WATCH: Can bottled water build classrooms for urban poor communities?
MANILA, Philippines – How can businesses bring about genuine change in communities?
This was the question actress and model Nanette Medved was faced with in 2012. Being on the profit side of business and sitting on the board of various non-profits, Medved saw the gap between making a profit and achieving impact.
"She was really thinking, 'Maybe there’s a way that we can find some middle ground where we can actually do business for good.' And that is where Hope started," Alexi Bautista, Generation Hope marketing manager, said.
Medved founded Generation Hope, the social enterprise behind Hope In A Bottle.
"She picked a product, a basic commodity, which is bottled water. So you don’t have to think really hard about the product – whether you should buy it today or tomorrow. It’s something that’s very easily accessible, and we work together with hundreds of retail partners to give a lot of customers the opportunity to give back in their simple daily purchases of water," Bautista added.
Water for classrooms
Generation Hope donates 100% of the profits from selling Hope In A Bottle to build public school classrooms all around the Philippines.
Since 2012, Hope has built 37 classrooms in Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao and helped thousands of public school children. They work closely with the Department of Education to identify areas that need classrooms the most.
"One of my favorite stories from our different classroom builds has been in our build in General Santos. Prior to Hope, the kids were learning in an open field. They were sitting on the ground under the heat of the sun," Bautista shared.
She added: "When Hope finally entered...to build the classroom, we built the school beside the existing place where the kids were learning. Every day the kids would go inside, touch the walls of the classroom and the construction materials as if in awe or disbelief that they were actually going to have a real classroom."
Balancing business interest
Generation Hope sets the bar when it comes to doing business for social good. For Bautista, it's all about changing both consumer and business mindsets.
"(We want) change in how consumers think because we want them to be more conscious about the things that they buy. The way we imagine change is when people think carefully about every product that they buy, because whatever you spend on is a reflection on what your values are, or what’s valuable to you," she added.
Bautista noted that businesses can make a profit while doing good.
"When businesses provide customers better opportunities to spend their money on things that matter, customers will naturally follow and choose these products. We imagine change to be a future where everybody works together to make that happen," she concluded.
For Hope In A Bottle, hope does come even from small packages. – Rappler.com
Generation Hope is a partner organization of Rappler's civic engagement arm MovePH. For more information on how you can help or be part of Generation Hope, check out their stories on X. Know more about our other organization partners:
- WATCH: Teaching urban poor kids the value of education
- WATCH: Young athletes use sports to teach kids discipline
- WATCH: Helping farmers through agricultural biotechnology
- WATCH: Giving hope for a brighter future to street children
- WATCH: Tapping youth volunteerism for public service
Do you want your organization to be part of MovePH's X Network? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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