On the day the news came up on television, regarding the floods back home in the Philippines, my family and I were so sad seeing our fellow Filipinos suffering in this kind of calamity.
My wife and I opted to use social media to encourage our family and friends to help in any way they could. That is how it all started. I also asked members of a club I belong to — Unified Filipino Airsoft Club (Ufac) — to help out. We called this operation ‘Trident Reach’.
It was a two week-long campaign of collecting and packing relief goods and donations and a joint effort of the club’s members, families and friends with one goal in mind — to help our unfortunate kabayans [compatriots] back home.
The collected goods include clothes, blankets, medicines, canned foods, instant noodles, biscuits, milk and so on. They are just basic necessities that people need in this kind of crisis. Now we have already filled up nine large containers, which the courier company LBC has offered to ship to the Philippines for free.
A majority of the donations came from Ufac members and their families, and from some friends and anonymous individuals pledging to donate cash and offer a helping hand. It’s heartwarming to know that the Filipino community in the UAE is always ready to help in this kind of situation.
We are happy with the turn out of the donation drive. We hope that other organisations and the whole Filipino community in the UAE would join us. We need them to step up and create such initiatives themselves, because what we have right now is not enough.
Together, we can make a big difference.
We hope in our effort, we will inspire other non-government organisations to initiate humanitarian aid campaigns, because people who are affected by the floods will need help in the months to come, as their lives will only normalise when the floods subside. By the looks of it, it will definitely take time.
To all our kabayans (countrymen) who were affected by the floods, just hold on and be rest assured that people around the world are ready to help.
- The reader is based in Dubai
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