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Posted by Dexter Matilla - - 0 comments

The van on the side of the stage was covered but it was quite obvious what it was. It was the culmination of the "I-Share Ang Saya" campaign in support of UNICEF's Mobile Education and Child Protection Program for Children.

UNICEF Country Representative Vanessa Tobin, Sony Ericsson General Manager Dennis Manzano, SM Vice-President for Corporate Communications Millie Dizon, and Ericsson Head of Marketing and Communications Ellen Alarilla unveil the van

"Studies estimate that there are at least 250,000 children on the streets of the Philippines scattered in major cities nationwide," said UNICEF Country Representative Vanessa Tobin during the turnover event last April 20 at The Block, SM North EDSA. "Fifty thousand of them are highly visible street children, spending most of their days and nights on the streets. You will see them on your daily commute... selling sampaguita, washing windows, or begging for few pesos so they can have something to eat. And even though you know that the few pesos won't go very far, you give it anyway thinking that maybe it'll be enough for them that night."

But Sony Ericcson, Ericsson Philippines, and SM Supermalls hope to do more by donating a brightly colored mobile education van containing teaching materials and a laptop with mobile broadband access that can go to where the children are. Sessions are conducted by Lingap Pangkabataan, Inc, which employs trained street educators and social workers who provide support services like counseling, parenting sessions for adults and caregivers, reintegration or mainstreaming of street children to formal school or referral to Alternative Learning Sessions (ALS) and vocational skills training programs. The project will initially target areas in Quezon City and hopes to prevent violence and abuse by getting children off the streets and by giving parents or caregivers more support.

SM Vice-President for Corporate Communications Millie Dizon, UNICEF Country Representative Vanessa Tobin, Sony Ericsson General Manager Dennis Manzano, and Ericsson Head of Marketing and Communications Ellen Alarilla during the symbolic key turnover

The "I-Share ang Saya" campaign began in November 2009 with exhibits at SM Malls featuring three feature-filled Sony Ericsson mobile units--Satio, Aino, and Kita. By purchasing the phones, buyers learned that they helped bring joy to children through Sony Ericsson's partnership with UNICEF, which had a booth in every exhibit. Mall-goers were also given a chance to donate to the program as the exhibit traveled in SM North EDSA, SM Mall of Asia, SM Cebu, SM Davao, SM Baguio, SM Pampanga, SM Bacolod, SM Iloilo, SM Naga, and SM Megamall.

The project also presented a campaign theme song composed by local band Itchyworms. The song "Let's Be Happy Mga Kids" featured Sony Music artists--La Diva, Dino Concepcion of Brownman Revival, Ney Dimaculangan of 6Cyclemind, Jaq Dionisio of Juana, Ely Buendia, Luke Mejares, Kean Cipriano of Callalilly, Dex Yu of Letter Day Story, Gloc 9--who all freely gave their talents for the cause and was available for download at every stop.

"We're proud of every opportunity that allows Sony Ericsson to be part of making a better world for our children," said Dennis Manzano, Sony Ericsson General Manager. "We have also been privileged to have Ericsson and SM Supermalls as our partner in making this van a reality. May it serve to bring hope through education and information to Filipino children and their families."

Letter Day Story

Letter Day Story and Davao-based band Eevee performed during the turnover event. Dexter R. Matilla

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