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Converge stages first silent auction under Caritas Manila’s Unang Yakap program

(From left: VP & Head of Enterprise Risk Management Jerome Orfano, VP and Head of Corporate Communications and Public Relations Jay-Anne Encarnado, VP & Head of TOCD and HR Operations Enrique Reyes, and VP and Head of Corporate Planning, Transformation, and Sustainability Management Bryan King Kay)

In anticipation of Mother’s Day, fiber broadband and technology provider Converge ICT Solutions Inc. through its woman-to-woman mentorship program held a silent auction of high value items donated by senior leaders, all in the name of giving underprivileged mothers and their infants the needed resources for their first thousand days under the program of Caritas Manila called Unang Yakap.

Pre-loved luxury goods and high-grade items were displayed for employees to peruse at the company office while the auction itself was conducted through an online platform. Shoes, bags, and clothing were up for auction at the event.

Most of the items were donated by Converge President and Co-Founder Maria Grace Uy who championed the women mentorship program called “MentorSHE” and the first batch of mentors and mentees under the women leadership program. Converge CEO and Co-Founder Dennis Anthony Uy also donated his slightly used branded shoes and polo shirts.

Employees bidded on luxury items such as these Prada pumps at a starting price of Php2,000.

“At Converge, we strive to empower the communities through our services and our sustainability initiatives. The Unang Yakap auction is the commencement activity of the first batch of MentorSHE ladies. We are proud that our women leaders are taking steps to reach out to fellow women to ensure their welfare. However, our work is only beginning. Soon, we hope to also provide livelihood opportunities to these mothers in underprivileged communities,” said Converge President Grace Uy.

The MentorSHE program is a woman-to-woman mentorship training initiative in Converge organized by its Human Resources (HR) and Corporate Communications and Public Relations (CCPR) groups where senior women leaders serve as mentors to a younger set of female managers.

The Unang Yakap program of Caritas Manila, meanwhile, was created to support mothers and their infants from conception to up to two years old. To date, CaritasManila has launched the program in Metro Manila, some areas in Bulacan, Cavite, and Laguna. 

Converge VP and CCPR Head Jay-Anne Encarnado said that through the Unang Yakap auction, Converge is contributing to the attainment of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals No. 2 (Zero Hunger) and No. 3 (Good Health and Wellbeing)

The first batch of the ‘Grace Under Pressure’ MentorSHE program graduates who generously donated items to the Unang Yakap Silent Auction.Twenty-three year veteran in the sports broadcast industry, first female to anchor PBA games, many times Olympic commentator and trainer and mentor for Women in News and Sport for the Asia Pacific region Patricia Bermudez-Hizon served as guest speaker during the closing ceremony of the first MentorSHE program, cycle 1 (center).

“This project is also aligned with the Sustainability Commitment of Converge, particularly on its pledge to create a positive community impact,” said Encarnado.

“We’re not just celebrating the money we’ve raised for Caritas Manila’s Unang Yakap program; we’re celebrating what makes us who we are. It’s about our people coming together, showing kindness, and making a real difference in the community. Every bid, every donation, it’s all part of our shared commitment to do good,” said Enrique Reyes, Converge Head of Talent and Organizational Capability Development (TOCD).

Converge has been a partner of Caritas Manila since August 2023, signing a Memorandum of Agreement for joint activities such as charity donation cans and more recently, an in-kind Segunda Mana drive last December.

Almost 100 items were auctioned off, which generated over Php 100,000 worth of donations.