Food for the Hungry Philippines is an international, Christian relief and development organization that seeks to create healthy communities for children to grow in. For more than 4 decades, Food for the Hungry has tirelessly dedicated their efforts towards assisting the indigent families found in the slums of Manila, Philippines.
Food for the Hungry’s main program, the Child Focused Community Transformation (CFCT), serves as their essential model to attain their core purpose. Through this program, Food for the Hungry taps into the social community in general - composed of families, churches and leaders – for the holistic development of the community’s youth.
Catering to such a tall order, efficiency proves to be the key for Food for the Hungry to be able to manage such a complex program. On the other hand though, their IT Specialist, Edgardo Atienza, shared that when it comes to technology, the efficient solutions aren’t always the best.
With a limited budget to work with, Food for the Hungry originally relied on free, opensource software such as Linux’s Ubuntu and Libre Office. Unfortunately, though the opensource alternatives essentially served the same purpose, and to top that, are entirely free as well, Edgardo shares that choosing the free alternatives resulted to creating more problems than solutions for both him and his colleagues.
Edgardo shared that their unfamiliarity with the free alternatives plus the softwares’ lack of user-friendliness all resulted to causing more problems than solutions; a setup that had Edgardo receiving more complaints to the point that they were tempted to use pirated software instead.
But, through TechSoup Asia though, Food for the Hungry managed to acquire genuine licenses of Professional editions of Windows 7 and 8. But, they didn’t stop there, Food for the Hungry even took the opportunity to also replace their Libre Office with licenses of Microsoft’s beloved Office 2010 Standard and Professional Plus. Today, these licenses have been deployed in their offices all over Manila, Bicol and Tacloban to aid them in facilitating the CFCT program
By providing for them programs and applications that they are both comfortable and familiar with, Edgardo happily shares that they were able to significantly increase their productivity as opposed to their state when they relied on free, opensource alternatives instead.
In addition, Edgardo also shares how a simple program such as Microsoft Office 2010 allowed them to boost their efforts in CFCT. Besides the traditional support provided by Word, Excel and PowerPoint, Edgardo also shares how they tapped into the additional programs included in suite. These programs include Access, which they used to create a database of their network, and also Publisher, to create promotion materials such as posters, flyers and other marketing whatnot.
Looking back at the entire experience, Edgardo confidently shares that through gaining access to software donations through TechSoup Asia, Food for the Hungry Philippines managed to work more productively and even save money in the process! Putting it in his own words, Edgardo says “gumaan ang trabaho [working isn’t as hard as it used to]”.