Archive for the ‘Projects’ Category

“Learn and Lead” - 2016

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Our Background in Training the 20th century ‘way’.

We’ve been freely training poor youth with IT skills in South East Asia since 2000. We built the Philippines first telecentre in Manila in 2002 which went onto create jobs for local people. This center was the first in the nation & was integrated into micro finance group, CCT, creating scholarships & sustainable livelihoods for local families. Princess Anne opened the 1st GLOW center (virtually) from Oxford University. A team of original  OrphanIT grads went onto create the eTrikes program which were 3 wheeled, mobile, schools on wheels that visited the students barangays navigating Manila’s notorious traffic swarms, the EPIC Magazine of Hope and an Street Choir which was featured on the country’s national broadcaster ANC’s ‘morning show ‘Advocacy’.

A local basketball team has been launched and plans for a new venture called eBoats which was not completed due to Typhoon Bopha roaring through the islands in 2012. We’re in the process of providing educational opportunities right through from K – 12 and well into advanced levels with the advent of platforms such as MOOCs (massive open online courses eg Harvard, MIT, Berkeley and edX etc) & plan to have this launched in 2016.

With a solid and diverse history in learning opportunities such as - 1990, EdMedia  - 1992, OrphanIT - 2000, - 2001, we believe we are on track to provide “Education on as many devices as possible, via the net, accessing courses through platforms like MOOCs and edX as we are community based, we believe in free, unrivaled education for anyone, anywhere sourced through

Street Choir & Magazine Launch

Philippine NGO is dedicated to connecting Filipino youth here and abroad through music by providing resources to young musicians and their communities.

See the ANC/CBN interview we had in Manila and the choir singing here

The EPIC Street Choir: Happily laughing children creating a joyful racket as they sing in their choir isn’t the image most might imagine when thinking of an urban slum in Manila, Philippines. But that’s what’s happening with the EPIC Street Choir who launched their first Philippines tour in June 2011.

Background: Over a decade ago a small group of social entrepreneurs began exploring ways to help Solve Poverty in a different way. They had a dream to create sustainable and new ways that disadvantaged youth and families across Asia could make a living. Since then we have helped fund or provide start-up capital for more than 20 ventures. The latest projects from are the EPIC Choir - music of the streets and EPIC Street Magazine.

Whilst the dream is still evolving it has been successfully realized in the projects we have been involved in. has touched the lives of 1000’s of youth across the region and we encouraged our new projects will further extend our message of hope and inspiration.The first rehearsal of the EPIC Choir was the 5th May 2011. Leading singing teacher Maricel Romero and her tutors who lead the rehearsals. Maricel and her team had been inspired by a street choir for homeless people in Australia called The Choir of Hard Knocks.

Maricel approached her local community group that organises youth activities in one of the very disadvantaged areas of Manila and they agreed to support the EPIC choir including assistance with the recruiting process. Next steps were flyers on the streets, meeting with other social groups, parents and of course the Choir themselves. She wasn’t sure how many students would turn up at the 1st practice but it was in fact over 40 on day one. Since their first rehearsal, the choir are now turning into a polished singing troupe ready to reach out to the Philippines.

Maricel said: “Filipinos are by nature blessed with a wonderful capability for song. We have visited dozens of communities across Asia and continue to be amazed at the raw wealth of talent that spans all cultural divides. Our team have become closely involved with the music and people of each community we have visited. Although most of these communities have extremely limited resources, suffer from extreme poverty, limited or no medical care, basic educational facilities, a number of infectious diseases and below UN standards of living, the people that made them are full of warmth, friendship, generosity, and most importantly they are connected to each other by a common theme: Music.

The Choir’s Mission: Our mission with the new EPIC Street Choir is to enable anyone with a desire to sing the opportunity to do so. We are dedicated to the fundamental principle that tolerance, peace and change are able to be achieved via the universal language of music.We strive to create positive social change through educationemploymentmediamusic and health awareness.

By providing Filipino youth with a safe place to learn, sing and express themselves, we believe this helps to provide an alternative to the enormous challenges many youth face daily. The children perform in churches and schools around Manila national capital region. Any donations or sponsorships go directly to support the families of the choir and the communities they come from.

The EPIC Street Magazine: Based on other successful street magazine models running internationally we have now launched the The EPIC Stories of Hope Magazine.

Our publishing model is based on the need to to deliver an independent, self-sustainable and newsworthy social business solution to disadvantaged people living in the Philippines. When our vendors sell the The EPIC Magazine, which is published once per month, they have the opportunity to earn a regular salary, care and support their families and be recognised as an active member in their communities.

