Sunday, October 31, 2010

RD Tuna Canners forms RD Foundation

This is the tinned fish product that RD Foundation would be supplying to the Tembari children on a regular basis. The can contains 1.8kg of unflavored tuna chunk usually used in hospitals, restaurants, fast-foods and many more.

A Friend of Tembari Children

RD TUNA Canners, the pioneering tinned fish company in Papua New Guinea, has formed its own foundation, the RD Foundation, to formalize its entry into the world of charity.

And the Tembari Children Care (TCC) Inc, which I usually refer to as The Center, is one of its first beneficiaries.

But even before the creation of RD Foundation, RDTC has, for years, been actively engaged in community projects in its host province Madang.

This included giving scholarship to deserving children in the area, providing school materials to various schools, helping villages around its fish processing plant obtain potable water by supplying them with bore water pumps and supplying a local hospital with fresh tuna on a regular basis.

It also has initiated livelihood projects as part of its corporate responsibility to the community hosting its business – the processing of tuna into exportable products.

However, the company is doing this without a charitable arm such as a foundation until the recent creation of RD Foundation.

I believe that RDTC’s entry into institutionalized charity activities was prompted by my constant nagging of its managing director, Pete C Celso, Jr, for a regular tinned fish donation on behalf of the Tembari children.

To be specific, I requested the company for a monthly supply of several cartons to meet the daily protein needs of the 98 kids being looked after by The Center.

Along with rice, our kids are consuming at least 27 cans (425gms) of this product daily, or 162 cans a week, equivalent to 6.75 cartons, or at least 24 cartons a month.

I did request this volume despite my previous knowledge of RDTC’s policy of accommodating donations on a “one-off” basis only and on a very limited quantity.

In other words, the company would normally accommodate requests from certain groups especially those that are holding conferences, or during especial occasions, for a supply of their products.

Then they are forgotten, which is not surprising.

A month or so ago, I had a chance meeting with Pete C Celso in Port Moresby and immediately he told me that if ever RDTC would support the Tembari children, he would like to do it on a “regular and sustainable basis”.

This way, we no longer have to look for the next donor once the supply of tinned fish has been consumed.

But since we are feeding the Tembari children everyday, from Monday to Saturday, we have to continue buying tinned fish while waiting for the prospect that one day the company would really help us solve our problem.

Meanwhile, our children’s daily consumption of tinned fish has been weighing down on our very limited funds.

So, I continued chasing RDTC for its support to the chagrin of the people who were in charge to deal with this kind or request.

And I had chased them for almost every week, telling them about our problem of being unable to really afford the cost of the item.

I had even reminded Pete that RDTC won’t be losing anything by giving to Tembari children because whatever quantity it is to give could be deducted from the company’s yearly taxable income.

This is because TCC is registered with Investment Promotion Authority (IPA) as a community-based organization (CBO), which is allowed to seek and received donations that are tax deductible.

While RDTC could deduct the value of its donation to The Center from the yearly taxable income, it would be helping our needy children and at the same time look good in the media. Therefore, it would lose nothing but instead, gain the goodwill of humanity.

Early last week, the good news finally came: That RDTC could now supply us with a modest quantity of its product on a monthly basis through its foundation – the RD Foundation which has just been launched.

I thank the company abundantly for its gesture, and crossed my fingers that it comes very soon.

So, while the supply would last only for at least 10 days, to us at The Center, this is just great because it would spare us from buying tinned fish for at least 10 days out of the 24 feeding days that we do every month.

To fill the gap, which is 14 days, I would have to continue talking to potential donors of this item.

Thank you RDTC and RD Foundation for this big relief!

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