Running for excellence in education

Manila, 08 Mar 2016

For the third consecutive year, more than 600 runners took over the city centre of Manila on 24 January to raise funds for Ayala Foundation's education programs.

As one of the city's largest private fun runs, participants chose to run in the 3km, 5km or 10km categories of the annual Macquarie Group Charity Fun Run, starting at Ayala Triangle.

Since the run's inception, more than Php2.5 million has been raised, including Macquarie Group Foundation matching. More than 65 Macquarie and Ayala Foundation volunteers plan and coordinate the run each year, following its creation in 2013 by members of Macquarie's staff running club in Manila.

The funds raised go towards Ayala Foundation's Center of Excellence in Public Elementary Education (CENTEX).

"Our running club in the Manila office did regular fun runs for charity and then we started looking into the possibility of doing our own. We love running and supporting charity so it made sense," says Hershelyn Mendoza, a Macquarie staff member in Manila.

"We're not event organisers so it took a lot of planning and research. We didn't realise it was going to take off as well as it did and the core people from three years ago are still involved. We're pleased that CENTEX benefits so much."

CENTEX schools in Manila and Batangas (south of Manila) support children from economically disadvantaged families with quality education, music and dance programs.

Its training institute also runs a two-year teacher development program, focusing on classroom pedagogy (how to orchestrate classroom learning), development of critical thinking skills, and values clarification.

It includes a year-long mentoring component, which enables participating teachers and principals to apply what they have learned in a school setting.

Funding from the three fun runs in Manila has been successfully applied at CENTEX, with students achieving consistently higher grades than the national Philippines average and 60% of teachers moving from proficient to advanced levels of teaching.

Other activities that have been funded include the development of a vegetable garden, refurbishment of a student library and the purchase of equipment and books.

Ruel Maranan, President of Ayala Foundation, appreciates the funding support:

"We believe in nurturing bright children from our CENTEX schools in Manila and Batangas. We are grateful that Macquarie shares our dream of providing these students with holistic, quality education."

Ayala Foundation envisions communities where people are productive, creative, self-reliant and proud to be Filipino. As a believer in creating shared value its broad program areas include education, youth, leadership, sustainable livelihoods, arts and culture.

Image caption: Funds raised from the Macquarie Group Charity Fun Run went towards CENTEX schools in Manila and Batangas (south of Manila) to support children from economically disadvantaged families.