Our authorized vendors buy copies of the Epic Magazine for 25 Pesos and sell it on the streets for 50 pesos. They keep half the magazine costs ie 50%. (50 Pesos = approx USD $1.00)This model has been proven to show that it is estimated savings to society can be very significant because we are creating a reduction in poverty, increased ability for street vendors to support their families and at the same time providing a unique and interesting newspaper that caters to the Philippines.

2009 YSEI fellows announced

Five Youth Social Enterprise Initiative (YSEI) Asia 2008 Fellows to receive USD75,000 start-up funding. Wednesday 22 Apr 2009

Youth Social Enterprise Initiative (YSEI) is pleased to announce its Asia 2008 Start-up Stage fellows.

The five young social entrepreneurs who have been selected from the YSEI Asia 2008 programme have showed great commitment towards realising their business idea. In addition, Cyril Devan from Malaysia, Stephanie Caragos and Khristine Lopez, both from the Philippines, Ajay Shakya from India, and Thailand’s Patipat Susumpow have successfully demonstrated competence in building viable social enterprises through their participation in YSEI which is a GKP Global Partnership Programme.

Apart from receiving valuable knowledge through training and mentorship from seasoned entrepreneurs, as well as gaining access to networking opportunities and peer-to-peer support, these five fellows competed with 14 others in the 2008 programme to receive step-by-step funding to nurture their social enterprises.

Ten of the 19 fellows had each received USD10,000 in seed funding earlier. Devan, Caragos, Lopez, Shakya and Susumpow will now each receive a further USD15,000 scaleup funding to grow their fledging businesses.

The YSEI Asia 2008 programme, initiatied in May 2008, embodies the second phase of YSEI which was launched in 2006.

A bit about the Fellows

Elevyn, Cyril Devan, Malaysia

Artisans in remote areas of Malaysia often need to resort to middlemen, who drain most of their margins. To generate income on a fair trade basis, Elevyn is using an innovative, web 2.0-based, online platform that links the selling of handmade products to the support of social and environmental causes.

LetIThelp, Stephanie Caragos, Philippines

LetIThelp takes on solving structural unemployment and underemployment in poor communities by providing capacity building on specific IT skills that are in market demand and match trainees to job opportunities.

Microfinancejobs, Ajay Shakya, India

Despite the expressive growth of microfinance in India, the related job opportunities and potential candidates are yet to find an alley for a quick match. Microfinancejobs developed an online jobs platform to bridge the gap between 1,500 microfinance institutions in India and 10,000 professionals who would be willing to work in microfinance field.

Mobile Telecentres, Khristine Lopez, Philippines

In metro Manila most public schools students have limited or no access to computers and Internet. Mobile Telecentre provides onsite ICT skills training and career opportunities to over 6,000 students in metro Manila by using ICT tools adapted to a 3-wheeled trike.

Open Dream, Patipat Susumpow, Thailand

Open Dream provides low-cost web and application development service to social groups and organizations by leveraging the network of social software developers for project collaboration. Their sustainability comes from channeling fees from high paying clients to subsidize the low-paying ones.

About YSEI

YSEI is a high-engagement social venture program for emerging young social entrepreneurs in developing countries. Through its Fellowship Programme, YSEI provides young social entrepreneurs with support in four key areas:

Knowledge: Essential development knowledge & tools on social entrepreneurship

Financing: Up to USD 60,000 from Seed, Start Up and Scale Up stages for only 2 ventures

Mentorship: Technical consulting through mentorship

Networks: Access to diverse networks

Visit YSEI here


Our Youth Entrepreneur Fund Phase 2 Launched

080521-gkp-forum-on-social_entrepreneurship_logo-lrg.jpgI’m writing this from the launch of Phase 2 of our youth fund ( in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. We’re holding the launch of the YSEI Fellowships 2008 at the GKP Pavilion at the WCIT 2008 Exhibition Area

The Fellowship recognises the potential of young social entrepreneurs in contributing to socio-economic growth and provide sstart-up support for young social entrepreneurs from developing countries to nurture their innovative ideas.

YSEI Asia Fellowship 2008 will provide support for 10 Fellows with a seed funding totalling USD125,000, on-site mentorship, essential development knowledge and tools on social entrepreneurship as well as access to diverse networks.

Twenty candidates have been shortlisted through an online competition for the Fellowships this year. We’ll be posting a full Podcast of the week’s events shortly.

Our other Tandem event being held this week in KL - The Tigers’ Lair: “Social Entrepreneurs Pitch for Scale-up Funding”

tigerslair.jpgEnter the Tigers’ Lair pits 4 entrepreneurs in a high-profiled contest to bid for funding to grow their social enterprises.

