PH women business leaders’ group offers scholarships – Manila Bulletin

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Published August 30, 2022, 5:31 PM
by Bernie Cahiles-Magkilat

A group of Filipino women business leaders has opened a scholarship program to empower young girls by completing their studies, especially by taking up technical and vocational courses.
In a statement, Soroptimist International of Americas Philippines Region (A Foundation) Inc. (SIAPR) said they are accepting applications for young Filipinas as part of their goal to provide education to 500,000 women and girls worldwide in the next ten years.
Through its “Access To Education” program or ATE, the group offers scholarship full or partial scholarship grant for students to earn a degree or certificate from a private college/university or Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.
“This will provide the students the opportunity to acquire more social and financial independence, ensuring a better future for them and their families,” said SIAPR Governor Virginia “Gigie” Peñalosa.
Aside from full and partial grants, the scholarship program also comes in the form of adopt-a-scholar scheme where a fixed monthly allowance is to scholars to support their daily needs, such as transportation costs, Internet load for online classes, and/or books/school supplies.
They also accept working scholar scheme, which provide students’ apprenticeships for her to gain work experience and for which she will receive an allowance.
Also included is educational booster or the provision of necessary items for learning like computers/tablets, learning materials, tools of the trade, or providing payment for fees for college preparation exams, college applications and review centers.
In addition, the group offers special/focused class or workshops or seminars for specific knowledge and skills training, such as resume writing for job application, opening small businesses, computer literacy, etc.
Penalosa said she would like to concentrate her biennium’s efforts on improving the lives of women and girls by promoting ATE. “Education is a powerful tool for empowering and enabling women. ATE is a pathway to transformation and empowerment,” she said.
She explained that since the term ATE means an older sister, ATE will refer to Soroptimist club members who will implement the project and nurture the beneficiaries in their communities.
The word Soroptimist comes from two Latin words “soror” meaning sister and “optima” meaning best. Soroptimists are women at their best, working to help other women to be their best.
Interested applicants may get in touch with the various area units of the Soroptimist Clubs or visit for more details.
The club was established in 1964 by Mariquita S. Castelo, a Filipina, and Betty Beck Prosser, an American, who shared a commitment to serve others and uplift the status of women.
From Manila, the spirit of Soroptimist spread to Davao, Baguio, Naga, Cebu, Cabanatuan, Iriga, Malolos, Daet, Dagupan and the rest of the country. Almost yearly clubs were organized and chartered with top women leaders from various cities and provinces joining the Soroptimist bandwagon.
Soroptimist flourished in the Philippines with 92 clubs and more than 2,000 members who are dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls nationwide.
From then to the present, members have continued to achieve the best for women through various programs of service – awareness, advocacy and action.
The former President of the Philippines, Fidel V. Ramos, declared the last week of August as Soroptimist Week, under Proclamation No. 1072. SIAPR celebrates Soroptimist Week from August 24 to 30 in honor of its founder, Mariquita S. Castelo.
Likewise, former President Fidel V. Ramos mandated in 1993, through an Executive Order, all police stations in the country to put up a Women & Children Protection Desk, fully staffed by women police; thereby elevating their status into more purposeful policing responsibilities, to assist aggrieved women for abuses and aggravations committed against them.
Today, the club is in full partnership with the PNP through their Region’s Adopt-a-PNP-WCPD identifying projects.
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