planet for future generations at the conclusion of the Groups thirteenth and final session at UN Headquarters on Saturday, 19 July, 2014. This set of goals will be finalized on September 25, 2015.

    The proposed sustainable development goals, and which the Philippine Sustainability Challenge would like to work for, are:

    Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development Goal 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

  • Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels Goal 17: Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

    The Philippine Sustainability Challenge aims to create an ecosystem that is primed for collective impact, an environment where interdependent stakeholders can perform their individual roles optimally and collaborate with each other effectively. It advocates a highly structured approach to collaboration and highlights the importance of multi-stakeholder approaches in solving large-scale social problems.

    Successful collective action follows only when we tackle all parts of a problem together. We have to synchronize our efforts or we will all be swallowed up in the deluge. The ambitious targets of the Sustainable Development Goals would not be achieved without collaboration that is structured and effective. A weak ecosystem counters efforts for collective impact.

    Until there is an enabling environment that allows all stakeholders - non-governmental organizations, corporations, foundations, philanthropists, media, and the government - to work together as a system toward one or more goals, collective impact will remain elusive. Organizations, often singularly focused on program improvement, lack the kinds of institutional systems needed for scale. The PSC therefore seeks to harness the collective experience and insight required for a common understanding of the problem, for co-creating joint solutions, and for assuming mutually reinforcing roles.

    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon commissioned the Sustainable Development Solutions Network to offer practical solutions for sustainable development challenges. The network seeks to harness technical and scientific expertise in support of sustainable development. It is comprised of global experts from the academe, civil society, business and government sector from the local, national and regional levels. Designed to mobilize people and resources for community-supported sustainable development solutions, the PSC belongs to SDSN-Philippines, which aims to do the following:

    To align clearly and unambiguously with the UNs Sustainable Development Goals and undertake a deeper diagnosis and prioritization of the sustainable development challenges facing the Philippines.

    To apply an integrated, multi-sector and ecosystem-based approach to address complex problems of Philippine society, including poverty, food security, disaster risks, human rights, biodiversity, natural resource conservation, and protection of ecological integrity, specializing in the use of e-commerce platforms to connect the rural and urban poor in the production and marketing of organic food products.

    To increase public and political awareness of these challenges and providing Education for Sustainable Development at multiple levels, especially among the young

  • members of society specializing in the use of online delivery modes, adaptive learning management systems and the use of the performing arts in consciousness-raising.

    To participate in a global network of knowledge institutions, each of which is also networked nationally and regionally, while remaining dedicated to sustainable development.

    To provide a platform for organizations and institutions for sharing information and resources,

    As a results-oriented convergence organization, the focus of PSC is on delivering outcomes that positively impact people and society. This goes hand-in-hand with our emphasis on mutual accountability of and towards all partners, backed by a rigorous monitoring and evaluation system which helps us to learn and improve decision making.

    The results-based projects of the Philippine Sustainability Challenge are designed to be replicated nationwide as soon as there will be sufficient personnel and resources available to achieve the SDGs for the Philippines. The organizational alignment of strategy and culture arising from the values (integrity, solidarity, and creativity) which shape the missions and visions of each of the education, economic and environmental projects where values are aligned with vision and mission as shown above.

    The Likas-Kayang Karunungan, Likas-Kayang Kaunlaran and Likas-Kayang Kapaligiran projects are intended to lead towards a Sustainable Future (Likas-Kayang Kinabukasan) by making significant, measurable and replicable impact in the projects described below. The e-learning, e-trading and environmental enterprises under the Phil. Sustainability Challenge are designed to be Impact Enterprises - non-profit companies

  • that have the objective to create maximum positive impact for their customers, employees, business partners and the public at large, as well as for the environment. These enterprises will concentrate especially on the issues of climate change, biodiversity, disaster risk reduction and sustainable consumption and production.

    The Sandiwaan Center for Learning serves disadvantaged children, young mothers and out-of-school youth using cloud technologies to facilitate learning and to provide entrepreneurial and employment skills. The SCL administers computer-based educational projects in support of SDG # 4 (Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life-long learning opportunities for all) to empower learners to assume responsibility for creating a sustainable future.