The contestants are young social entrepreneurs based in developing countries, who believe that their enterprises are viable and will offer high potential for returns.

Each will have a one-time opportunity to pitch their business plans to the ‘Tigers’ – a panel of 4 successful entrepreneurs and funders.

The winner must pass the Tigers’ probe in order to be considered for funding, business advice, mentorship, and global networking opportunities.

The pitchers are all part of the YSEI fellowship. We have two of our ’superstars’ fromlast year and two new potential stars getting upon stage

Raj Ridvan Singh - International Director & Co-founder of Science of Life System 24/7 (SOLS 24/7)

SOLS 24/7 provides holistic life-skills education and boarding to underprivileged youth especially girls. SOLS 24/7’s mission is to develop as many youth as possible to become skilled, responsible, dynamic, disciplined, compassionate and socially-conscious to provide them with the necessary support to secure job placements or start their own businesses. Part-time students are charged a nominal fee for revenue generation.

Marielle Nadal- Co-Founder, and currently Executive Director of Idea!s Creatives

Idea!s is a youth-led social enterprise based in the Philippines. Idea!s uses the power of creative communications to enhance the outreach, impact and fundraising efforts of organisations with social objectives, thereby allowing them to touch and transform the lives of more people. Revenue comes from regular and reduced rates for private corporations and non-profit organisations, respectively.

Urjana Shrestha - Founder of Fair-Trade Crafts

Fair-trade Crafts from Nepal is a business model that creates employment opportunities and promotes traditional craftmanship talents to global markets. The enterprise aims to provide job opporturnities for some of the country’s most disadvantaged people by promoting their traditional crafts to the international market and providing them with good value of their work, which will in turn help sustain their talents, reduce poverty and advance community development.

Jamil Goheer-Founder of Cultural Classics

Cultural Classics (CC) is a platform that gives voice to artisans and their spectacular creations from rural and backward areas. CC contributes towards economic empowerment of under privileged community of skillful artisans while creating opportunities for them in these economically disadvantaged areas of the world. CC is determined to leverage the lifestyles of the artisans and share their information through their web portal all over the globe. CC exports these handicrafts in bulk to buyers worldwide.

  • Filed under: Projects, YSEI
  • letithelp.jpgOutsource your web development and SEO projects to the letIThelp Telecentre in the Philippines!. cDOT are the community telecentre program of award winning Philippines web development firm, Syntactics. Located in Cagayan de Oro in the Southern Philippiness, Syntactics offer Software Development, SEO, Internet Marketing and Website Design.

    Their team of professional web designers and developers all work training disadvantaged youth from the local community in all aspects of web development and as the young graduates are ready they are offered paid positions within the firms ranks.

    Social Responsibility

    letIThelp is committed to the development, establishment and sustainability of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) initiatives for youth in the Philippines and through active participation like their telecentre aim to create a growing movement amonsgt similar communities across the Philippines providing young people with little or no hope with opportunities to work in the fast growing outsourcing industry.

    letIThelp Have Moved to Our Bigger and Better Telecentre

    philippines outsourcing“We have moved to a bigger and better space! With the growing need for more space in order to train more youth, we have found the perfect area to use for our services. We are now right in the heart of the City!

    Since we are right in the middle of the city, it would be easier for students to come for their trainings at any time of the day or evenings. ” Says Stephanie Caragos, founder of cDOT and CEO for Syntactics, Inc. “We are also happy that from a very small beginning, we have been able to grow and provide jobs to some of the most disadvantaged youth in the Southern Philippines. We have been able to train them into becoming skilled and dedicated IT professionals.” Added Jun Kaamiño, the COO for the company.

    letIThelp Services

    Web Development
    Site Maintenance
    Blog Customization
    Online Applications Development
    Dedicated IT personnel provision

    Our Social Mission

    True to the mission of social enterprises which is “bridging social opportunity into sustainable reality innovatively, effectively and efficiently,” goes in line with this to help selected and deserving fresh graduates in Mindanao find the right opportunities in their chosen field of profession. There is a balance needed in the IT industry in the Philippines at this point. Initially, there is the increase of IT outsourcing jobs being directed to the country, however, there is a need of a ready pool of trained and experienced IT professionals to continually sustain the industry and manpower needs. On other hand, there is a saturation of fresh IT graduates from poor families and are graduates of vocational schools and colleges who have the passion and commitment to work in these companies yet, due to the poor and inadequate educational system and lack of actual projects and proper industry-based mentoring, majority of these fresh graduates could not get into their desired work and are forced to accept other jobs that are not attuned with their education, wasting their possible talents and skills just because of the lack of confidence in most companies on them due to the fact that they lack the background, references and experience. Therefore, even if they have finished their education, a sustainable income and the chance of growth for the majority of them is still not attainable.

