Western Union announces four “Chain of Betters” awards for community-building projects in the Philippines

Western Union announced today that its Chain of Betters competition, which funds projects that make lasting positive change for communities around the world, has selected four winning projects that will improve the quality of life for those living in the Philippines. The four individuals who nominated these projects will be responsible for making the “better” happen over the next three months.

The following individuals create the Chain of Betters, an idea that empowers people to change the lives of others by creating a chain of good deeds:

Coming from a town that is affected by 10-15 typhoons each year, Jeremiah Daytos from Bicol, nominated project “Community Disaster Workshop and Equipment” to provide the indigent people of Tiwi, Albay with communications equipment, rescue materials, and disaster preparedness seminars.

Venus Parmisana nominated the “Water for Vegetable Farm” project to provide typhoon survivors of Barangay Santiago, a depressed urban area in Northern Mindanao, an alternative means of income. Several unsuccessful rehabilitation projects in the area compelled Venus to create a Microcontroller-Based Water Management System (a research and development project by students in MSU-IIT), to help women farmers efficiently water vegetables, allowing them to augment their meager income and spend more time with their families.

An advocate of improving the literacy of Filipino children, Karlo Manzano, nominated the “Help the Aeta Kids Get a Chance at a Better Education” project to build a library for the Aeta Children of Sitio Bagong Silang in San Pablo, Castillejos, Zambales. In addition to this, mobile chalkboards, books, and other materials will also be provided to support to ALS (Alternative Learning System) teachers in their outreach to Aeta kids in the mountain region.

As a result of a lack of access to electricity, Aquileta Turla, nominated the “Saludo GenSet – Portable Solar Generator Set” project to produce portable mini powerhouses to be distributed to critical areas of Mindanao, such as health centers, public school, and communities.  This gas-free source of renewable energy will benefit up to 16 million people and will keep lights, phones, handheld radios for disaster response, medical equipment, and laptops powered on through any situation.

The Western Union® Chain of Betters competition was designed to kick start a chain of good deeds by awarding US$1,000 (or local currency equivalent) for winning project ideas nominated by individuals from an initial group of 20 qualifying countries in 2015.

“The Chain of Betters competition was designed to show how the movement of money can create a ripple effect in communities around the world. We see every day that financial support of any dollar amount can advance the good, simple ideas that have a big impact and create a multiplier effect to improve lives,” said Western Union Vice President, Global Brand & Marketing, Simonetta Rigo. “This competition expresses our deep appreciation for our customers and the people they help regularly through remittances.”

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Introvert, wanderer, blogger, foodie, a hip-hop music writer, and one of the co-founders of a tech start-up company called GigsManila.