SM Prime’s pioneering housing project for survivors of super typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) has won the prestigious Albert Sussman International Community Support Award of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Foundation, the global trade association of the shopping center industry.
The award was conferred during the Global Retail Real Estate Convention (RECon) in Las Vegas, USA last May 20, 2018.
The Albert Sussman International Community Support Award is considered the highest honour in the community support award program of the ICSC Foundation which was organized to acknowledge outstanding humanitarian work of the retail industry in the community and recognize the industry’s most innovative and impactful initiatives.
The ICSC Foundation Community Support Awards recognizes outstanding community support programs of institutions, committed to social responsibility and community outreach efforts by retail establishments, their management companies, or retailers.
Prior to winning the prestigious award, SM Cares was also recognized with the ICSC Global Awards 2017 for Asia Pacific, held last October 24, 2017, in Bangkok, Thailand.
One of SM Cares’ partner NGOs, CFC-ANCOP, will also receive an additional financial grant from the ICSC Foundation.
SM Prime Executive Committee Chairman Hans T. Sy spearheaded the SM Cares Housing Project in which a total of 1,000 shelter units were donated in areas heavily struck by super typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) in Central Visayas.
The project is a joint undertaking of SM and its service providers, tenants, employees, and communities who all pitched in to build the houses and their communities. The disaster-resilient houses were given to the beneficiaries for free, and SM worked with several NGO partners for its community development, including livelihood and values formation activities.
Hans Sy said the award is a recognition of the valuable contribution of SM’s partners and the painstaking work the hundreds of volunteers had given into making the villages vibrant communities that they are today.
Sy added that the award is a testament to the courage and resiliency of the human spirit in the face of the biggest tragedy. “We have shown to the world how people could bounce back after a tragedy and how communities composed of strangers could thrive and grow together with the help of well-meaning groups and advocates,” Sy said.
There are four SM Cares’ Housing Villages in the Visayas, located in Bogo, Cebu (200 houses), Concepcion, Iloilo (200 houses), Tacloban (400 houses) and Ormoc, Leyte (200 houses).
Sy added that the award will serve as the company’s inspiration to continue to be stewards of the communities where their malls operate. “We are proud of this project because we have shown the Filipino bayanihan at its best. We have people working together to uplift the lives of our countrymen and through their determination to get back on their feet, they have achieved what seemed to be a daunting task of not only recovering from a tragedy but making it an opportunity to live better. We are inspired to continue doing this for more communities and for more people,” Sy said.