To combat anxiety in the time of covid-19, Bounty Agro Ventures, Inc (BAVI) employees and Special Olympics employees, athletes, and their families today held the first-ever Chooks-to-Go Kaya ‘Yan, Manok ng Bayan Zoomba Session.
The online dance session gathered about 50 participants from various countries, including Singapore, Indonesia, Australia, Pakistan, and the US.
The group used a popular video conferencing app to view Special Olympics athletes and dance instructors Kamille Tingzon and Carl Garcia.
“This mini-event proves that when we choose to include people with intellectual disabilities — treating them as equals with unique skills — we can all gain a greater sense of community and humanity,” said Jaimie Natividad, Bounty’s HR group manager. “We all had fun and burned calories along the way. It’s truly a welcome activity for the participants amid the stress caused by the pandemic.”
The virtual dance session was part of Bounty and Special Olympics’ Kaya ‘Yan, Manok ng Bayan campaign, which aims to promote sports and inclusion, particularly in the workplace.
Last January 25, the campaign held its first Unified Basketball Clinic and Sports Fest in Pasig City, engaging 150 Bounty employees and Special Olympics athletes. Members of the Philippine 3×3 basketball team facilitated the event, with BAVI President Ronald Mascariñas and brand ambassador Kiefer Ravena also joining the activity.
The campaign has also begun to recruit people with intellectual disabilities into Bounty, the first of whom was 21-year-old Henry Munarriz who now works as an administrative assistant under HR.
“We are grateful to Bounty for providing our athletes another way to keep themselves fit amid the lockdowns we’re experiencing all over the world,” said Kaye Samson, Special Olympics Asia Pacific consultant. “We are also happy to be sharing our athletes’ expertise with the company’s employees. This is proof that everyone — including people with intellectual disabilities — has talents that can benefit other people.”
Among the event’s participants were Special Olympics Asia Pacific Director for Marketing Genevieve Jiang and Investors in People Philippines Chairman Janet Webster.
The virtual event also awarded two best dancers, one from Bounty and one from Special Olympics. They each won P2,000.
Last April, the Kaya ‘Yan, Manok ng Bayan campaign was supposed to have its first training session for job applicants who have intellectual disabilities, as well as its second basketball clinic. But the lockdowns implemented in the country caused the events to be postponed indefinitely.