In the 6th year anniversary of Caravan Food Group Inc. ( CFGI ), the 22nd Quezon City Council awarded “A Resolution Recognizing Caravan Food Group Incorporated For Their Efforts In Promoting Employment Opportunities And Fostering A More Inclusive And Accessible Work Environment For Persons With Disabilities”. It was otherwise known as Resolution No. SP-9228,series of 2023.
Resolution No. SP-9228, S-2023 was introduced by QC 4th District Councilor Edgar “Egay” Yap. Along other 39 QC councilors of the approving committee and ratified by QC Vice Mayor Gian Sotto.
Since the beginning of CFGI in 2017, it was initiated to hire people with disabilities from the Deaf and special needs community as it took inspiration from the CEO, Mr. Francis G. Reyes, when he was assisted by a Deaf man in a clothing shop. That experience, as Mr. Reyes defines- “The epitome of customer service”.
To date, CFGI remains and maintains an inclusive workplace that is PWD-friendly which abides to strict compliance of PWD benefits mandated by the government. Thirty-five out of 61 of which are PWD employees or equivalent to 57.38% of the company’s workforce. Majority of them came from the Deaf community, mainstreamed in the 11 branches of Overdoughs and Elait! while others work for RAW Juice Bar and Mary and Martha that operates at their Makati Commissary and is open for online orders.
Besides the equal benefits they enjoy, CFGI also provides professional growth to its PWD employees through a series of training to maximize their effectiveness and capabilities in the workplace. As of this writing, 2 Deaf employees promoted as an area supervisor and one as a branch team leader. This career advancement proves that PWDs are as hard-working, competent, and reliant like any other employees.
This driver of happiness to the lives of the PWD employees paved the way to become a driver of change through CSR initiated activities. Two of which are The Good Cookie Project and The
Good Cookie Project’s Goal
Every cookie sold supported students at the College of St. Benilde’s School of Deaf Education and Applied Studies (CSB-SDEAS) through the Good Cookie Project. In 2020, it has earned P331,243.49 that has supported 105 Deaf students for their meal and transportation allowances. Also, it helped public school teachers of Deaf students who lack access to deaf awareness workshops. It relaunched this year to reach out to underserved communities and organizations. This act of paying it forward allows their patrons and PWD employees to give light and hope for them.
Meanwhile, The Good Sign is a bi-monthly seminar which started in September 2022. It allowed to bridge the gap between the Deaf and hearing community. By learning the basic sign languages and understanding the Deaf culture in partnership with organizations like Hand & Heart and CSB-SDEAS.
The awarded resolution by the QC government is a testament of the core value on inclusivity and diversity that Mr. Reyes and CFGI holds. “This recognition is just the beginning of a more inclusive community through the partnerships with the local government. Providing these opportunities for the PWDs is just a great way to empower them. Being able to be more and to do more in life,” Reyes quotes.