Isuzu, as one of the leading manufacturers of vehicles and trucks in the Philippines, has long been at the heart of their corporate culture. In 2008, Isuzu Motors Limited, Isuzu’s mother company in Japan, has chosen the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) in Tacloban city of the Philippines as the beneficiary of its education of the children program, after considering how poverty has left millions of youths without proper education. They have called this, the Isuzu Heart and Smile Project (IHSP).
2018 is year of milestone for IHSP as it celebrated its 10th year anniversary this August 18-20 in Tacloban City.
Graduates of the program returned to their alma matter in Tacloban City along with the key officials of Isuzu Motors Limited, Isuzu Philippines Corporation, TESDA and World Vision and kicked off the three-day celebration with an outreach program in August 18.
The next day, key officers, guests, IHSP scholars and their families participated in a fun-filled family day at the TESDA Region 8 Regional Training Center Complex.
The 10th year celebration’s highlight was the grand alumni homecoming reunion ball held on the eve of August 19 at The Oriental Hotel in Palo, Leyte. This was an emotional reunion for both the scholars and IHSP partners as they reminisce all they have been through in the past and how Isuzu’s educational support program lifted them out of poverty.
Also part of the celebration was the graduation ceremony last August 20. Isuzu was already able to help 14 batches of young Filipinos thru the Isuzu Heart and Smile Project. This year, 17 scholars of the program graduated.
The IHSP provides two years of term training, and is open to the underprivileged youth nationwide. Candidates are identified by TESDA and World Vision before they can qualify for the scholarships. The program covers full support of living and education fees for the scholars, with all students housed in dormitories inside the training center compound.
Scholars are also required to attain the national standard in auto mechanic training, of which there are four levels (NC1 to NC4) that each need to be completed in six months, over the course of 2 years.
The IHSP shows IML's and IPC's concrete commitment to lowering the poverty ratio in the Philippines. Apart from donating funds and vehicles, as well as engines, Isuzu also supplies technical requirements essential to an automotive education course, such as training materials, program modules, practical training and skills enhancement training.
Thus, for a decade now, Isuzu has been continuously providing financial support and sending its own engineers to train local trainers every year, to make sure local trainers receive up-to-date technology training so the program can be carried out in a sustainable manner.
Since the program started in 2008, there have been a total of 213 IHSP graduates with which most of them are already employed domestically and some abroad.
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