    The SCL has put up computer centers for its LIKAS-KAYANG KARUNUNGAN (Education for Sustainable Development - ESD) project. The SCL also provides technology training workshops, materials, videos, and web-based learning materials to out-of-school youth and young mothers. These are focused on how technology can be an integral part of student learning to enable teachers to help learners acquire 21st Century skills. The SCL promotes project- and inquiry-based learning environments that emphasize greater student agency and active application of more cognitively-complex thinking, communication, and collaboration skills to shape and guide the learning process in 21st Century learning.

    The objective is to transfer skills such as curiosity and imagination, critical thinking and problem-solving, accessing and analyzing information, collaborating across networks, agility and adaptability, initiative and entrepreneurialism, and effective oral and written communication through e-books and video games. Values for Education for Sustainable Development are embedded in the interactive lessons.

    The Veritas e-Trading Network, Inc. is a breakthrough social enterprise aimed primarily at families who live below the poverty line. It integrates market actors in the urban and rural areas, makes use of the Internet to create forward and backward linkages, and helps in market-led agri-production to achieve full cost recovery and profit on a sustainable basis.

    The core competency of Veritas is a web-based supply chain distribution system of highly organized communities networked for joint economic performance. In its LIKAS-KAYANG KAUNLARAN (Economics for Sustainable Development) to help achieve the following SDGs in the Philippine context:

    Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere Goal 2: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

  • Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all Goal 9: Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.

    The Veritas program for the urban poor and impoverished farmers and fishermen includes six components:

    An asset to use to make a living, such as a piece of land or goods to start an income generating project (IGP).

    Values-formation and Entrepreneurial Training on how to manage the IGP.

    Basic food or cash support the farmers while waiting for the harvest or to reduce the need to sell their new asset in an emergency.

    Frequent (usually weekly) coaching visits to reinforce skills, build confidence, and help participants handle any challenges.

    Health education or access to healthcare to stay healthy and able to work.

    A savings account to help put away money to invest or use in a future emergency.

    The Children of Mother Earth (Mga Anak ni Inang Daigdig) is a group of children and young people trained professionally as performing artists who have gone on environmental concert tours in many countries around the world. They also propose to form a Global Solidarity Network for Development of children and young people to fight for a sustainable future (LIKAS-KAYANG KAPALIGIRAN).

    The members of the group are engaged in a project to plant a million trees and bamboos in five years in the Marikina Watershed, and engage in the production of organic fertilizer from food waste as project-based learning method for its Global Citizenship Education.

    Born and raised in Smokey Mountain, the young artists perform indigenous dances and rituals to call attention to the perils inherent in the destruction of ecosystems in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals listed below in the context of the Philippines.

    Goal 6: Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all Goal 7: Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all

    Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable Goal 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

  • Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development Goal 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

    LIKAS-KAYANG KARUNUNGAN(Education for Sustainable Development)

    VISION: Disadvantaged children and out-of-school youth, guided by the principles of

    integrity, solidarity and creativity, are provided learning opportunities to empower them to create a sustainable future.

    Young people at the Sandiwaan Center for Learnings Young Innovators Hub

    In the chapter on Education for the Covenant between Humanity and the Environment, Pope Francis wrote that, An awareness of the gravity of todays cultural and ecological crisis must be translated into new habits. Many people know that our current progress and the mere amassing of things and pleasures are not enough to give meaning and joy to the human heart, yet they feel unable to give up what the market sets

  • before them. In those countries which should be making the greatest changes in consumer habits, young people have a new ecological sensitivity and a generous spirit, and some of them are making admirable efforts to protect the environment. At the same time, they have grown up in a milieu of extreme consumerism and affluence which makes it difficult to develop other habits. We are faced with an educational challenge. (Laudato Si # 209)

    The Sandiwaan Center for Learning faces the challenge of educating for the covenant between humanity and the environment in the contest of the educational lack of pre-school children, out-of-school youth and unemployed young mothers. For school year 2015-2016, there were 350 children 3-6 years old in Kindergarten, 150 out-of-school youth in the Abot-Alam program in partnership with the DepEd and 50 young mothers studying advanced computer literacy and taking part in e-commerce workshops.

    The Department of Education estimates that out of every 100 children who start elementary school, less than 10 will be able to obtain a college degree and only 40 will finish high school. Estimates go up to 6.4 million out-of-school youth (15-29 years old) in the Philippines who do not have a high school diploma.

