GENERAL SANTOS CITY, Philippines — OCTOBER 10, 2008 — Under its “Chairs for Trees” program, Dolefil, a division of Dole Food Company in the Philippines, announced it donated 50 armchairs to Madrassatul Amirol Dikaya Al-Islamic, a school for the Muslim community located at Barangay Fatima in General Santos City on May 10, 2008.
For a school temporarily sheltered in an unfinished house with dilapidated fixtures and scarce learning facilities, Dolefil’s donation of 50 armchairs came in as a saving grace.
Founded by Sultan Tungko Saikul, the Regional Director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB), the school currently has 50 enrollees who are four to twelve years old and in the first and second grade levels. Most of them are children of fishermen and laborers of canning industries in the community which has about 200 households in which half are Muslims.
“It is encouraging to sustain this project, it impacts not only educational development, but also environmental conservation and a closer relationship with the Muslim community in the region,” Kevin Davis, Managing Director of Dolefil, said.
In appreciation for the armchairs, the school planted 1,350 forest tree seedlings in the community.
Dole Food Company, Inc., with 2007 revenues of $6.9 billion, is the world’s largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables. Dole markets a growing line of packaged foods and frozen fruit and is a produce industry leader in nutrition education and research. For more information on the company’s CSR efforts, please visit www.dolecsr.com.
About the Chairs for Trees Program:
Since 2004 Dolefil has been an active participant in the Chairs-for-Trees program which is a corporate-cooperative-community partnership whose goal is to increase the numbers of school desk and chair combinations in Southern Mindanao communities and in the process help the environment through recycling and reforestation, as well as generate livelihood opportunities to residents in the communities.
Under the program, Dolefil’s wooden pallets are turned over to a local cooperative which recycles and converts them into desk-chair combinations, kiddy tables, chairs and church pews which are then delivered to pre-identified beneficiary public schools, churches, day care centers and other institutions. As a reciprocating action, the recipients then collaborate by planting a tree for every 10.00 Philippine peso’s worth of donation. Seedlings for the trees are also provided to the beneficiaries through another company sponsored cooperative. To date, said project has turned over 42,000 chairs to different schools and planted about 1.3 million trees.