A breadmaking workshop and feeding program for elementary pupils, a crash course on robotics for senior high school students, storytelling and games with orphans, and a cleanup of a turtle nesting site kept employees of Chevron Philippines Inc., (CPI) marketer of Caltex fuels and lubricants, busy during Chevron’s 11th Annual Volunteer Week, part of CPI’s mission to promote social responsibility, protect the environment and benefit the communities where it operates.
For five days every year, Volunteer Week encourages Chevron employees and other Chevron business partners to volunteer and work for the progress and improvement of communities where Chevron does business. Aside from employees, the growing number of volunteer participants now includes Caltex retailers, Chevron contractors, suppliers and other Chevron operating units.
This year saw more than 300 volunteers step out of their usual work routines and log in a total of 1,311 hours to take part in activities that positively impact the children, the youth, the marginalized sector and the environment.
Caltex Makati Credit Cooperative (CMCC) volunteers kicked off the five-day 2018 Volunteer Week with Project LIVE: Labor Initiative and Volunteerism Engagement. Project LIVE included a stuffed pan de sal-making workshop for CMCC volunteers and a feeding program for the children and parents of Barangay Pio Del Pilar in Makati. The workshop was facilitated by two migrant youth bakers from the foundation.
“I always tell the boys to have an attitude of gratitude. When we learned that Chevron would be visiting for Volunteer Week, I told the boys that one way we can show the volunteers our gratitude is to share with them the skills the boys have learned through the program,” says Father David Buenaventura, executive director of Don Bosco Pugad.
Chevron also donated a commercial-grade dough mixer to Don Bosco Pugad to help boost productivity and sustain the bakery for many more years. Don Bosco Pugad is a long-time Chevron social investment partner. In 2003, Chevron donated a professional baker’s oven to the center and provided seed money for a skills training program. This skills training program has since evolved to become one of the most-sustainable skills programs established by the Chevron and Don Bosco Pugad partnership.
The training bakery has quickly expanded its output to include various pastries that are then sold at the Manna from Heaven Bakeshop, a project spin-off located at the Don Bosco parish grounds. This bake shop helps the underprivileged migrant youth of Pugad, who at the same time are taking up vocational courses at Don Bosco Technical Institute.
With Chevron’s support, Don Bosco Pugad also opened the Caltex-Pugad Coffee and Saints Café, a restaurant operations and training venture located immediately outside the Don Bosco parish church. It is ran by Pugad boys who have graduated from the bakery and are learning restaurant management and waiter service.
Lastly, Chevron sponsored the Mobile Mechanic, a call-a-mechanic service that can accommodate clients from the nearby Makati villages and central business district. It offers car wash and vehicle maintenance services at the parish grounds. It is managed by Pugad youth who have completed automotive mechanic courses.
For the second and third days of Volunteer Week 2018, Chevron Holdings Inc. volunteers imparted new knowledge and skills to the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) senior high school (SHS) students of the University of Makati (UMAK). Chevron Holdings Inc. provides various support to Chevron offices worldwide.
Dubbed Discover Python, the workshop taught robotics programming to the students, who learned how to create a Raspberry Pi Kit robot using the Python programming language.
Chevron Holdings Inc. volunteers coached the students in building and customizing their robots. The students demonstrated their newly acquired skills by programming the robots to autonomously move along an oval-shaped track. Inspired by the activity, UMAK will be including Python and robotics in its STEM curriculum, with the newly trained students serving as tutors to their peers.
Dean Cora Benosa from the Higher School of UMAK noted the impact of the workshop on the students. “I believe this event will become one of the most-memorable experiences of these students in their academic journey. This will surely ignite among our students a passion for IT and inspire them to do well in their studies,” Benosa said.
For the fourth day of Volunteer Week 2018, Chevron volunteers once again shed their office clothes as they joined the orphaned kids of Asilo de San Vicente de Paul in Paco, Manila in an interactive storytelling session. The kids were encouraged to contribute to the story by answering various questions to decide what would happen next, making the activity enjoyable for both children and volunteers.
“The Chevron volunteers worked hard to engage the children. The kids were really playful, and they wanted to participate in the storytelling. I hope this won’t be the last time Chevron will be partnering with us. Hopefully, they can also reach out to our college students in the future,” said Rowena Magallano, the children’s houseparent.
CPI closed Volunteer Week 2018 with the annual coastal cleanup at the Chevron Batangas Terminal in San Pascual, Batangas, which was declared a nesting ground for the Olive-Ridley sea turtles as a result of regular cleanups done by Chevron.
Volunteers from various Chevron units in the Philippines, Caltex retailers, contractors and suppliers cleaned up the 3-kilometer coastline, collecting trash and segregating them in biodegradables, recyclables and reusable garbage bags.
“I hope that today’s activity will be a reminder for us to be more responsible with our wastes and be more mindful of how we impact the environment. Volunteer Week is our annual celebration of volunteerism, a core value of Chevron, in which we, together with our business partners, renew and act on our commitment to help the communities where we work,” said CPI Country Chairman Louie Zhang.
Aside from Volunteer Week, Chevron has social investment projects ongoing year-round with programs around or close to its host communities. CPI donates millions to help disadvantaged people acquire new livelihood skills, get access to better education, and, in partnership with the Philippine Red Cross, obtain much-needed supplies and relief to victims of natural disasters.