SMI Turns a Community's Dream into an Educational Reality
Tampakan, South Cotabato - It was a long-held dream of the residents of Sitio Dala, an inner community of Barangay Bololmala in the municipality of Tupi, South Cotabato, to have a well equipped community-based reading and learning center for their young children. Sagittarius Mines, Inc. (SMI) was there to make the dream real.
Through its social development and Corporate Social Responsibility programs, SMI partnered with the barangay local government and a group of volunteer-teachers to initiate Project HELPER or Help Ensure Learners' Progress and Enthusiasm for Reading.
On July 14, 2023, the mining company handed over to the residents a brand new Smart television, a printer, two (2) units of electric fans, ten (10) new plastic arm chairs and educational and learning materials such as papers, pencils, notebooks, crayons and school bags.
SMI also provided hollow blocks, plywood, GI sheets and other construction materials for the improvement of the center to make it more conducive for learning.
The special handover ceremony was witnessed by the members of the Barangay Council of Bololmala and members and officers of the area’s Parents-Teachers Association.
"Bong salamat, SMI! (Thank you very much, SMI!) Dahil sa inyo, nangyari na ang matagal naming pinapangarap na magkaroon ng learning center dito sa aming lugar. Matagal na naming pangarap ito," said Project Helper founder and volunteer-teacher Leny Obra.
Currently, Project HELPER cater to at least 50 pre-school children, teaching them how to read and write and other learning opportunities.
SMI is the holder of a Financial or Technical Assistance Agreement with the Philippine Government to explore, develop and operate the Tampakan Copper-Gold Project, one of the largest undeveloped copper-gold deposits in the world. Barangay Bololmala is one of the neighboring communities of SMI's Tampakan Project.
Even though the mine project has not yet started, SMI has already poured more than PhP1.2 billion in financing various social development projects and activities that are aimed at advancing the socio–economic, health and educational conditions of its hosts and neighboring communities. (30)