Filipinos in Kuwait launch donation drive to assist typhoon victims

October 4, 2011

A massive donation drive to help the victims of the two horrendous typhoons that hit the Philippines in recent days has been launched by the Filipino community in Kuwait.

Nearly 70 people have been confirmed dead in the typhoons, while many are still missing and over 160,000 people remain at evacuation centres awaiting immediate assistance.

The drive in Kuwait is being spearheaded by the Filipino Badminton Committee (FBC) in coordination with the Philippine Overseas Labour Office (POLO) and the Filipino Cultural Club, the Bicolanos in Kuwait, Fil Aseak, the Philippine Amateur Basketball Association in Kuwait and the Beta Sigma Fraternity (Kuwait Chapter).

“What we launched is collecting donations from our members but all in kind,” Dr Chie Umandap, the FBC Chairman, said. “We would like to discourage donations in cash because we are not from government agencies and cannot process such donations. What we are accepting are token donations of canned goods, noodles and medicines, maybe clothes and something to keep bodies warm amidst massive flooding,” Umandap said, quoted by Kuwait Times daily on Tuesday.

Filipinos and people of all other nationalities are welcome to donate goods, he said.

“This is not exclusive for members – even non-members are welcome. In fact, we appeal for help from everybody. Consider your donation an early Christmas gift to our kababayans [countrymen]. If there are other nationalities who wish to donate you are most welcome and may God bless you. We have a situation in the Philippines that calls for our action so we want to heed that call,” he said.

The POLO in Kuwait is also encouraging everyone to donate and to show solidarity with the typhoon victims.

David Des Dicang, Philippine Labour Attaché to Kuwait, said it was time to show solidarity.

“We are in Kuwait and we are not affected, but our brothers and sisters are struggling for their everyday lives back in Pampanga and Bulacan; this is the time to come forward, unite for one cause and share something,” he said.

According to Umandap, a cargo company is sponsoring at least half of the forwarding expenses,

“If anyone who wants to buy boxes and forwarding expenses it will be okay; it can be arranged to the forwarding cargo subject to fifty percent discount,” he said.

Philippine Vice Consul Rea Oreta said he was delighted to hear about the Filipino community leaders’ initiative.

“It is indeed a very laudable effort by our Filipino organizations in Kuwait to initiate the donation drive,” she said. “However, besides submitting your donations in kind to them, please note that you can also direct your help to Philippine agencies such as the DPWH and Red Cross. And also please donate only to legitimate organizations with proven track records,” she said, quoted by the daily.

The Manila weather bureau has warned that the flooding would continue for the next five days, especially in the worst affected areas in the northern Philippines, including the coastal towns and districts of Bulacan and Pampanga. Typhoon Nesat has caused an estimated PHP 8.8 billion ($200 million) in damages, according to the Philippine National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC).



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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