THROUGH HARI Foundation Inc. (HFI), the official representative of the Hyundai brand in the Philippines, the carmaker has been undertaking its unique kind of CSR by making the youth conscious on the need to face the challenges of climate change.
Maria Fe Perez-Agudo, president and chief executive officer of Hyundai Asia Resources Inc. (HARI), also heads HFI.
Founded in 2006, HARI has, among the foundation’s main concerns, addressing the effects of climate change by educating, mobilizing and empowering Filipinos to adapt and mitigate the effects of extreme weather changes.
One of the major projects of HFI is the Hyundai New Thinkers Circuit (HNTC) that it undertakes with the Department of Science and Technology-Science Education Institute (DOST-SEI). Under HFPI, outstanding high school students are inspired and trained to become future climate science experts through a scholarship program. The scholarship program covers courses like Geology, Marine Science, Biochemistry, among others.
HFPI’s scholars now number 100 with the Polytechnic University of the Philippines many of whose students come from the “poorest of the poor” households.
Another CSR project HFPI is pushing is the Center for Climate Change in collaboration with the Philippine Green Business Initiative. Also, the foundation has donated the Hyundai Green Center for Green Innovation in Bulacan, which is a project with Gawad Kalinga.
“And I think that now becomes the center of why HARI exists and why HARI has to make good business. I mean that’s the advocacy. If there is something that I would like to be known for or connected, it is with the HARI foundation,” Agudo said.
Fostering new thinkers
HFPI also organizes learning tours for high school students. On April 1 to 9, 2014, the Hyundai New Thinkers Camp brought 60 high school students and teacher delegates from 20 selected public schools in Metro Manila and Regions III and IV for a one-of-a-kind learning experience in oceanography and hydrogeology in Puerto Galera, Mindoro.
The nine-day science boot camp is the third phase of HNTC, an out-of-the-box learning program that aims to hone future leaders and climate scientists with hands-on learning in the sciences. Ideas generated by the participants should eventually be concretized into projects or action plans that address current climate change-related concerns of local communities. The long-term goal of this HFI-DOST partnership is to form the next generation of world-class Filipino scientists, or Hyundai New Thinkers.
Joining the 60 delegates are scientists and instructors from the University of the Philippines-Marine Science Institute (UP-MSI) led by Dr. Alette Yñiguez and the University of the Philippines-National Institute of Geological Sciences (UP-NIGS) led by Dr. Carlos Primo “CP” David.
“This first-of-its-kind science exploration program is one of our answers to honing tomorrow’s Filipino climate scientists and New Thinkers,” Agudo said.
“With the coral reefs and mountain trails of Puerto Galera as their classrooms and real scientists as their teachers, HNTC participants are given the chance to study nature and climate first-hand and gain a deeper and broader understanding of the world beyond the walls of the classroom,” she added.
Participating schools from Metro Manila are Manila Science High School, Pateros National High School, Kasarinlan High School, Philippine Science High School-Main Campus Quezon City, Santa Lucia High School, Taguig National High School, Rizal High School, Ramon Magsaysay High School, and Valenzuela City Science High School.
Region III schools included Bataan National High School, Emilio C. Bernabe High School (Formerly Bagac High School), Mariveles National High School, Marcelo H. Del Pilar National High School, Maronquillo High School, Claro M. Recto Information and Communication Technology High School, Philippine Science High School Central, and Olongapo City National High School.
Rounding up the pioneer group of potential Hyundai New Thinkers are students from Region IV schools, Cavite National High School, Sisters of Mary School, and Morong National High School.
The final phase of HNTC, the Hyundai New Thinkers Spotlight, took place on May 2014. Twenty deserving scholars from the 60 delegates were chosen to pursue a college degree related to environmental science. The evaluations were based on the best community development programs that the students implemented. Criteria for the selection of projects are ingenuity, efficiency and sustainability.