Freeman Cebu Business

Picking the Gold

BUSINESS AFTER BUSINESS - Romelinda Girlie Garces -

Last week, my prayer mate and I were talking about God’s gifts.  Among the most precious ones we surmised was the gift of generosity.  If we think our being generous is OUR  character, my apologies.  We can’t own the virtue.  It comes from God.  Just as all the other good things are fruits of the source of all goodness.

I guess our reflection was premonition to the task I had further that week.  I was among the panelists of the Center for International Education Gift of Gold program presentation.

The Gift of Gold is an offshoot of the Pearl Principle which espouses the right of everyone to shine and be a pearl of distinction given the opportunity to surface from the quagmire of poverty.   The school, through its president, Teacher Nelia Cruz-Sarcol, embarked on the Gift of GOLD which is short for Giving of  One’s self for the Less fortunate and the Disadvantaged is a value-laden program that the school has this early sewn into the minds and hearts of the young boys and girls in their tutelage.

I was in awe at how kids in grade 8 could make comprehensive business plans that even adults could not assemble.  More impressive was the work of the high school level.  That included all phases of marketing as well.  But if age and further education were considered both the elementary and high school students really showed shimmering leadership.  No wonder the school is called a School for Leaders!

More than the facility to excel in the academic sphere, students of CIE are groomed to be responsible citizens as early as these formative years.  As we all know, the school is composed of students whose parents are from the higher echelons of our society.  It is easy for them to grow proud, conceited and spoiled with the abundance that they are used to. 

Entering the immaculate premises of the school, I expected a snobbish air common of high-end schools.  But there was none.  The demeanor of the students bordered on shy pleasantness to cultured, well-bred confidence.  Distinctive, distinguished, but not like those in polished pedestals—children here were real, they had verve, enthusiasm and certain element of piety.  Their eyes glowed with their new found joy in helping others and the acceptance of the challenge brought about by a serious responsibility.

Through the Gift of Gold Program the students have demonstrated the importance of helping others.  They realized that being in the higher strata of society, gives them a higher calling –the  responsibility to lead the underprivileged into the road of opportunity so that lives can be bettered.  

“I realized that my allowance is already the earning of our beneficiary for a day”  Mr. Torres, one of the students said.  He then saw that a small sacrifice on his end could already access better chances for poorer families.  Another of his classmates shared,  “The Gift of Gold goes beyond the “feel good” experience because it really is the right thing to do.”  Having the proverbial “golden spoon”  does not end with the cutlery and crockery in the cupboard.  The utensils have to be used to serve their purpose.  Being born privileged is twinned with the charge to serve.

Manang Josefina Armenion who is the chosen business partner of the Grade 8 students is a photographer in the school.  She used to have only a basic camera.  Now she has shifted from her film to a digital camera.  The students helped her understand the functions of her new equipment and its benefits on her business.  They helped her advertise and prepare brochures.  Her income has increased  by  about 50% of her previous income.  The effort of these 12 to 13 year old kids have greatly improved her life.

Yolinda Gorgonio who is the chosen business partner of  Level 12b students has come up with beautiful tote bags that are tasteful as they are sturdy.  From a struggling worker she is now an entrepreneur with a sound marketing plan.  She has increased her income capacity by 163%. 

Her benefactors are students whose main return in investment are their learnings. “We learned a lot about ourselves and our abilities and morals as we went through the project.  We realized we were doing this not for ourselves nor for the grade but for the family.”

There are other recipients of these children’s heart of gold and their school’s Gift of Gold program.   Most of them have been fortunate to be the “one” chosen as a starting point of service by a class whose spirits sparkle with true treasures. 

With the seed of goodness already planted in their souls we can look forward to more golden harvests throughout their lives.







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