    These drop-outs will join the ever-increasing pool of the unemployed, or worse, unemployable, because of lack of necessary job skills. The problem is even more critical in the former dumpsite the children drop out sooner to help the family scavenge in the garbage dump.

    The Sandiwaan Center for Learning (SCL) is a values-based social enterprise established in Smokey Mountain in 1982 to pay attention to the needs of, and provide learning opportunities for, disadvantaged children, children with developmental disabilities, underachievers and out-of-school youth in slum areas and in indigenous communities. The SCL was registered as a non-profit organization with the SEC in 2000 and administered by a Board of Trustees.

    The SCL use computers to teach Day Care pupils how to read and write. The 400 pupils in the SCL Day Care Centers are also included in a feeding program and medical intervention in its LINGAP KALUSUGAN project which supports SDG # 3. The project is intended to follow a values-based, web-based and market-based earn-while-you-learn program. The provision of interactive modules in English, Science and Mathematics using an Adaptive Learning Management System with algorithms that can pinpoint where a learner is weak promotes personalized learning.

  • Pupils at the Sandiwaan Center for Learnings Day Care Centers

    The Sandiwaan Center for Learning believes that early childhood care and education (ECCE for children 2-5 years old) is the foundation for sustainable development and the beginning point for ESD. The SCL believes that reorienting ECCE towards ESD must begin from birth, in the home and the wider community and so ESD is its educational guiding concept.

    Play-based learning for sustainable development contributes to a childs acquisition of social understanding and ecological awareness through discovery of solar and wind power, for example, through play and hands-on activities. This is based on the premise that children are capable, resourceful and competent persons who can be empowered to become active contributors and agents of change.

    The SCL strives to enhance the childrens appreciation for nature, the need to nurture it in the context of their former home which was a huge garbage dump, understanding the need for energy conservation, raising awareness on sustainable development by engaging them in sharing and learning about environmental problems, and giving the children the means and the courage to speak out for the environment and in favor of sustainable practices.

    The mission of SCL is to harness the power of information and communication technologies so that disadvantaged children and out-of-school youth may be motivated and empowered to change the world that they live in and are responsible for, through the values of integrity, solidarity and creativity using ESD pedagogies that encourage teachers to veer away from traditional pedagogical approaches to ineractive, learner-centered approaches in order to contribute to sustainable development at the local level and move towards green-oriented economic growth.

  • Young mothers learning basic computer literacy at the SCLs computer center

    The Open University of the Polytechnic University of the Philippines opened an Extension Program at the SCL for computer technician, automotive mechanic and computer secretarial students. Several hundred students graduated from these courses and more than 75% obtained jobs. The SCL plans to use the dual system of education patterned after the Berufschulen in Germany. Learners study part-time and do apprenticeships for the rest of the week, earning while learning, especially doing business process outsourcing jobs, including games and apps production. The SCL conducts workshops on e-commerce to young mothers so that they can engage in entrepreneurial activities when their children are in the SCL Day Care Centers.

    There are other computer centers already networked with SCL and using its interactive modules to teach Technology, English, Arts and Humanities, Science and Mathematics embedding lessons in video games. Through digital devices and game-based learning, students can learn 21st Century Skills, like problem-solving capability, critical thinking, environmental consciousness, collaborative learning, global citizenry, and other skills needed to empower learners to create a sustainable future.

    The SCL is now administering a project that promotes personalized learning following a values-based, web-based and market-based earn-while-you-learn program. The provision of interactive modules in English, Science and Mathematics using an Adaptive Learning Management System with algorithms that can pinpoint where a learner is weak. This is in partnership with Philippine Normal University and Hope Games.

  • Through consistent exposure to, and having access to a variety of digital media, todays learners must be engaged and motivated to learn through the use of digital technologies. These tech-savvy learners makes it urgent and pressing for policymakers to implement a fundamental shift in the learning paradigm for the 21st century digital world and economy. To reach the goals of integral human development, collaboration and creativity, the SCL believes that holistic changes need to be made (curricula, pedagogies, assessment, leadership, teacher training, digital-based learning) and mechanisms put in place which make flexible and targeted lifelong learning a reality and support the recognition of informally acquired skills.

