International news corporation features Korina Sanchez’s Tsinelas Project

Photo from ABS-CBN
International news corporation 'DayNews' profiled Korina Sanchez and her "Tsinelas Project" in an article written by Bernadine Racoma.
Read complete article below:
The magazine show, “Rated K’s” first weekly broadcast was released in the year 2004. In that show, host Korina Sanchez featured a segment that eventually became a nationwide project and a household name. The first project was launched for the benefit of schoolchildren in the island provinces of Leyte and Samar in Eastern Visayas in the Philippines. “Rated K” brought new rubber slippers to schoolchildren who make do with tattered ones, or do not wear any at all.

Just recently, “Rated K” donated the one millionth “tsinelas” (slippers) to a resident of Rodriguez, Rizal in Luzon. Ten-year old Shiela Mae Autencio won’t have to walk to school with a worn pair anymore. Rated K gave her a fresh new one. To mark this milestone, a new project known as “Isang Milyong Tsinelas,” (one million rubber slippers), was launched early this year. The objective of the project is to gather a million pair of rubber slippers annually and distribute them to the Filipino poor.

Not just for the feet
The project, though definitely benefitting many previously bare feet, is not really for the feet, but “for education.” According to Sanchez, a pair of slippers does not only protect the children’s feet but restores their dignity as well.

It is commonplace for poor Filipinos to make do with worn slippers. They would use twine or pieces of wire to tie the slipper together and keep wearing it even if there are huge holes at the soles just for a measure of protection from the hot asphalt, pieces of glass, and sharp stones on the roads. And for those who cannot afford to buy new ones at all, they walk around, play, do chores and go to school barefoot.

The many facets of Korina Sanchez
Korina Sanchez is a well known media personality even before she became the wife of incumbent Secretary of the Department of Transportation and Communications Mar Roxas. Korina has made a name for herself serving for many years as news anchor in radio and TV. She is also a newspaper columnist and magazine show host.

Her program, “Rated K” is an award winning magazine show that is being broadcast in the Philippines by ABS-CBN. In 2007 the show embarked on a mission to “give hope” to less fortunate Filipinos. The show elicited the help of its celebrity guests to provide slippers to poor students. Rated K’s “tsinelas” initiative now covers the whole archipelago.

What started it all?
It all started when Sanchez was given an assignment in Agusan del Norte, one of the provinces of the Caraga Region in northeastern Mindanao. She was sent on assignment to cover “schistosomiasis,” a parasitic disease rampant in marginalized communities. During the coverage, a shocking observation stuck with her. It blew her mind that not one child in the area had slippers to protect their feet. Seeing a few making do with worn and torn slippers was heartbreaking for her.

She said that when the children were asked why they did not buy a new pair that then cost only 25 pesos ($0.63), they cried while explaining that every peso the family could scrounge up is used to buy food.

A new mission
The “Tsinelas Campaign” has been receiving donations from Filipinos from all walks of life. The campaign has also reached Filipinos residing in North America through TFC (The Filipino Channel) and other parts of the world. They do not accept cash for this project – they accept only rubber slippers.
Day News is an international news corporation with reporters and offices worldwide.

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