The challenges may have been daunting this 2021, but a few personalities have emerged from this Global Pandemic to heed the call to serve their people. One of them is Knowledge Channel Foundation’s (KCFI) President and Executive Director Rina Lopez who was recognized as one of Forbes Asia’s 2021 Heroes of Philanthropy. Along with 15 equally honored entrepreneurs and business tycoons who are committed to serving the people amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Lopez proved that something can be done to address the Global Learning Crisis using media and technology.
Lopez co-founded KCFI, a non-profit organization in 1999 with a mission to be in the service of Filipino children by being responsible stewards and co-creators of transformative learning experiences through media and technology.
She dedicated much of her life to the foundation’s advocacy. “Having co-founded the KCFI 22 years ago has opened my eyes and my heart to the plight of disadvantaged Filipinos. Improving the education of Filipino children to provide them with opportunities for a better life has become my passion,” said Lopez.
She added, “I started off as a reluctant leader but later realized the legacy of my family in philanthropy and the social capital I was blessed to have. These and many experiences led me to deepen the commitment I have for the work I do in the world.”
In 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic confronted several barriers among the Philippines’ educational system, Knowledge Channel launched a “School At Home” (SAH) campaign by bringing educational videos that are aligned to the Most Essential Learning Competencies set by the Department of education to free-to-air television.
“Despite the class disruptions in school, K-12 students never stopped learning from home with the help of Knowledge Channel’s strengthened lineup of content. The videos also helped parents and teachers become better facilitators of their children and students’ learning,” Lopez said.
The sudden major shift in the country’s education did not stop KCFI to continue reaching more communities. KCFI has partnered with local government units, regional and division schools’ offices, and private organizations to provide over a thousand Knowledge Channel Portable Media Libraries (KCPML), an external hard drive that stored more than 1,500 education episodes. Meanwhile, KCFI’s flagship teacher training program has reached over 7,000 teachers, principals, and early childhood workers through the Knowledge Channel Teaching in the New Normal.
This year, Knowledge Channel reached another milestone by bringing educational videos closer to the Filipino children during the pandemic with an estimated reach of almost 10 million households via satellite and cable, free-to-air digital terrestrial TV, online and on social media, and via offline platforms like KnowledgeTV and the Knowledge Channel Portable Media Library.
Alongside Rina Lopez in the Asia-Pacific Region are Joseph Tsai (Cofounder, Alibaba), Clara Wu Tsai (Founder, The Joe and Clara Tsai Foundation), Phamnhat Vuong (Founder and chairman, Vingroup), Lin Chen-Hai (Founder and chairman, Pau Jar Group), Teresita Sy-Coson (Vice chairman, SM Investments Corp.), Anil Agarwal (Founder and chairman, Vedanta Resources), Takemitsu Takizaki (Founder and honorary chairman, Keyence), Michael Kim (Founder, MBK Partners), Jeffrey Cheah (Chairman, Sunway Group), Azim Premji (Founder and Chairman, Wipro), Wee Weiling (Executive director, Pan Pacific Hotels Groups), Ronnie Chan (Chairman, Hang Lung Group), Gerard Chan (Cofounder, Morningside Group), Cho Takwong (Founder and chairman, Fuyao Glass Industry Group), Mike Cannon-Brookes (Cofounder and co-CEO, Atlassian), and Kim Jung-Ju (Founder, Nexon).
Rina Lopez’s dream is for “Knowledge Channel to reach all Filipino children, whether they be in school or not, that it may help them to be happier and better educated Filipinos who make the world a better place.”