Businessman starts Rice Bucket Challenge in PH, tags MVP
MANILA, Philippines – What better way to help the underprivileged than to give them one of staples in an agricultural country like the Philippines – rice?
Businessman Henry Lim Bon Liong, hybrid rice pioneer, has started in the Philippines a "better" alternative to the Ice Bucket Challenge, the charity stunt where participants have to pour on themselves ice from a bucket or donate cash to research on the elusive cure for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
The alternative – the Rice Bucket Challenge – started in several South Asian nations, such as India, after a netizen saw how big the impact would be if rice would be poured into buckets instead to be distributed to poor families.
The campaign aims to encourage other people through social media to donate one bucket of rice to people who cannot afford them. (READ: Water-starved South Asia fills buckets with rice, not ice)
"Palagay ko, itong Rice Bucket Challenge ay papatok kasi may patutunguhan,” Lim said in a press conference, where he announed he'd be starting the campaign in the Philippines. (I think this Rice Bucket Challenge will trend because it will lead to something concrete.)
Dinner table staple
For Lim, #RiceBucketChallengePH is a perfect way to help Filipinos. As one of the staple food in the country, rice, even just a bucket of it, would go a long way.
For this month, Lim will give away a total of 5,000 buckets to 5,000 families. Each bucket contains 5 kilos of rice.
“Halos lahat ng Filipino kumakain ng kanin, mayaman man o mahirap.” he explained. “Since I’m also in the rice business, I find it more appropriate to give out rice than use ice.” (Almost all Filipinos eat rice regardless of social class.)
In order to achieve his target, Lim will have to spend over P2 million pesos. He also plans on doing it every September, his birth month.
But one does not need to spend a lot of money on the challenge. What is important, Lim said, is the will to donate.
“The Rice Bucket Challenge is for everybody,” he told Rappler. “Kahit ano'ng bigas ibigay mo, okay lang." (The Rice Bucket Challenge is for everybody. You can give any kind of rice.)
More than the challenge
The Rice Bucket Challenge in the Philippine context wants to achieve more than the fanfare that surrounds the Ice Bucket Challenge. Because of this, Lim decided to not use his company’s name in the challenge, aside from not tapping government officials.
“Walang politician involved ito, talagang puro civic organizations lamang,” he emphasized. (There are no politicians involved here, only civic organizations.)
Urban poor families in Makati, Caloocan, and even nearby areas like Bulacan province, will benefit from the challenge.
But filling the empty stomachs is just one of the goals. "I have to also educate them how to keep themselves healthy by making sure what they eat is nutritious,” Lim shared.
The challenge also aims to empower the “endangered” agriculture sector, he said. (PH farmers endangered species)
Farmers, together with fishermen, are considered to be the poorest members of society. They receive the lowest salaries and wages in the Philippines. (READ: Many poor in PH? NSCB cites dismal agri sector)
MVP, you’re next
In the spirit of the campaign it was modelled after, Lim tagged people who have the capacity to fulfil the challenge on a big scale, among them tycoon Manuel V. Pangilinan.
The first takers were employees of Lim who donated almost 200 buckets to their neighborhood.
"Sana mas maraming businessman at ibang tao na sumali rin,” he said. "I'm sure they can do it." (I hope a lot of businessmen and other people would join. I’m sure they can do it.) – Rappler.com
Can you take the Rice Bucket Challenge? Tweet us your photos by tagging @MovePH and #HungerProject!