    ! The SCL focuses on Education for 21st Century skills, especially on the new content areas of global awareness; financial, economic, business and entrepreneurial literacy; civic literacy; and health/wellness awareness. In addition, the SCL addresses learning and thinking skills that include critical thinking and problem solving skills; communication; creativity and innovation; collaboration; contextual learning; and information media literacy. The game-based interactive modules concentrates on life skills such as leadership, ethics, accountability, personal responsibility, and self-direction. These are the 21st Century skills the learners are taught: technology literacy, problem-solving capability, information management, communication skills, collaborative learning, entrepreneurial leadership, environmental consciousness and global citizenry.

  • The Abot-Alam Consortium: Out-of-school youth in the country already number to 6.4 million in 2011 based on data from the National Statistics Office. They will be given another chance to finish their studies and pursue their dream career through the A bot-Alam program. Abot Alam is a joint program of the Department of Education, the National Youth Commission, the Departments of Interior and Local Government, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, and other government agencies designed to address the schooling-related problems of OSYs.

    The DepEd, NYC and the DILG launched the program March 27, 2015. Under the said program, each of the 42,000 barangays throughout the country must register OSYs aged 15-30 who are employed or unemployed, who have only finished primary and secondary levels of education, or those who are not studying. Municipal and City Mayors, as well as barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan Federation officials will provide funds for the implementation of the said program.

    The Sandiwaan Center for Learning has been invited to join the Abot-Alam Consortium. It plans to make accessible its interactive modules nationwide to computer centers providing educational and livelihood opportunities to out-of-school youth. The educational philosophy of the SCL adheres to the principles of Education for the 21st Century outlined above. These are the crucial elements of the SCLs Likas-Kayang

  • Karunungan (Education for Sustainable Development Program) for Kindergarten pupils, young mothers and out-of-school youth:

    I. Philippine Educational Placement Test (PEPT) or Accreditation and Equivalency Program (A & E) The learners will utilize modules in the Open High School Program or those developed by the Dept. of Educations Bureau of Alternative Learning Services (BALS) for school drop-outs in the secondary level and will be prepared to take the examinations for high school accreditation. Learners will have the choice of going into the formal system (PEPT) or the alternative learning system (A & E) using interactive modules and e-books developed by the SCL.

    II. Values-based Learning - The learners are taught the values of integrity, solidarity and creativity to maximize their human potential. These three values will serve as guides for learners behavior and action and prepare them for the global digital economy. An evolutionary, emergent universe described by the new science is presupposed here. The SCL realized it is essential to promote creativity and innovation in a constantly changing world where the price of failure to develop creativity in learners would be devastating. The SCL seeks to promote Education for Integrity, Education for Solidarity and Education for Creativity through the use of educational technology and mobile learning.

    III. Multiple Intelligences - The learners are asked to take an online test to find out their intelligence type according the 8 categories of Howard Gardner: linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily-kinesthetic, musical, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalist. The teaching method is aligned with each learners intelligence type and will customize the lessons to match the way each learner learns best at his or her own pace. The SCL wants every learner to know what the facts mean, understand why they are important, how they can use them to improve their lives, and contribute to the building of a better world through their cognitive strengths. The SCL assumes that learners have to create their own curriculum based on what the environment is and what their future jobs will be.

    IV. Cloud-Based Learning The interactive modules and e-books are used to teach Technology, English, Arts and Humanities, Science and Mathematics with access to the Internet in line with each learners intelligence type. Other subjects will be taught through a blended learning system, combining digital learning with traditional lectures. Through these e-books and interactive modules, the academic and spiritual formation of out-of-school youth to become productive citizens in the global digital economy can also be enhanced.

    V. Higher-Order Thinking Skills (Learning to Think, Thinking to Learn) - The computer-aided courses developed by the SCL are used to attain high-order thinking

  • skills, with emphasis on innovation and creativity according to the revised taxonomy of Michael Bloom, shown above.

    VI. Livelihood Skills Training The project has adapted the dual-tech system from Germany where the students earn while they learn. Concentration will be on basic computer literacy and computer skills. As they use the game-based modules, the learners at the same time are taught how to engage in Business Process Outsourcing or work part-time in companies that have partnered with SCL creating video games, apps or study robotic technology.

    VII. Education for Sustainable Development - The system of learning of the SCL also incorporates lessons that will seek to keep the balance between economics and ecology.

