How DOXA Gives Back

A founding principle to give back comes from DOXA’s Bayanihan workplace culture.

Key Takeaways:

  • DOXA is part of a community and is committed to giving back
  • Our Bayanihan culture fosters a spirit of collaboration to help our neighbors
  • We fight poverty, help communities through natural disasters, and support improvements in education and nutrition

One of DOXA’s core values is giving back to our community. Our company has always been committed to freely offering our time and resources to improve the health, well-being, and growth of our neighbors.

This founding principle stems from our Bayanihan workplace culture, a product of the Filipino heritage shared by many of our employees. It fosters a spirit of collaboration and mutual aid to accomplish collective goals that aid the entire community. 

We do this without expecting anything in return, whether it’s donating food and clothing, rebuilding homes after a storm, or supporting initiatives to improve education for underserved populations. This volunteer work has an important side effect – we make meaningful connections with our neighbors and each other.

Edward Lim, president of operations at DOXA, sat down to talk about the many ways DOXA gives back.

Fighting poverty

When Lim started DOXA in [year?] with CEO David Nilssen and CRO Michael Gonzalez-Ross, they shared a vision of a company that could achieve financial success and also do good in the world. Nilssen and Gonzalez-Ross were grateful for their previous successes, and, as newcomers to the Philippines and Filipino culture, were keenly aware of those who didn’t have access to that type of success. 

Together with Lim, they felt a responsibility for this community, to give back to their “kababayan” – their fellow people.

According to the World Bank, the percentage of people living in poverty in the Philippines rose from 16.7 percent in 2018 to 18.1 percent in 2021, bringing the total to just shy of 20 million. This is due largely to the effects of COVID-19, which reversed a 30-year trend where poverty decreased every year. 

DOXA’s goal is to do what it can to reverse this new pattern; to move as many workers as possible into the middle class by offering competitive wages without having to commute to larger cities and towns.

DOXA also lends a hand when people generally need it most – during the holidays. In the Philippines, Christmas starts in September, so DOXA gave out Christmas baskets (and learned to say “Maligayang Pasko!”).

Three Philippine lanterns against a red, black, and green background.

Making a home

One of the oldest Bayanihan traditions is the relocation of a home, or “bahay kubo.” Members of the community work together to lift and carry the home, also known as a nipa hut, on their shoulders to a new location. Traditional bahay kubos are so infused with stories and memories that a family would rather take it with them to their new location rather than leave it behind to find a new home.

The men of the community commonly volunteer to move the house, which involves a simple process. They tie bamboo poles under the house lengthwise and crosswise, then 15–20 men lift it as one and carry it to its new neighborhood. The host family traditionally thanks the volunteers with a festive meal.

When these homes are threatened or destroyed by natural disasters, DOXA steps in to help.

Surviving life in a storm zone

When Super Typhoons Kiko and Odette struck the Philippines in 2021, DOXA learned first-hand how to put Bayanihan values into action.

The Philippines spans 40 thousand kilometers and lies squarely inside the Pacific Ring of Fire, a region known for volcanic eruptions and earthquakes, as well as heavy rains and low-pressure areas which cause flooding. In 2021, natural disasters like Super Typhoons Kiko and Odette caused hundreds of deaths, thousands of injuries, and over 60 billion Philippine pesos worth of damage. This had a tremendous impact on people’s economic well-being, with disruptions to roads, bridges, power, water, food, and medical care.

As Lim tells it, DOXA wasn’t even turning a profit yet, and didn’t even have clients. But they took action, donating boats to fishermen and helping to support other independent business owners who lost their livelihood in the storm.

Supporting education

The effects of COVID-19 touched every area of life across the globe, including and especially schools. The Philippines had one of the longest lockdowns of any country and it has struggled to recover. After two years of virtual schooling, DOXA was there as they reopened, handing out notebooks, backpacks, and other desperately needed school supplies to students who couldn’t wait to get back in the classroom.

DOXA continues to shine a light on education, this time for young adults. They partnered with [university?] to teach basic digital skills for business, including how to use tools like QuickBooks and HubSpot. While this knowledge is more universal in the U.S., it’s only just taking root in the Philippines. 

It is DOXA’s hope to educate students in these tools at the college level so they have a wider range of skills and are more easily employable once they enter the workforce.

Providing proper nutrition

Undernutrition has been a consistent issue in the Philippines, with one in three children (29%) in 2019 below the age of five being small in size for their age. This not only damages the health of the children but also the national economy. It was estimated that in 2015 childhood undernutrition cost the country $4.4 billion, or 1.5% of its total GDP. 

By contrast, good nutrition leads to better cognitive development, better performance in school (and a better chance that students will stay in school), and greater potential to succeed as adults.

DOXA saw an opportunity to help and partnered with Negrense Volunteers for Change (NVC), an NGO that developed a nutritious instant complimentary food called Mingo, which is composed of rice, mongo (mung beans), and malunggay (moringa). It’s a powder that, with water, becomes a drink or porridge, and comes in four flavors. It’s meant for infants and toddlers but also benefits older children. Children who participate in the Mingo Meals Nutrition Program gain weight and show improvement in their social and intellectual achievement.

A six-month study in 2020 by the Provincial Governement of Negros Occidental showed that children in areas that had daily access to Mingo showed greater improvement than those that didn’t.

Empowering the team to do more

Regardless of the struggles Filipinos face every day, their indefatigable Bayanihan spirit always manages to rise above it all. This continues to inspire the team at DOXA to do more, and they’re constantly looking for new ways to put this inspiration into practice.

DOXA remains committed to uplifting the communities it serves and leading by example so its clients can find inspiration to get involved in their own way. If you need great talent from across the globe that shares these values, drop us a note and we’ll get started.

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