    This being the case, letIThelp will select based on their skills, attitude, desire and passion for work, graduates who are in need of the additional training and work. They will then have the opportunity to learn and earn at the same time for their families. These graduates will be trained and mentored by the Syntactics, Inc. team leaders and supervisors to help them learn the right industry standards, workpace and discipline. After their training period, they will then be promoted to higher positions in the organization, hired by Syntactics, Inc. as a commercial developer, dedicated to a client as a dedicated staff or will be given the chance to work in other IT companies to help answer the need of additional well trained manpower thereby helping more companies grow, to earn more and provide more jobs in society.

    LetIThelp will focus more on the hiring underprivileged fresh graduates coming from Mindanao and in providing these graduates opportunities and work close to their families so they no longer have to spend for any relocation expenses and they can be closer to their families.

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    cforms contact form by delicious:days

    ……SOLS have raised the initial funds to start the 100 seat computer centre. We’re now looking for volunteer computer teachers to help us with the setup and initial training.

    Accommodation will be provided at the SOLS telecentre plus you’ll be working on one of the most exciting and award winning, youth social entrepreneurship ventures in the world!

    SOLS have raised the funds for East Timor’s 1st computer telecentre for young, disadvantaged young people in Timor Leste.

    The new SOLS 24/7’s telecentre will have a 100 seat capacity, a fast internet connection and teachers. To date, East Timor does not have a single high-tech computer lab available to disadvantaged young people. The telecentre will teach up to 800 of SOLS boarding students and 150-800 part-time students in it’s first year of operation.

    Background on East Timor

    East Timor’s new leader Rui Araujo doesn’t want more Australian ‘charity’

    East Timor’s new PM has signalled he will negotiate “in an honest and friendly way” with Australia over shared ocean gas and oil fields, stating ET doesn’t want charity but only wants it’s rights protected.

    Rui Araujo told Fairfax Media the current 6 month suspension of ET’s international legal action over the spy row with Australia was a chance to look at ways to resolve the dispute over marine boundaries.

    “We respect Australia as a good neighbor, an open and friendly neighbor, who has helped us in the past and understood our claims about our sovereignty,” he said.

    “We do not expect that Australia will have to be charitable with Timor Leste, we only expect  that Australia will respect our rights.”

    Dr Araujo was sworn in on Monday as head of a power-sharing government after an extraordinary handover by independence hero and former PM Xanana Gusmao.

    A member of the opposition Fretilin party, his accession to the top job has been likened by some commentators to Tony Abbott handing over to Bill Shorten.

    Rui Araujo, then health minister, talks with Jose Ramos Horta during a cabinet swearing-in in 2006. Rui Araujo, then health minister, talks with Jose Ramos Horta during a cabinet swearing-in in 2006.

    Dr Araujo said East Timor was too small for divisive politics. “The pool of talent is very limited,” he said. “We came to the realisation that we have to call everybody who is willing and who is capable of contributing to the development of this country to participate in the government.”

    But Dr Araujo dismissed concerns this would leave a toothless opposition, saying under East Timor’s constitution - which creates a separate executive - all MPs regardless of their party affiliation had a duty to hold the government to account.

    “In the coming weeks we will be presenting our government program and our revised budget because of the new structure of the government, and of course I would not expect everyone to just smile at us and say, ‘Good, we’ll approve you’.”

    Swinburne University East Timor specialist Michael Leach said the reshuffle of the government marked a generational transition from leaders that have dominated the country’s post-independence politics.

    Dr Araujo was just a teen at the time of Indonesia’s 1975 invasion, later training to become a medical doctor while acting as as an undercover messenger for the resistance.

    In his inaugural speech as PM on Monday, he said that with more than half of East Timor’s population younger than 18, governance must be directed to youth.

    His vision for 2030 was for East Timor to be a middle-income country, with a well educated population in good health.

  • Filed under: Projects
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    YSEI Asia 2009 Fellows Announced

    Youth Social Enterprise Initiative (YSEI) is pleased to announce its Asia 2009 Start-up Stage fellows who will receive USD75,000 start-up funding. More details..

    The five young social entrepreneurs who have been selected from the YSEI Asia 2009 programme have showed great commitment towards realising their business idea. In addition, Cyril Devan from Malaysia, Stephanie Caragos and Khristine Lopez, both from the Philippines, Ajay Shakya from India, and Thailand’s Patipat Susumpow have successfully demonstrated competence in building viable social enterprises through their participation in YSEI which is a GKP Global Partnership Programme.

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