Corporate Peace Corps

I’ve already heard about this around two to three weeks ago, but I only got to blog about this now (see how self-centered I can be? Ack):

IBM creates its own Peace Corps
By Lawrence Casiraya
First Posted 08:34:00 05/03/2008

MANILA, Philippines — IBM is sending 600 of its employees to emerging countries over the next three years to do volunteer work involving IT.

IBM said the first 100 employees will be sent this year to six countries — Romania, Turkey, Vietnam, Ghana, Tanzania and the Philippines — to work on projects “that intersect economic development and IT.”

“It’s a corporate version of the Peace Corps,” said James Velasquez, country general manager for IBM Philippines, referring to the tech giant’s Corporate Service Corps initiative.

Thomas Veloso from the local IBM office was selected and will join nine more IBMers from the United States, Japan, China, India and the United Kindom as a team assigned to go to Tanzania in Africa.

More than 5,000 IBM employees worldwide applied for the program but only 100 were selected for this year.

In the Philippines, the IBM team will be based in Cagayan de Oro and Davao City in the South.

The team will create management information systems to track progress of loan and grant beneficiaries from the Philippine Development Assistance Program, according to IBM.

IBM is working with three non-governmental organizations from the US, Canada and Australia. These NGOs identify projects and local organizations the IBM teams can work with.

This is one of the coolest things I’ve heard at work ever. :) I love how the company is getting their people involved in helping. That’s why we were encouraged at work to go and volunteer for corporate social responsibility events, because it really has an effect. Thomas (Tom) Veloso used to be the GK-IBM head, and all his efforts are paying off with this amazing opportunity presented to him. :)

I’d love to have the same opportunity. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I’d love if I would be granted one too, plus size clothing and all (um…right. What did I just write?). Maybe someday, I hope? :) Granted, I’d have to work doubly harder to get this, but it’s a good goal, right? :)

Maybe someday. In the meantime, let me finish all my deliverables. Heh.