Feature

Remembering today’s heroes (Part II)

Remember them? Check out these Filipinos and Filipino groups in the UAE who were among the few that stood up to help affected OFWs—proving further the strong bayanihan spirit among the community

Shiela Jane Capatan-Reyes

 

This Filipina, who has suffered from a massive pay cut due to the economic impact of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), has initiated aid to over 1,000 Filipinos in the region—proving that one does not need to be rich or stable to help.

She said that she knows the struggle and hardships of Filipinos affected by the pandemic, noting that she has had her salary cut and her husband put into forced unpaid leave.

Reyes added that their situation pushed them to start providing help for other Filipinos who had been displaced by the crisis. They began by delivering goods straight to the doorstep of people in need.

“I was deeply heartbroken knowing that many of our Kababayan ay sobrang naapektuhan sa pandemic na ito lalong lalo na ang mga nawalan ng trabaho, naka-unpaid leave, stranded, at mga parents na biglang nawalan ng work at may mga anak na kasama dito. We wanted to be there on the time when needed the most, when people could not go out para makapag-abot ng tulong o makahingi ng tulong,” she said.

Reyes said their friends got inspired to take part in the project, and from there, it became a big platform for Filipinos who wish to help, and those who need it. “Nakapag-abot na po tayo ng tulong to more than 1,000 distressed Filipinos in the region and the numbers are still growing to date,” she said.

Filipino Club Ras Al Khaimah

This Filipino non-profit organization strengthens further the spirit of bayanihan in a time of crisis as they initiate aid in the emirate for Filipino who lost their jobs or have been placed on unpaid leave.

The club, which has been around since 1989, has been providing assistance to affected Filipinos through their FCR COVID-19 Helping Hand Project. In this initiative—spearheaded by the club’s president Meliton Castillo, Chairwoman of Labour & Welfare Affairs Shirley Diaz, Secretary Rodalie Sanchez, Chairwoman on Consular Affairs Nini Mascariña, Gerry Genil, Ghem Marte, Loreta Retondo, Ave Marte, Liezl Malapitan, and Jonathan Sanchez—members and volunteers provide relief packs and food aid straight to the doorsteps of the beneficiaries.

According to Sanchez, the project began by using money from their own pockets to buy rice sacks, canned goods, eggs, and noodles. The club then caught the attention of other residents, who then contributed monetary aid to sustain their operations.

Among those that have helped them include the organizing committee of Kalayaan 2020 and RAK Charity Association, which gave them 700 pieces worth of grocery vouchers. Their contributions, Sanchez said, helped them provide aid to over 1,000 distressed OFWs. Other groups who supported them are RAK Bayanihan OFW, Philippine UAE Community, RAK Pinoy OFW Tambayan, Pinoy RAK OFW, and Helping Hand.

Traders Community Abu Dhabi (TCAD)

A group of Filipinos—Yen Cantero, James Morales, and Lloyd Arceo—who are currently under no-work-no-pay have set up Traders Community Abu Dhabi (TCAD), a friendly platform in Abu Dhabi that offers barter as a system to help participants trade goods and services without using money.

Through this group, members have begun using the system to gather essential goods, which they then distribute to other Filipinos who are affected by the economic effects of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

A group of Filipinos—Yen Cantero, James Morales, and Lloyd Arceo—who are currently under no-work-no-pay have set up Traders Community Abu Dhabi (TCAD), a friendly platform in Abu Dhabi that offers barter as a system to help participants trade goods and services without using money.

Through this group, members have begun using the system to gather essential goods, which they then distribute to other Filipinos who are affected by the economic effects of coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Staff Report

The Filipino Times is the chronicler of stories for, of and by Filipinos all over the world, reaching more than 236 countries in readership. Any interesting story to share? Email us at [email protected]

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