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Beyond CSR
By: Miguel Versoza

Gawad Kalinga (GK) has been partnering with various companies and organizations to further the cause of ending poverty for 5 million Filipinos by 2024. Aside from building houses, GK also empowers the communities through voluntourism and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs with various partner companies through the help of Mabuhay Social Enterprise, Inc (Mabuhay), a social enterprise that organizes customized volunteer tours and interactions in GK communities showcasing Filipino culture and values such as the spirit of bayanihan. And one of GK’s most notable partner companies is Trend Micro, Inc. Trend Micro has been entrusting their CSR Initiatives with GK and Mabuhay Inc for almost a decade.

Trend Micro volunteers painting the recently built houses of the German Village in Dasmariñas, Cavite

Trend Micro is a company focused solely on information security that started as a firm for antivirus software that grew to global proportions. But even though they experienced exponential growth, the heart of giving back remained. Since its inception in 1988, the company’s commitment to being a socially responsible corporate citizen has been shaping the way on how they conduct their business. Trend Micro's CEO Eva Chen stated "our business, and for that matter any business, has a responsibility to ensure that the environment in which it operates is vibrant, healthy, and sustainable."

October 2017 volunteers of Trend Micro. Penny in the rightmost of the first row, Eva in the leftmost of the second row

Now, that same legacy of giving back still lives on in their volunteer program. Employees from all over the world are sent to the Philippines for a week to join builds and engage with the community to see how the people from the other side of the globe live. And hopefully as they experience the lives of the Kapitbahayans for a day, they will be moved and motivated to go further than volunteering. Eva, a first-time volunteer from Trend Micro's UK Sales department, said that there are no words for the experiences she has had with GK. Both she and Penny, a volunteer from Trend Micro Taiwan, agree that the work was tiring yet fulfilling. Very much so in fact, that Eva and the four other UK volunteers present raised funds to build a school for the community, proving that it doesn't matter whether you are alone or in a group, as long as there is passion for service, you can create a movement towards the betterment of all.

Meeting on the outcome and impact of the fundraiser done by the UK volunteers

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