A former Filipino waste picker, who was transformed into a global ballet star thanks to the help of an international charity, has visited The Midlands to inspire local businesses with her story.
Jessa Balote was a low income waste picker before being discovered for her ballet potential and sponsored by The Philippine Community Fund (PCF) to benefit from professional ballet lessons. Since then, she has danced professionally in locations all over the world and is currently being personally trained by Prima Ballerina, Lisa Macuja. Jessa is a great example of the inspiring work charities can do when supported by local business communities.
Officially closing the OpenWork Foundation ‘Good to Great’ conference in Birmingham together with her sister, the message from Jessa Balote to Midlands businesses is strong: companies with a robust corporate responsibility ethic can help change lives across the world with their efforts and donations.
One Midlands company that has committed to helping people like Jessa is Warwick business, Pentland Accountants, whose Managing Director, Elinor Perry, is the Chairperson for the Philippine Community Fund. Elinor Perry is only too familiar with the great work PCF does, and recently visited the charity in Manila to see its work in action.
Commenting on the organisation, Elinor Perry said: “The story of Jessa’s transformation from a Waste picker to an international ballet star is awe-inspiring and proof of the great work that charities like PCF can do, when supported by the business community. Giving something back is something we are incredibly passionate about at Pentlands, so to see the achievements of Jessa, and other members of the Philippine Community Fund is incredibly rewarding and makes our fundraising efforts all the more worthwhile.”
The Philippine Community Fund Founder, Jane Walker MBE, commented; “As a charity we are completely reliant on sponsors and donations, so it has been a truly amazing experience to have two of our members invited to speak to local businesses and encourage more to support corporate social responsibility projects.
“Jessa’s story is a humbling one, and just shows that nothing will get in the way of true determination and willingness to succeed. As is often the case when people donate to charity, they seldom see the impact their donation makes. It is our hope that this visit will serve to showcase just some of the fantastic results the Philippine Community Fund has achieved within the local Filipino community, as well as inspiring future generations, that anything is possible.”
The Philippine Community Fund supports Filipino families, improving the quality of life for impoverished Filipino communities, to bring stability and realisable potential through sustainable education, nutrition, health and community advocacy programmes.