The COVID – 19 pandemic has truly opened our eyes to the reality. The reality that there is inequity. Whilst some are still able to be as comfortable as they can be — despite the sudden, unusual changes – there’s another sector that barely can survive.
The Philippines was – and still is — one of the hard – hit countries. We pale in comparison, in terms of response and combating the pandemic, against our neighbouring countries. The first months were tough as it can be. The government announced Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) – total lockdown, in simpler terms – which meant putting a halt in the normal operations of just about everything. Some felt sad as they had to be confined at home; some were downtrodden because they lost their job in a snap.
My love language is acts of service. Beyond the romantic aspect, I have always felt the need to do something that could provide, even in the smallest way possible, reprieve for the vulnerable ones. I have been a staunch animal welfare advocate. All my charitable efforts go to ensuring animals get a better life; a life they utterly deserve.
The pandemic and its continued repercussions made me zoom in to the truth. The truth there’s a lot of disadvantaged people becoming even more deprived. Deprived of work, deprived of comfortable living, of access to healthcare, of protection from the global crisis. I knew I had to do something. I have made several donations and voluntary work to different organizations and programs. But, I knew I can create further influence and in a position to encourage more people to do the same. I brought the idea of creating a fundraising to our management.
I, together with two other colleagues, looked for non – government organizations we can partner with for this initiative. In searching, we considered the following: a.) small scale so we would have more impact; b.) target the most vulnerable at this time of heightened concern; and, c.) align with our goal to become a more inclusive organization. We chose Grain Foundation for PWD, Inc. Grain Foundation is grounded on its vision to provide underprivileged Person with Disabilities a safe space where there is no discrimination and they, together with their families, are able to access their utmost needs such as education, livelihood and health care.
I spearheaded a fundraising within Generali Philippines’ employees. They can pledge a minimum of Php 800 or equivalent to a few weeks’ worth of food and medicines for a PWD and his family. The fundraising only ran for a week, but we received utmost support from our colleagues! Some pledged for three (3) families, five (5) and even 15! We were able to pool a substantial amount, including the company’s own monetary donation, and we, indeed, made a difference for our partner community.
It was at this time that we have truly lived by the Living in the Community and Human Touch. Us, who were fortunate enough to retain our jobs and financial sustenance, did not hesitate to share our blessings. Generali Philippines – the company itself and the entire team – gave their utmost support on this endeavour.
We manifested Living in the Community and Human Touch then, and, certainly, it was just a step forward. I am proud to say that we have recently launched The Human Safety Net in the Philippines. With THSN, we have more power to create a positive impact in the lives of our kababayans. We are going beyond Corporate Social Responsibility; we are embedding a value. We are living our purpose.
Through all these, I am glad that I am with this organization. I am thankful I have the opportunity to make a difference. I am one proud member of the Generali Family.