The spirit of charity has always been alive and well in our country. Even before the whole world faced these difficult challenges, there are noble-hearted Filipinos who have constantly and continuously extended a helping hand to our fellowmen in dire need.
Anchored in this hopeful note, we at Wish 107.5 aim to shine a spotlight on charitable institutions — which have been featured as beneficiaries in previous Wish Music Awards (WMAs) — that have devoted their time and resources to those in need.
We talked with Mr. George Oliver De La Rama, the Advocacy, Campaigns, Communication, and Media Director of Save the Children Philippines, an organization that provides assistance, support, and protection for the most vulnerable part of our society — our children.
The Covid-19 outbreak continually wreaks havoc on industries of all sizes — including the charity sector. How has the pandemic affected the organization’s operations? What have been your major struggles during the pandemic and how do you cope with the new normal?
The Covid-19 pandemic has severely disrupted the lives of Filipinos, including children, most especially those who are most deprived. Save the Children Philippines has also felt significant effects in several ways, including our ability to implement programs and raise and utilize funds to achieve our targets. However, the pandemic also presents us with both opportunities and challenges to do more for children by pivoting and adapting all areas of our work.
As a children-oriented organization, you are helping to better the lives of the young people in your care. Can you tell us about your most recent projects?
At present, we are guided by our global campaign called “Save Our Education” to address the biggest education emergency of our lifetime. The current global Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a major disruption in the Philippines’ education system. This is expected to have a significant impact on Filipino children’s learning and well-being.
Save the Children Philippines advocates for children’s continued learning, protection, health and nutrition, and participation
We have launched the Save With Stories campaign that aims to provide fun and education to kids and parents stuck at home with celebrities and volunteers reading stories for children while raising awareness on the issues children face and motivate people to help address these by donating.
Save the Children Philippines’ Project ARAL (Access to Resources for Alternative Learning) ensures that children ages 3-12 years old continue learning by providing age-appropriate educational materials that can be used at home. These will also help them learn more about COVID-19, and adopt behaviors to prevent them from getting sick. eSave Natin ang Pasko is also supporting our current calamity response for children and families affected by successive and impending threats of super typhoons such as Typhoon Rolly. We are one of the first child rights organizations to mobilize a humanitarian response in Bicol provinces devastated by Super Typhoon Rolly.
During the 5th Wish 107.5 Music Awards, you’ve been awarded a total of Php 350,000 for having been selected as the beneficiary of Clara Benin (Wishclusive Contemporary Folk Performance of the Year awardee for “I Rose Up Slowly”), Quest (Wishclusive R&B Performance of the Year awardee for “Permanente”), and IV of Spades (Wishclusive Rock/Alternative Performance of the Year awardee for “Bawat Kaluluwa” and Wish Rock/Alternative Song of the Year awardee for “Nagbabalik” with Rico Blanco).
How has this cash prize helped you in supporting children from the most indigent of communities?
The donation allowed Save the Children to implement programs that aim to contribute to the reduction of deaths among under-five-year-old girls and boys through improved health and nutrition among children and their mothers/caregivers. It also supported a program that provides inclusive education to all children, including children with disabilities through the KASALI Project (Kabataang Aralin sa Lahat Ibahagi or Education for All Children).
What’s your message to these artists who have shared their victorious moments with you — to aid your organization’s mission?
We are sincerely grateful for the unwavering support of artists who have dedicated their time, talent, and effort to share our advocacy of helping children in need. We are honored to have worked with like-minded individuals and groups who placed children at the forefront of their priorities and relentlessly join our campaign in amplifying children’s voices and giving them a fair chance of having a brighter future. We wish you all more success and we look forward to sharing more meaningful moments with you and be part of each other’s journey towards a world where children can live to the fullest.
Since its inception, Wish 107.5 has always believed in the importance of granting the big and small wishes of our fellowmen through music. The aspect of charity is incorporated into our every endeavor, including the Wish 107.5 Music Awards. What can you say about this lifetime advocacy?
We are extremely proud of Wish 107.5, not only for bringing the best choice and array of music to our countrymen, but for its philanthropic heart to serve millions of people by granting their wishes no matter how big or small they are. We hope that Wish 107.5 will be blessed more so that they can continue this noble endeavor. Save the Children Philippines would always be your partner in making this world a better place for children.
The live events industry has also been hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis. What do you want to say to the members of the music community who use their platform, to not just earn a living, but also to spread compassion and hope among people through musical fundraisers?
We empathize with our colleagues and partners in the live events industry who have been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. While we are all facing different struggles in these challenging times, always remember that your God-given talents and platforms are gifts to mankind. You can always use them for the greater good, and opt to spread hope and optimism through your music and influence. We wish you more power. We will get through this.
On January 17, 2021, the Wish 107.5 Music Awards will once again honor the country’s finest musical acts. Apart from the cash prizes that will be given to major accolade winners, the award-giving endeavor will also be handing out cash donations to the artists’ chosen charitable groups. You can support your favorite acts — and their handpicked beneficiaries — through voting via www.wish1075.com/wishawards and the Wish 107.5 app (for both Android and iOS users) until January 15, 2021.
This event is made possible by our event presenters Man of Steel — Tayo Na! and PGA Sompo Insurance Corporation — Your Trusted Partner in Protection, co-presenters Puregold — Always Panalo and LG Electronics — Life’s Good, major sponsors EO, Executive Optical — Love Your Eyes, Eyeberry — Better Eyes for Better Life, and Kumu —Kumu Sama All, Where Authentic Connections Happen; minor sponsors Cartier Telecom — Your Latest Gadget On Hand, Neurotain — The Memory Enhancer, Ricoverin — An Effective Immunity Booster, TPG — Choose Life, Choose Day-Shift!, Medic Hair — Nakakalbo? May pag-asa pa ‘yan with Medic Hair for Men, and Tough Mama — Nobody’s Tough Like Mama; and our partners BES House of Chicken, Daniel’s Coffee, Salut, EFS Apparel, Marcid Blue, ERC Travel Services, KDR Adventure Camp, Small Ville Dive Center and Resort, KDR Studios and Productions Incorporated, KDR Music House Company, Morong Star Hotel and Resort, and Clairee’s Flower Shop.