Philippine NGO SolvePoverty.com is dedicated to connecting Filipino youth here and abroad through music by providing resources to young musicians and their communities.
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 SolvePoverty.com 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. SolvePoverty.com 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 education, employment, media, music 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.
Outsource 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.
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
“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.
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,” letIThelp.org 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.
Our Non Profit - OrphanIT.com, have solid experience in building sustainable telecentres and have successfuly helped build viable, sustainable telecentres in South East Asia.
We have helped develop projects in the Philippines, India, Bangladesh and Africa that have created jobs for 1000’s of disadvantaged youth. You can view our telecentre gallery with Youtube vids here.
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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.