Pru Life UK supports new disaster preparedness and pre-school child education programmes for over 100,000 Filipinos

The Prudence Foundation makes a 3-year commitment of more than PhP100 million for initiatives in the Philippines

26 APRIL 2013, MANILA–To help uplift communities and contribute to child development, the country’s lone British life insurer, Pru Life UK, under the auspices of the Prudence Foundation, today announced a three-year commitment worth over PhP100 million for programmes in the Philippines that will focus on disaster preparedness and pre-school child care. More than 100,000 Filipinos in more than 100 barangays in Metro Manila, and in Bulacan, Rizal, and south central Mindanao provinces are expected to benefit from the programmes.

The initiatives in the Philippines are part of the Prudence Foundation’s series of multi-country programmes across Asia that will be run in partnership with international non-government organizations (NGOs) Save the Children and Plan International. The region-wide programmes, which will be implemented over a three-year period in five countries in Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam), are expected to directly benefit more than 170,000 people and indirectly touch the lives of almost a million people in the region.

The Prudence Foundation was established by Pru Life UK’s Hong Kong-based regional headquarters Prudential Corporation Asia (PCA) to consolidate its long-standing commitment to serve the communities in which it does business.

Barry Stowe, Chief Executive of PCA said: “As the region’s leading life insurer and asset manager, Prudential provides protection for families and communities while investing in the long-term development of emerging Asia. The Prudence Foundation is a natural extension of our desire to help Asian societies build a more secure future. We believe the Foundation’s activities will help broaden the reach, and enhance the impact of our community work across the region.”

Antonio Manuel De Rosas, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pru Life UK said: “Being prepared for natural catastrophes is vital for us Filipinos. Every year, we experience an average of 19 to 20 tropical cyclones. Our country is also in the Pacific Ring of Fire, making us vulnerable to earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The programmes on children and education, on the other hand, will help parents prepare their children for formal education and help ensure continuity of classes in schools in calamity-prone communities in times of natural disasters.”

Disaster Preparedness

Reflecting PCA’s mission of providing long-term protection to families in Asia, one of the Prudence Foundation’s three key focus areas is Disaster Preparedness and Relief.

David Boyd-Thomas, Executive Director of the Prudence Foundation said: “As the Prudence Foundation strives to make a lasting impact on the communities of Asia, we sought to bring international expertise together with local knowledge in order to deliver greater benefit to local communities.”

In the Philippines, more than 12,000 Filipinos are expected to benefit from the child-based and school centred Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) programmes conducted by Save the Children and Plan International.

Save the Children will focus on a municipality in Bulacan and will work to increase an estimated 6,000 Filipinos’ resilience in coping with hazards brought about by extreme disasters and calamities. It will also help ensure that children have access to the education and information they need and schools in the municipality will be safe and able to withstand disasters.

Anna Lindenfors, Country Director of Save the Children in the Philippines said: “We initiated the first school and community DRR programme in 2006. We have since conducted DRR awareness and capacity building of local government, community leaders, Department of Social Welfare and Development, school officials and students as well as leading on emergency response activities in the Philippines. Our legacy has made a big difference to disaster prone communities as we continue to support existing initiatives of government agencies in emergency response and DRR.”

Plan International will integrate a disaster risk reduction program in schools in Tanay, Rizal, one of the worst-hit towns during the typhoon Ketsana (Ondoy) in 2009. Teachers and students from six public schools will be trained on disaster risk reduction, first aid, water safety and other preparedness training including camp management.

Carin van der Hor, Country Director of Plan International (Philippines) said: “Our Safe Schools programme will help ensure that children and youth rights to survival, education and protection from harm are recognized during disasters. We will help ensure the safety of the schools and minimize disruption to students’ education during these times. More than 6,000 students and nearly 200 teachers are expected to directly benefit from our program with the Prudence Foundation and Pru Life UK.”

The DRR programmes will also be rolled out in Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia.

Early Childhood Care and Development

In addition to Disaster Preparedness, the Prudence Foundation focuses its efforts on Children and Education. With nearly 90 years in Asia, London-based global parent firm Prudential plc takes a long-term view of its business in region. Well-educated children form the basis of a strong and stable society well into the future.

First Read, a unique programme developed by Save the Children, recognises the vital importance of children’s earliest experiences for future learning. The programme works with parents of pre-school children to provide them with knowledge, skills and materials to support their children’s literacy and numeracy. It will also build children’s physical and nutritional well-being to help them succeed in their future learning.