    Values-Based Immersive Learning: The SCL has partnered with Hope Games and the Philippine Normal University to provide online learning to out-of-school youth. The goal of the HopeGames is for the children to use the virtual world simulation software as a model to create hope, and to remodel and improve their real world communities. While working as a team in both their virtual, and real world neighborhoods, the children develop their character, cultural, livelihood, leadership, critical thinking, communications, and school subjects skills to establish a culture of peace and knowledge, overcome crises, resolve conflict, and to build a better world than has ever been seen.

    Making the HopeGames fun and interesting through gamification is the key to its success; also interwoven into all of our HopeGames programs is kindness, knowledge, and empowerment. In addition we strive to make the Hopefuls' school-education as well

  • as the HopeGames relevant to the individual hopes, dreams and goals of each child. The HopeGames are freely available to the Hopefuls through their schools, and the only cost to the Hopefuls is for them to pay-it-forward through their Kindness Workz (good deeds) in their local communities.

    The Community building component of the HopeGames begins with the children adopting a neighborhood in their real world community, and creating a model of that neighborhood in the virtual world. The children then make social and structural improvements to their virtual neighborhoods. Once the children have completed improving their virtual world community, they then implement those improvements into their real world neighborhood with the help of volunteers.

    The HopeGames enable the children to work together to build a simulated version of their local, regional and national communities within a video game like environment that we call the new-world. The virtual communities that the children build, simulate the land, buildings, streets, trees, and environment, etc found within the neighborhoods where they live. The game not only simulates real world buildings, roads and other infrastructure it also safely simulates both the good and bad aspects of their real world society including the culture, economy, politics, crime, unemployment, and disasters etc.

  • LIKAS-KAYANG KAUNLARAN(Economics for Sustainable Development)


    The urban and rural poor, empowered by the principles of integrity, solidarity and creativity, are able to better access inexpensive, quality basic commodities and other goods

    necessary to raise their standard of living and enable them to lead more fruitful lives towards a sustainable future.

    Of the 97 million Filipinos, thirty-two million earn only P 38 a day, less that the daily earning of $1.25 the UN set as the poverty line. The mission of the LIKAS-KAYANG KAUNLARAN project is to lift people from the bottom of the pyramid out of poverty and desperation by helping them to produce and distribute basic commodities and services in culturally sensitive, environmentally sustainable, and economically profitable ways.

    Veritas Social Empowerment, Inc. believes it is possible for millions of Filipinos to move out of poverty with technologies they need to raise their incomes, with the right distribution systems, and with business incentives at all levels. We have to move our economy in a more sustainable and just direction, starting with orienting ourselves toward a new goal for the economy - not more, but better better health, better jobs and a better chance to survive on the planet. Veritas believes that the development paradigm must shift toward collaboration, community involvement, and empowerment. -It has embraced the triple bottomline: Poor, Planet, Prosperity.

  • Veritas faces the twin issues of climate change and food security, especially for the poorest of the poor who will bear the brunt of the effects of global warming. Pope Francis has this to say: Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods. It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day. Its worst impact will probably be felt by developing countries in coming decades (no. 25).

    LIKAS-KAYANG KAUNLARAN is a tool to help achieve Sustainable Development Goal 1 which seeks to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger and related SDGs. It is envisioned to be a nation-wide trading network of poor communities (urban and rural) in the Philippines organized as cooperatives and using Information and Communications Technology to help attain economies of scale and lower prices for consumers by increasing their buying power, thus enabling them to purchase more food and other basic commodities.

    This network will be coordinated by the Veritas e-Trading Network. In the quest for value, Veritas will direct scarce resources to their most promising uses through ICT-enabled entrepreneurship and social innovation to serve poor communities. Market research is on its initial stage to provide baseline data. Veritas would like to be a values-based, data-based and performance-based enterprise. Its triple bottom line is People, Planet, Profit.

  • Networking with multi-purpose cooperatives and utilizing e-commerce and centralized warehousing facilities, Veritas looks for the most direct route for goods and services between suppliers, manufacturers, and the end consumer, thus reducing costs and increasing efficiency and profitability in the process. As the network creates new wealth, it will also increase commerce, create jobs, and spur economic growth, all of which are crucial to the stability and well-being of a developing nation, especially in decreasing hunger in depressed urban and rural areas.

