Trend Micro: Helping to Build Communities in the Philippines

by Ross Baker

At Trend Micro, we’ve been protecting our global customers from cyber threats for over 28 years now. But what many people might not be aware of is that throughout that time we’ve also been keenly aware of what it takes to be a socially responsible corporate citizen. In fact, since 2008 the we’ve set aside 1% of the previous year’s post-GAAP profits to fund Global Citizenship programmes. That’s why a small team of us will be heading to the Philippines in October to help the sterling work of charity Gawad Kalinga in building homes for the locals.

A better future
Corporate responsibility isn’t something organisations can simply turn on at the swish of a pen; it’s as much a mindset and a culture as a concrete policy. That’s why we’re lucky to work for an organisation that has always been very much aware of what it takes to be a responsible corporate citizen.

In the past Trend Micro has hosted Summer Seminars for Japanese elementary school children, worked with Taiwanese universities to nurture local student talent, and run a popular video competition – What’s Your Story? – to encourage more kids to understand the importance of internet safety. In fact, our flagship Internet Safety for Kids and Families programme has been delivering free tools to PTAs across the US for several years, while a partnership with City of Westminster College helps to support the local community and many talented young photography students.

However, it’s in the Philippines where much of our outreach has been focused, with a much-needed Home Building programme that has seen hundreds of Trenders from across the globe take part since 2008. Now it’s our turn in the UK office.

One community at a time
Co-founders Steve and Jenny Chang started working with local charity Gawad Kalinga – which means “to give care” in English – in recognition of Trend Micro’s 20-year anniversary. Gawad Kalinga’s approach to eliminating poverty is more than a quick fix solution: it’s based on the idea that by providing basic housing for local people we can create something more sustainable and long-lasting. Out of homes sprout villages and communities.

While out there our volunteers will be doing everything from digging wells to mixing cement and plastering, sifting sand and carrying rocks – all in sticky, sweaty conditions reaching up to 34C. It’s not all about house building, however: they’ll also be farming and landscaping the local area and visiting local families.

They’ve got a lot to live up to. In 2013 a group of Trend Micro volunteers helped build homes for 85 local families – effectively an entire village – as well as hand out sweets to the local kids and teach some valuable lessons about hygiene.

In many ways cybersecurity is all about protecting society and giving it the tools to help protect itself. In that respect, perhaps our five-day programme in the Philippines is merely an extension of this mission; providing the means for those less fortunate than ourselves to have a better life.

Please take a moment to help Eva, Chris, Stuart and Adam from our UK office with donations. These will go to the local charity Gawad Kalinga and will make a massive difference to the lives of the communities they support. Thank you!






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