UNICEF gets P1M donation for street children

by Maria Aleta Nieva-Nishimori, abs-cbnNEWS.com

Posted at Nov 06 2009 06:19 PM | Updated as of Nov 07 2009 02:19 AM

UNICEF's Vanessa Tobin accepts the P1-M donation from Sony Ericsson General Manager Dennis Manzano and Ericsson Telecommunications, Inc Country Manager Rajendra Pangrekar. Also in the photo is SM Shoemart's Millie Dizon and former street children now with Lingap Pangkabataan

MANILA – Hundreds of street children are set to benefit from the P1 million donation of Sony Ericsson and its sister company, Ericsson Telecommunications Inc., to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

The donation will support the UNICEF’s Mobile Education and Child Protection Program.

“We are thankful to our project partners, Ericsson, SM Supermalls and UNICEF for another wonderful opportunity to make a difference in the lives of our children,” Sony Ericsson General Manager Dennis Manzano said.

UNICEF Country Representative Vanessa Tobin was present during the ceremonial turnover of the check held Friday at the SM North Edsa.

“This magnificent initiative as we go forward is going to street children. It’s going to protect your children, our children. It’s protecting them from violence, exploitation as they live on the streets and give them food and shelter so that they’re protected and they get the right to education,” said Tobin.

Sony Ericsson said the funds will go to a mobile education van, manned by trained street educators and social workers, which will travel in the cities. It will be equipped with a laptop and mobile broadband access and other communication equipment to facilitate sessions on the streets.

Tobin said the support will help at least 300 street children and families, give them access to social services and train social workers.

UNICEF estimates at least 250,000 street children in major cities nationwide. Tobin said that 50,000 of them are “highly visible,” spending most of their time begging and selling on the streets.

“So to get those children protected as quickly as possible is how this project will benefit,” Tobin said.

The Mobile Education and Child Protection Program for street children also involves the government and non-government organizations. Its NGO partner is the Lingap Pangkabataan Inc.

“Lingap Pangkabataan is doing a magnificent job in training children, in training educators and providing access on services on counseling, life skills education, parenting sessions so they can very much reconcile families as much as possible,” Tobin added.

‘I-Share ang Saya’

Sony Ericsson and its partners created a campaign to support its project with UNICEF.

Dubbed as “I-Share ang Saya”, Sony Ericsson Marketing Manager Patrick Larraga said the campaign will help get children off the streets. It will also be a venue to bring to the local market the company’s three premium handsets.

“This is actually the localized Filipino version of a regional campaign that is also rolling out across Asia Pacific. We wanted a name that would touch Pinoy sensibility—hence, we called it I-Share ang Saya,” Larraga explained.

The launch of the new campaign comes after the success of the Spread the Smiles campaign that benefited the UNICEF’s education program.

“Basically, I-Share ang Saya brings together partners. You’re familiar with the Spread the Smiles which last year we raised over a million smiles for the benefit of UNICEF's education program all over the Philippines,” Larraga said.

The “I-Share ang Saya” was launched in SM North Edsa on Friday. It will go on a mall tour in 9 other SM branches in SM Mall of Asia, SM Cebu, SM Davao, SM Baguio, SM Pampanga, SM Bacolod, SM Iloilo, SM Naga and SM Megamall.

“With the I-Share ang Saya, you get to experience all the handsets here. You get to experience the entertainment proposition. We’re partnering with Sony Music, Sony Pictures so we can see what's new with Sony Music and Sony Pictures,” said Larraga.

Premium handsets

Filipino mobile phone enthusiasts need not wait for much longer to get their hands on three of the highly anticipated mobile phones that offer unlimited entertainment possibilities in mobile communication.

Sony Ericsson introduced to the local market its three handsets—the Kita, Aino and Satio--during the launching of its campaign with UNICEF. The handsets are now available nationwide.

“We are launching these three new premium handsets to the local market. With these handsets, we’re opening a new world of entertainment--that's the promise of entertainment unlimited,” Larraga said.

Satio, described to deliver the ultimate multimedia experience is a 12.1 megapixel camera, with intuitive touch focus and Xenon flash. The Satio provides a 16:9 widescreen format on its 3.5-inch wide touchscreen. It is the first Sony Ericsson phone to offer ninth High Definition (nHD) gaming.

The Aino, on the other hand, lets users control their Playstation3 using Remote Play. It also has an 8.1 megapixel camera with photo flash, 16x digital zoom and image and video stabilizer.

The Kita, also known as Yari, offers a unique motion and gesture gaming experience. The phone detects movements and gestures for gaming action. It comes with a 5-megapixel camera with auto-focus, geo-tagging and send-to-web function.

“Consumers are increasingly looking for rich content, unique applications and mobile entertainment experiences that offer unlimited opportunities for them to share their experiences and this is exactly what these new phones deliver,” said Sony Ericsson General Manager Dennis Manzano.

The mall tour expo will give the public a chance to test the products and at the same time donate to UNICEF through cash donation bins located in exhibit areas.

“Cash donation bins are located in every exhibit. In return, you can also download our campaign anthem for free,” Manzano said.

‘Let’s be happy mga kids

Manzano said several Sony Music artists were pooled together to sing for a cause.

The campaign’s anthem, “Let’s be happy mga kids”, was composed by Itchyworms.

“It was performed by various artists from Sony Music. They freely contributed to bringing this song to life and support children and we thank them for this wonderful effort,” Manzano said.

Meanwhile, Larraga said the song’s performers are some of the biggest names in the music industry as it features vocals from Ely Buendia, La Diva, Brownman Revival’s Dino Concepcion, rapper Gloc 9, Callalily’s Kean Cipriano, Ney Dimaculangan of 6Cyclemind, Jaq Dionisio of Juana, Luke Mejares, and Dex Yu of Letter Day Story.

“We've put together a song and video of Sony Music artists who have given their time and talents to this wonderful program,” he said.