As part of the yearly Holiday tradition, the PNBC held a luncheon last December 5, 2019 which features the Bridge Builder Foundation, a non-government organization (NGO) operating in Baclaran, City of Paranaque, Metro Manila. Its founder, Roger Bastesen, spoke about how the foundation came to be and what are its key objectives. He was joined by Bard Anders Lango, the former Mayor of Alstahaug Municipality in Norway, who is planning to partner up with Bridgebuilder in pursuit of some community projects that are aligned with the objectives of the foundation.
“When we started in 2009, our focus was only limited to initiating short-term and one-time projects in partnership with local institutions. Ten years later, our initiative has grown.” says founder, Roger Bastesen. “The foundation has just opened a Child-Minding Center to likewise cater to the needs of children aged 0-5 years old, to protect and uphold their rights at the earliest age possible. Currently, we have 85 children under our care.”
The Bridgebuilder foundation has long been at the receiving end of PNBC’s corporate social responsibility activities. Years ago, PNBC supported its plan to build a high school dormitory in Typhoon Yolanda-ravaged Basey, Samar by donating money for its pre-construction activities. Another PNBC member, Norconsult Philippines, had also been assisting this project by providing free services to complete the detailed engineering design (DED) covering civil works, electrical and plumbing.
PNBC has also recently provided resources for the repair of Bridgebuilder’s facility in Baclaran in the aftermath of a typhoon earlier this year. Other PNBC members continue to provide other assistance, in the same vein that the expatriates at the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Manila and their spouses, have likewise been actively doing volunteer work at the foundation. Among others, Isabel Alvarez has been working with the Bridgebuilder children. She was the one who trained the children who did the “Nutcracker” dance presentation at the luncheon event, which was greatly received by the PNBC members and guests who were present.
It was a truly enjoyable Julebord, a holiday feast that featured traditional Norwegian Christmas food, capped at the end by the famously delectable Scandinavian ring cake, Kransekake.
From PNBC, we wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!