A new year is a good time for us to look out for each other. Looking out for our fellow Juans doesn't need to involve great feats. This year, we focus on how you—your art, stories, and love of books—can be an agent of change. As with all simple things, if they're done by many, together, we can create a huge difference in empowering a generation of young readers. Here are five simple ways of #LookingOutForJuan.
1. Write stories
Stories can be a powerful tool in cognitive development, especially among children. According to neuroscientists at Emory University, reading fiction enhances brain connectivity, brain function, and the reader’s imagination.
At Looking for Juan, we believe in creating a home for children's books that discuss vital issues, told creatively through great art and stories. Most of these books are winners from Romeo Forbes Children's Story Writing Competition held by the Center for Art, New Ventures and Sustainable Development.
A Home for Great Stories: Meticulously designed and printed, our award-winning stories have been called coffee table books for children! Click here to shop.
The first and only of its kind, the contest commissions a Filipino artist to come up with a work of art, and writers are invited to create a story based on the image. That same artist will then bring the winning story to life through a series of new artworks. These are then showcased in a major solo exhibition and used as illustrations for the ultimate offspring of this creative collaboration: a full-colored children’s book.
Now on its 30th stint, the competition is currently accepting entries inspired by a piece by Mark Jeffrey Santos. Romeo Forbes Children's Story Writing Competition is open to all Filipinos worldwide.
2. Share your art
Beyond books, Looking for Juan also believes in fostering art appreciation among Filipinos by bringing it closer to the public through art-infused products. From tote bags, face masks, journals, and more, we work with artists to ensure that each piece is beautifully translated into a product.
One of these meaningful collaborations is the soon-to-be-launched Malay(a), a limited edition postcard book that features 50 artworks of Filipino artists in 2020. Malay(a) shows how artists have found a renewed voice in their art despite constraints and challenges caused by the pandemic, reaffirming that art can serve as a light to provide hope even in the darkest times.
Do you want to share your art? We’re currently on the lookout for more artists to collaborate and develop products with us! If you’re interested, shoot us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Shop online or partner with us
Social responsibility is always at the heart of our business. We are committed to improving children’s functional literacy in the country, and you can be our ally in our goal to look out for Juan by shopping online or through partnerships.
Our lifetime Buy 1 Book, Donate 2 deal means that every book purchase at Looking for Juan’s website or Lazada store is matched with two book donations to children from underprivileged communities in support for the One Million Books for One Million Filipino Children Campaign.
Shop and Give Back: Be our mission partner in empowering children with your every purchase. Click here to shop.
It's a common practice among companies to give gifts to employees and clients, but sometimes, these gifts end up unused. We intend to change that by developing meaningful, artful gifts that people will love to give and receive.
What makes Looking for Juan’s corporate gifts different is that we work with artists to ensure that each gift we produce has a story to tell. We also work and partner with other non-profit organizations and social enterprises to support their advocacies, develop products, and raise funds together. A part of the proceeds from our partnerships will go to book donations for disadvantaged children.
"Pangarap" by Susanito Sarnate, artwork commissioned by Aboitiz Foundation as a token for Ms. Pinky Aquino of AGAPP, a project of Ms. Aquino with Aboitiz and DepEd to provide kindergarten classrooms nationwide (up); Sculptures by Daniel Dela Cruz for Aboitiz Equity Ventures (down)
Since our launch in 2019, we have donated 10,122 books to children nationwide. The books donated from every purchase and partnership will help equip a child for life by encouraging them to read and be independent learners—vital skills that are needed to have a better future.
4. Give what you can
Looking for Juan’s social responsibility of alleviating functional literacy is made possible by supporting the One Million Books for One Million Filipino Children Campaign. The program helps millions of functionally illiterate Filipino kids by increasing access to books and encouraging a love for reading to promote functional literacy, creative thinking, and independent reading skills.
If you’re searching for other ways of looking out for Juan, you can directly donate to the program through its GlobalGiving page.
5. Spread the word
Sometimes, the simplest things can make the greatest difference. You can also look out for Juan just by spreading the word about us. A simple recommendation to your friends, family, and workmates, or sharing our content on Instagram and Facebook, can go a long way in creating awareness to other individuals who also believe in our cause.
Looking out for Juan is all about using our resources—may it be our talent, passion, circles, or financial capability—to help each other, especially our young kababayans. Through these simple ways, we can build a community of creative and like-minded individuals that are committed to raise a generation that is informed, empowered, and ready to be leaders of change.