Sofitel Manila, a long-time partner of Virlanie Foundation, has recently relaunched its Teach to Reach program last June 21, 2018. The program, which started way back in 2005, is in partnership with Virlanie’s Magellan Learning Center in helping children cope with their academic difficulties. Teach to Reach also aims to promote volunteerism among Filipinos in an effort to uplift the current situation of street children.
As a part of Sofitel’s corporate social responsibility, a group of volunteers from Sofitel visit Virlanie’s residential homes once a week for two hours. For Teach to Reach’s first batch this year, the program takes place every Thursday from June to December.
According to Sofitel’s Learning and Development Officer, Richardson Kho, majority of the Sofitel volunteers conduct one-on-one tutoring with the children, assisting them with their homework. On the other hand, some facilitate activities to promote reading, writing, and other skills to small groups of children.
“Ang Teach to Reach program naka-tailor fit siya for every home. For example, here in MPCC more on writing, then gusto ng kids natin na nagcocoloring, tracing and all. So depende. Even though feeling mo more than dun yung kaya mong itulong sa kanila, syempre kailangan isipin mo rin kung ano yung needed nila at the moment (The Teach to Reach program is tailor fitted to every home. For example, here in Marco Polo Care Center (MPCC), we do more writing activities. The kids also like to do coloring, tracing, and other activities. So it depends. Even though you feel like you’re capable of helping them with more things, of course you need to think of what they need the most at the moment),” said Richardson, who is currently assigned to teach in MPCC.
“Right now, nangangamay pa ko kung ano yung mga programs na pwedeng gawin sa MPCC kasi ang lilikot nila. Aside from this, iniisip namin kung paano kukunin yung attention nila since very short yung attention span nila. Napansin namin na mahilig sila magdrawing so nagbibigay kami ng reward para mas ma-motivate sila sa activities. Nakakatuwa naman (Right now, I’m still trying to figure out what programs to conduct in MPCC because they are very playful. Aside from this, we’re thinking of how to get their attention since they have very short attention spans. We noticed that they like to draw so we give them rewards to motivate them in doing the activities. It’s fun),” he added.
At present, the first batch consists of volunteers from the following departments: One Call Service, Le Bar, Banquet, Spiral, Guest Services, Front Office, Housekeeping, Club Millesime, Concierge, Spa, and Talent and Culture.
After six months, the first batch of Sofitel volunteers will then be replaced by the second batch, who will continue tutoring and conducting activities for the children. This is to sustain the academic assistance provided by the previous batches and promote a culture of giving back among Sofitel’s employees.