    Veritas also facilitates social transformation by giving people the skills, training and resources needed to pro-actively lift themselves out of poverty. Development is tailored to the needs and challenges of the poor and will be carried out in a spiritually moral and ethical manner that is consistent with the networks goal of bettering peoples lives. The core values integrity, solidarity and creativity are based on the personal, relational and dynamic aspects of Trinitarian doctrine. The culture of Veritas begins with basic organizing themes: vision, mission, strategy, values, objectives.

    People and process are the methodology by which the Veritas vision is converted into the mission and the strategy. The methodology is harnessed to accomplish the objectives and Veritas is run in conformance with its expressed values. Veritas has to constantly communicate its vision, mission, strategy, values and objectives. Effective leaders create the vision. Leaders hire managers who then create the mission statement and strategy to accomplish the vision by breaking it down into specific objectives. The values of integrity, solidarity and creativity are the fuel and lubricant that informs the team as to how things are to be done. Veritas is now beta-testing an e-commerce platform and a system of payment using cellphones.

    Veritas as an innovative, early stage development project with a high potential for development impact, scalability and replication, utilizes entrepreneurial approaches to solve the problems of global poverty. This is the reason why it chose the Tondo District for its pilot project, Tondo being the poorest district in the City of Manila. Veritas has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the Department of Agriculture, Reg. IV-A where Veritas will consolidate the marketing of organic food products within the provinces around Metromanila Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon.

    Veritas has also signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the chieftains of the Dumagats, the indigenous peoples from the Sierra Madre. Veritas will help them increase production of organic products through regenerative agriculture. These naturally-grown products will be sold in the Diocese of Cubao. Bishop Honesto Ongtioco has given Veritas permission to organize organic farmers markets in the 46 parishes of the diocese. At present, the Dumagats are selling their products in four parishes of the diocese.

    The Dumagats possess the title to an ancestral domain comprising 19,345 hectares. Another tribe of Dumagats in Bulacan has signed a similar Memorandum of Agreement. They have title to 1,800 hectares of ancestral domain. The Dumagat

  • chieftains have approved the request of Veritas to use 5 hectares in their ancestral domain as a pilot farm to demonstrate regenerative agriculture to Dumagat farmers.

    Nene Vertudez of the Dumagat tribe, selling naturally-grown fruits and vegetables

    The Veritas value-chain ecosystem aims for development impact, scalability and replication. It uses entrepreneurial approaches to solve the problems of global poverty. It builds an end-to-end value chain right from soil preparation, through the harvesting, processing, storage and distribution, to the purchase by the consumer of naturally-grown rice, vegetables and fruits. Every step adds value and generates a profit for the organization or for the person adding that value. In order to achieve this, the business strategies chosen for Veritas are:

    To organize the rural and urban poor communities for entrepreneurial activity and leverage their buying power through an expanded customer base and improved market access.

    To enhance capabilities, skills and motivation of the stakeholders in order to offer customers a more valuable relationship.

    To establish value-based two-way market linkages with suppliers and consumers who share the same values.

    To deliver cheap and quality goods in a convenient manner through an operationally efficient supply chain distribution system.

  • To implement business operation processes more efficiently by utilizing Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and Enterprise Management Systems (EMS).

    The Veritas value-chain ecosystem are strengthened with the establishment of the Veritas Institute for Sustainable Agribusiness for the rural poor and the Veritas Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership for the urban poor, both designed to foster life-long learning and promote the following critical success factors:

    Strategic Culture: The core values to be inculcated are those required to motivate, empower and align members of poor communities behind the mission. To empower them with organizational skills that can be mobilized for economic activities, the values chosen are pagpapakatao, pakikipagsandiwaan and pagkamakasaysayan (integrity, solidarity and creativity).

    Strategic Competencies: The skills and knowledge needed by the stakeholders to become knowledge workers, enhance their ability to innovate, and build a learning organization needed to support the mission.

    Strategic Partnerships: Joint ventures with like-minded suppliers required to implement the mission and maximize supplier strength to capture total value of service in the market place. The Veritas supply strategy must create real, repeatable benefits that build supplier loyalty and consistency and gain sustainable supply-based competitive advantage.

