May 15, 2018
Empowering less-fortunate Filipinos through skills training
By Jamaica Digo
The journey to achieving their dreams has officially started for the first batch of Tzu Chi’s Livelihood Training Program students as they receive their certificates of training completion in a graduation ceremony held on May 15 at the Jing Si Hall in Quezon City.
Eighteen students finished the Computer System Servicing (CSS) course, while 14 graduated from the English for Business Process Outsourcing (EBPO) course.
At 42 years old, Eliza Go finally has something she can be proud of. “I wasn’t able to graduate from college so this chance to finish this course is a big fulfilment to me,” said the EBPO student.
Right after their graduation, Go and her classmates will go through job interviews with Tzu Chi’s BPO partner companies.
Trainer Priscilla Delgado is confident that the students will make it not only in the BPO industry but also in life, after all, their training was not only about improving their English communication skills or handling irate customers.
“It became more enriching for the students since they also have humanities [classes] on top of the life skills that we teach so I think we have students who are really equipped on how they build their character and not just their skills,” shared Delgado.
Every day, trainees did not start their classes until they have watched Tzu Chi founder Master Cheng Yen’s Life Wisdom talk. Tzu Chi volunteers also provided counselling and guidance so that the students learned to trust in their own capabilities and to cherish their blessings.
All her life, Jenneth Bodlos, 38, doubted herself. A high school undergraduate from the province, Bodlos moved to the city to try her luck. She worked as a housemaid and a factory worker until she married ten years ago and was relegated to their home, doing the household chores.
“I felt like I was constantly doing something but never really accomplishing anything,” she shared.
When Tzu Chi opened the free EBPO course, Bodlos enrolled hoping it would equip her with skills that will allow her to help send her needy nephews and nieces to school. But it did more than that.
“I thank Tzu Chi Foundation for encouraging us to start dreaming again. It feels good knowing that I can be productive again to the society and to my family,” Bodlos added.
Tzu Chi’s free CSS program also left a significant impact on the graduates.
The course was conducted in partnership with Accent Micro Technologies Inc. (AMTI), a technology solutions and systems provider. AMTI had sent its personnel to teach the students basic computer skills and train them in advanced networking. After a month of training, the students underwent assessment to determine if they can perform the tasks according to the standards expected in the workplace.
“Almost 97 percent of the students passed. They are now what we call ‘Computer System Servicing NCII holder’, which means they are now qualified for a job and ready to work,” informed assessor Ronaldo Racelis.
With a CSS certification now under his belt, Ian Jade Parreño, 26, is looking forward to getting a better job. He used to earn very little from manning a friend’s computer shop.
“I want to start working soon since I have siblings whose education I have to support,” he said.
Tzu Chi Philippines CEO Henry Yuñez congratulated the students. In his message during the graduation ceremony, he encouraged them to strive for excellence in everything they do and reminded them of what truly matters in life.
“Knowledge and skills will be nothing if you do not know how to cultivate spiritually. Once you are capable of standing on your own feet, never forget to pay Tzu Chi’s help forward to our less-fortunate brothers and sisters,” he ended.