The Prudence Foundation will support two large-scale First Read programmes in the Philippines and Cambodia, helping children aged 0-6 years and their parents, through learning and reading materials with home-based Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD).In the Philippines, First Read will be implemented in 123 barangays (villages) in Metro Manila and in South Central Mindanao. The programme will be able to reach over 96,000 children and adults directly and up to 128,000 people indirectly.

“Recent trends in education statistics in the Philippines show declining completion rates, high dropout rates in grades one and two and slow improvement in achievement rates in elementary grades. Access to quality ECCD programmes remains limited to around 33% of children across the country. This has been cited as the main reason for the increase in the dropout rate among early grades. It is also believed to contribute to poor academic performance throughout schooling,” said Ms.Lindenfors.

“Developing partnerships with local stakeholders is a critical success factor for lasting community programmes,” said Mr Stowe. “We are delighted to be working with Save the Children and Plan International in launching these sustainable initiatives. We will be working closely with them to regularly assess the impact of the programmes over the years, and we look forward to making a positive difference to the future of Asia’s children and communities.”

Cha-Ching

Aside from partnerships with Save the Children and Plan International, Pru Life UK has also tied up with the Department of Education in April 2012 for its Financial Literacy for the Youth Program, anchored on Cha-Ching, the Prudence Foundation’s flagship financial literacy programme.

Developed by PCA in partnership with Cartoon Network and renowned child education expert Dr. Alice Wilder, Cha-Ching is the first multi-country, multi-platform financial literacy for kids initiative in Asia. It teaches children the basic money management concepts of Earn, Save, Spend and Donate in a fun, engaging way. Cha-Ching is composed of three-minute animated music videos aired on Cartoon Network, a website, www.cha-ching.com, downloadable applications, and at-home activities.

In the Philippines, Cha-Ching is integrated into the grade 2 curriculum of two pilot public schools, under the guidance of DepEd. Eight private schools have also adopted Cha-Ching into their curricula.

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About Prudence Foundation

The Prudence Foundation embodies the long-term and heartfelt commitment of Prudential's people in Asia to provide innovative, focused, and practical support to their local communities. Through meaningful contributions to sustainable initiatives focused on Education, Children and Disaster Preparedness & Relief, we aim to make a lasting contribution to Asian societies. The Prudence Foundation was established in 2011.

For more information: www.prudencefoundation.com

About Pru Life UK

Established in 1996, Pru Life UK is a subsidiary of British financial services giant Prudential plc. Pru Life UK is the pioneer and current market leader of unit-linked or investment-linked life insurance products, and is one of the first life insurance companies approved to market US dollar-denominated unit-linked policies in the country. Pru Life UK is a life insurance company and is not engaged in the business of selling pre-need plans.

Prudential plc is a United Kingdom-registered company.

Pru Life UK and Prudential plc are not affiliated with Prudential Financial, Inc. (a US-registered company), Philippine Prudential Life Insurance Company, Prudentialife Plans, Inc. or Prudential Guarantee and Assurance, Inc. (all Philippine-registered companies).

For more information: www.prulifeuk.com.ph

About Prudential Corporation Asia

Prudential Corporation Asia is a business unit of Prudential plc (United Kingdom)*, comprising its life insurance operations, and its asset management business, Eastspring Investments. Prudential is a leading life insurer that spans 13 markets in Asia, covering Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Prudential has a robust multi-channel distribution platform providing a comprehensive range of savings, investment and protection products to meet the diverse needs of Asian customers. For more information: www.prudentialcorporation-asia.com

*Prudential plc is listed on the stock exchanges of London (PRU.L), Hong Kong (2378.HK), Singapore (K6S.SG) and New York (PUK.N). Prudential plc is not affiliated or related in any manner with Prudential Financial, Inc., a company whose principal place of business is in the United States of America.

About Save the Children

Save the Children works in more than 120 countries to save children's lives, fight for their rights and help them to fulfill their potential.

In 2012, Save the Children Philippines directly reached over 560,000 Filipino children with its programmes in health, nutrition, education, protection and child rights, also in times of humanitarian crises. For more information visit: www.savethechildren.net

About Plan International

Founded over 75 years ago, Plan is one of the oldest and largest children's development organisations in the world. Plan works in 50 developing countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas to promote child rights and lift millions of children out of poverty. Plan is independent, with no religious, political or governmental affiliations.

For more information: www.plan-international.org

 

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