    Strategic Logistics: The speed and efficiency of the supply chain management systems to operationalize the mission should seamlessly integrate supply strategy with marketing initiatives and management techniques.

    Strategic Processes: The operational excellence in cost, quality and cycle time in the use of Information and Communications Technology and Enterprise Management Systems needed to measure and control performance in order to actualize the mission.

    Veritas will generate revenues mainly through Order Taker and Delivery Officers (OTDOs) who take purchase orders from families using a direct sales strategy and utilizing cellphones to post the orders. Suppliers from our network will deliver products and raw materials in bulk to food depot in Smokey Mountain where Veritas will repackage and re-brand the goods and distribute them to the OTDOs, charging a slight mark-up from the wholesale price, and deliver the commodities to the homes of the member families. Veritas will also incorporate an element of production into its operations to take advantage of available low-cost labor, including the organic vegetables, mushrooms and organic fertilizer.

    LIKAS-KAYANG KAPALIGIRAN(Ecology Towards Sustainable Ecosystems)

  • Vision: All children of Mother Earth, inspired by the values of integrity, solidarity and

    creativity, work together for a clean and green planet, with peace and justice for all.

    The Philippines is no. 3 among the countries to be hit most by the effects of climate change. Mga Anak ni Inang Daigdig (Children of Mother Earth) is an environmental performing arts group featuring young people and children calling on everyone to join the race to save the biosphere, manage waste efficiently and plant more trees to mitigate the impacts of global warming.

    The members of the group were born and grew up in Smokey Mountain which was the third largest untreated garbage dump in the world, which gives a special significance to the words of Pope Francis: A true ecological approach always becomes a social approach; it must integrate questions of justice in debates on the environment, so as to hear both the cry of the earth and the cry of the poor (# 49).

    The Children of Mother Earth have been designated Ambassadors for Peace and Environment by the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines. Divine Word Missionaries have also embraced the Children of Mother Earth as symbols for their work on Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation. Pope Francis declared that justice, peace and the environment are closely linked: We are faced not with two separate crises, one

  • environmental and the other social, but rather with one complex crisis which is both social and environmental. Strategies for a solution demand an integrated approach to combating poverty, restoring dignity to the excluded, and at the same time protecting nature (#139).

    This rigorous and disciplined group of performing artists would like to issue a collective call to commitment through the dances and rituals of indigenous peoples from the Philippines to protect Gods creation and to inspire people to treat each other as brothers and sisters. The group is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission of the Republic of the Philippines as a non-profit organization and administered by a Board of Trustees.

    Through songs and dances of the indigenous tribes in the Philippines, their mission is to call on everyone to join the race to save Mother Earth because it is the only planet we have. They would like to remind each one of us that if we deny our spiritual legacy, we contribute to the extinction of indigenous peoples and add to our own impoverishment as we seek for purpose and direction in our journey towards the future. God created the world, and other beings also have rights, not only humans.

    These young dancers would like to help unite other young people throughout the world in a new understanding of the fragility of life systems and their interconnectedness. They would like to dedicate their performances to all beings who have suffered pitifully and needlessly because of human injustice and stupidity. Through their performances they hope that all of us may remember the pain of all the victims of

  • environmental catastrophes, change our ways and rediscover the sacredness of Mother Earth. The Earth does not belong to us; we belong to the Earth.

    The Children of Mother Earth seek, through the performing arts, to accomplish the following aims:

    1. To view the relationship of Mother Earth and human beings in the light of the wisdom of our forefathers so that we can adopt their ethic of living sustainably in harmony with the universe and thus assure the future of the coming generations.

    2. To develop visions of common life and interdependence in this only planet we have, Mother Earth, marked by ecological integrity and justice, and help enable communities, especially the poorer ones, to care for their own ecosystem.

    3. To discover an international framework for integrating development and conservation as strategies for a sustainable future for the coming generations of Mother Earths children by embracing a simpler lifestyle and making do with less.

    4. To conserve Mother Earths vitality and biodiversity in the struggle for improving the quality of life for all her children by encouraging values that enhance the environmental ethic and combat the destruction of the ecosystem.

    5. To help create a global alliance of Mother Earths children which would promote participative strategies in the struggle for sustainability and environmental justice.

