ZMG Group Kalinga: Speak Smart with ChildHope

In today’s world, good communication skills are important, positively impacting children’s future success and well-being. Unfortunately, not all children have the opportunity to develop these crucial skills, particularly those living in street situations. Over three consecutive Saturdays, ZMG Group Kalinga, in collaboration with ChildHope Philippines, met with the children at the JMZ Center for an initiative called “Speak Smart: Building Personality and Communication Skills.” This program aimed to provide children from ChildHope with learning opportunities to build their personalities and enhance their communication abilities. The initiative was further supported by generous cash donations amounting to over Php 30k from Work ‘n Save and other business units under the ZMG Group, dedicated to purchasing meals and ZMG Group Kalinga bags containing tumblers, umbrellas, towels, notebooks, and pens for use in schooling.

Before each session, it is crucial to create a welcoming environment for the children. The facilitators ensured the attendees were comfortable and ready to learn by greeting them warmly and providing name tags. This helped us to foster a sense of belonging and encouraged active participation.

Last June 8, 2024, the first session of the “Techniques for Effective Communication” program facilitated by Andy Arcolas, Cluster Head from Asia Select Inc., focused on the fundamentals of effective communication. Andy and Siena led the children through interactive activities that taught them to convey their thoughts clearly and confidently. Then, Andy explained a game that encouraged the children to communicate and brainstorm various situations they could act out, presenting what they had learned and improved during this activity. This session aimed to equip the children with basic communication techniques, enabling them to express themselves more effectively in various situations.

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Building on the previous session, the second day of the program, held on June 15, 2024, starts with a warm welcome and introduction by Siena Ison, Senior Career Architect from ASI, and Alden Del Rosario, Director for Recruitment Operations from APS, introducing the day’s activities to set a positive tone for learning. An engaging icebreaker was then led by Susan Barillo, Recruitment Associate from APW, who introduced the children to the game, guess the Filipino words.

Lewis Ramos, Recruitment Consultant from ZMG WH, takes over teaching the fundamentals of public speaking, emphasizing audience interaction and the critical components of a great speech: content, structure (introduction, message, conclusion), clarity, and relevance. She guides the children through techniques for effective delivery, including voice modulation, body language, and maintaining eye contact.

Next, Rai Catabona, Recruitment Associate from ZMG Ward Howell, focuses on speech preparation, highlighting the importance of research and how to create engaging introductions and conclusions. He also covers the use of visual aids to enhance presentations. Lewis went back to teaching the children the importance of knowing their audience, a crucial aspect of delivering a successful speech.

After this, Gelli Dimo, Senior Career Architect from ASI, and Eldon Rollon, Senior Career Architect from ASI, then address public speaking anxiety, helping the children identify their anxiety triggers through self-assessment and explaining the common causes of this fear.

Rhea Magdaong, Senior Career Architect from ASI, then introduces various techniques to manage nervousness, where Eldon also taught breathing exercises, relaxation techniques, positive visualization, and affirmation. She also shares effective practice and preparation strategies. The session includes interactive games like “Two Truths and a Lie” and the “Telepathy Game,” designed to build confidence and reinforce learning fun and engagingly.

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After the games, Rosette Roa, Recruitment Associate I from APW, covers advanced speech delivery techniques, focusing on verbal communication elements such as pitch, pace, volume, and articulation. Jai Roldan, Associate Consultant for Recruitment Operations from APS, and Rosette emphasize the importance of nonverbal communication, teaching children how to use gestures effectively.

Then Susan continues the session with a poetry reading, illustrating how to captivate an audience with expressive delivery. Finally, Toni Aguilar, Associate Director for Business Development from ASI, took the stage as the last speaker to address the children, emphasizing the importance of continuing to practice their newly acquired skills. The day concluded with a presentation of the children’s essays on various topics, including their dream jobs, favorite subjects, hobbies, memorable experiences, climate change, health, and movies.

The final session of the program, held on June 22, 2024, commenced with Nalyn Castillo, Activations Manager from ASI, and Jim Estrada, Recruitment Consultant from ZMG WH, welcoming the children and hosting the day’s activities. Roger Casaje, Activations Manager from ASI, and Chrissy Suspene, Senior Associate from ZMG WH, facilitated an engaging storytelling activity using the Pixar method, where the kids wrote interesting stories based on their family or school experiences. With the lessons they had learned over the past two Saturdays, the children eagerly presented their stories in front of their peers and volunteers.

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Post-storytelling session, a lively dance number was performed, adding to the day’s excitement. Mylene Lagman, Resource Mobilization Manager from ChildHope, then delivered a heartfelt speech, expressing gratitude for ZMG Group’s consistent efforts in creating programs that help children develop essential skills. She emphasized how the community always looks forward to ZMG Group’s CSR activities.

The session also featured heartfelt testimonials from Julie, Lyca, and Diana, children from ChildHope, who shared how the program positively impacted their lives. As the whole program concluded, the awarding of certificates was then held to recognize the efforts of the Kuyas and Ates who voluntarily dedicated their Saturdays to help the children from ChildHope.

The ZMG Group Kalinga’s “Speak Smart” program, in partnership with ChildHope Philippines, significantly impacted children’s lives. By helping them build their essential communication and public speaking skills, this initiative also helped these children develop their confidence and prepare them for a brighter future.