UCPB-CIIF Foundation has awarded scholarships to 210 more children of coconut farmers for school year 2018-2019, bringing the current number of scholars under the UCPB-CIIF Scholarship Program to 658.
Of the 658 scholars, 533 are taking four-year college courses in 32 State Universities and Colleges and 125 are undergoing 15-month technical vocational training in four Don Bosco trade schools in various parts of the country. The scholars come from 46 coconut-producing provinces.
Since it launched the scholarship program in 2003, UCPB-CIIF Foundation has sent a total of 3,116 children of coconut farmers from 63 coconut provinces to college or trade school.
More than half of the UCPB-CIIF scholars have graduated, with 7 in every 10 of them already earning enough to be able to provide regular financial support to their families for the household expenses, the income-augmenting livelihood projects and the education of their siblings.
UCPB-CIIF Foundation president Edgardo Amistad recounted a story of one UCPB-CIIF scholar who found work as an IT professional in Singapore.
From his earnings, the scholar leased a hectare of riceland in his home province of Aurora that his father is now managing in addition to the coconut farm, adding to the family income.
The scholar also sent his younger brother to college and got him an employer in Singapore so both of them are now supporting the family in the Philippines.
Organized in 1987, the UCPB-CIIF Foundation is one of the social development arms of the UCPB Group and the Coconut Industry Investment Fund (CIIF) Group tasked to implement the two groups’ common mandate to help improve the living condition of coconut farmers.
“We’re delighted that our scholars are taking full advantage of the opportunity to acquire a higher education that we have provided,” Amistad said as he noted that many of the scholars have excelled in their studies.
In the School Year 2017-2018, 41 UCPB-CIIF scholars graduated with academic distinction, including four who garnered magna cum laude honor.
All told, the UCPB-CIIF Scholarship Program has produced 166 honor graduates consisting of two summa cum laude, 13 magna cum laude, and 151 cum laude graduates.
In addition to scholarships, the UCPB Group and CIIF Group also support the foundation’s reforestation program inside the Marikina River Basin Protected Landscape, a livelihood lending program for coconut farmers through the UCPB-CIIF Finance and Development Corp., and a medical charity providing free surgery to children with oral cleft through Operation Smile Philippines.
These social causes are aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals to provide access to quality and inclusive education to all, to end poverty, and to promote good health and well-being.
Date published: December 4, 2018