    The call for a simpler lifestyle issued by Pope Francis is echoed by the Children of Mother Earth. Here are some ideas based on those Pope Francis mentions in Laudato Si (no. 211): 1. Use fewer paper and plastic products e.g. use a re-usable water bottle 2. Reduce water consumption e.g. take shorter showers, wash dishes by hand, etc.

  • 3. Dont cook more than you will consume 4. Compost (instead of disposing) food waste 5. Recycle 6. Reuse instead of disposing 7. Use public transportation, carpool, walk, or ride a bike 8. Conserve electricity e.g. turn off lights and buy energy-efficient appliances 9. Plant trees

    The primary strategy is to use cultural exchange as a means of raising consciousness regarding the fragility of the earths ecosystem and foster dialogue between people of different races, religions and ideologies. The group has since toured by invitation throughout the Philippines, Australia, United States, Germany, Sweden and Japan.

    Since its founding, the child performing artists have given over 350 performances in the Philippines and all over the world to raise environmental awareness and call for peace and justice. They have also engaged in environmental projects like cleaning up Manila Bay and planting trees in the Marikina Watershed.

    Mt. Ayaas, part of the Sierra Madre mountain range

    The Children of Mother Earth also joins with other young people in a Global Solidarity Movement for the Environment together with children and youth; women from the urban and rural poor; indigenous peoples; impoverished farmers and fishermen; people from business and industry; local government units; NGOs; the scientific and technological community; and workers and trade unions.

  • The young performing artists also want to raise awareness about environmental sustainability and social justice for the poor and vulnerable through the Global Citizenship Education (GCED) program of the UN which seeks to promote global consciousness and global competence. GCED equips learners of all ages with those values, knowledge and skills that are based on and instill respect for human rights, social justice, diversity, gender equality and environmental sustainability and that empower learners to be responsible global citizens.

    GCED gives learners the competencies and opportunity to realize their rights and obligations to promote a better world and future for all. The performing artists wants to remind everyone through their performances that we are all children of Mother Earth and should live together as brothers and sisters taking care of the planet as a global community. They want to remind everyone that if we deny our spiritual legacy, we contribute to the extinction of these peoples and add to our own impoverishment as we seek for purpose and direction in this evolving universe.

    Children of Mother Earth dancers nurturing tree seedlings in Mt. Ayaas

    The Children of Mother Earth dream of utilizing the collective energies of large numbers of people to promote greater respect and protection for the environment and the revival of a system of participatory democracy practiced by indigenous tribes in the mountains and rainforests even now. They call attention to the climate change impacts making life harder for poor people and indigenous tribes - more severe droughts, superthyphoons, constant floodings, and rising sea levels. We would do well to look very

  • closely at the worldview and lifestyles of indigenous peoples to discover new and powerful insights into how we should relate with the world and living out our concerns for the well-being of Mother Earth.

    They have donated used computers given to them after their performances abroad to Muslim youth and young people among the other cultural minorities in a dialogue of peace. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has given them in a stewardship agreement 135 hectares for reforestation at the Marikina Watershed in Montalban, Rizal. They have gone up to mountain to plant trees to hold the water in the watershed and alleviate global warming. They are raising funds to put up a seedling nursery to plant a million trees in five years. The DENR assigned to them another 64 hectares in the watershed to be planted to bamboo, in collaboration with the Philippine Bamboo Foundation.


    The world has changed significantly since the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2000. Many challenges that require truly global responses, such as climate change, environmental degradation, demographic dynamics and rising inequalities among countries have become only more pressing. The world needs a common vision to go forward. This vision requires transformative change for sustainable poverty eradication and universal human development, respecting human dignity and protecting our planet, Mother Earth, living in harmony with nature for the

  • well-being and happiness of present and future generations, in line with the teaching of Laudato Si.

    This requires transformative change in which the SDGs build on but also deepen and go beyond the MDGs, achieving poverty eradication that is sustainable. This vision is human-centered. In order to make poverty eradication and human development irreversible, the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development need to be addressed in a balanced manner. This is the vision of the Philippine Sustainability Challenge. There is a need for additional resources for these initiatives to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and help coordinate these with all other initiatives in the Philippine area of responsibility.

    Rev. Fr. Benigno P. Beltran, SVDExecutive Director, Sandiwaan Center for LearningCEO, Veritas e-Trading NetworkExecutive Director, Children of Mother Earth