It is the only finalist from the Philippines, out of 500 entries from around the world.
“We’re very very happy and proud to make it to the finals. Being part of Project Inspire will be a great opportunity to start a conversation about access to education in the Philippines, especially among the poor girl students, and what can be done to help,” shared Sinag Microfunds Executive Director Sheena Jamora.
Jamora will be flying to Singapore, and participate in a training to be conducted by INSEAD and Bain & Company in the days leading up to the Grand Finals on August 30.
Project Inspire: 5 Minutes to Change the World is an initiative that encourages young people across the world to empower disadvantaged women and girls in Asia/Pacific, the Middle East or Africa (APMEA). It opened in 2011, to coincide with the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day and the 25th anniversary of MasterCard in APMEA.
A US$25,000 grant for project implementation awaits the Project Inspire Grand Prize winner. Another US$10,000 will go to the People’s Choice Awardee, to be determined via voting on the Project Inspire Facebook page.
Sinag Microfunds is a non-profit organization that supports financially struggling students in the Philippines through interest-free loans, so that they may be able to accomplish the quintessential dream of every young Filipino: To obtain a college degree and uplift her family from poverty. It was founded by seven young alumni of the University of the Philippines.
For its Project Inspire entry, Sinag Microfunds proposes the creation of a Sinag Store run by the students. With the $25,000 grant, Sinag hopes to teach disadvantaged girl students, aged 16 to 20, about social entrepreneurship and financial management; train girls in graphic design and design-thinking, and guide them towards creating their own design projects; launch an online store selling girl-designed products; and start a fund for the non-tuition school expenses of disadvantaged students.
As Jamora explains, "While Sinag lends them money for tuition, students still have trouble paying for everyday expenses like transportation, school projects, and even food. They expressed their need for an income, and skills that would give them an advantage when they graduate and start looking for jobs…We realised the girls had the potential to be the main drivers of this project. We just needed to equip them with technical skills and financial know-how.”
To vote for Sinag for the People’s Choice Award, visit the Project Inspire Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/
To learn more about Sinag Microfunds, visit www.sinag.org, like on www.facebook.com/