At the start of this month, Coalition of Filipino Community (FILCOM) Organizations in Kuwait, Board of Directors (BOD) came together for charity to somehow alleviate the unfortunate situation of fellow Filipinos who work as K9 handlers in Mahboula. They were terminated from work in May without due process and did not receive any monetary assistance as well.
It was a very difficult situation without any money for food, medicines and they couldn’t even communicate with their families back home in the Philippines. But as always, when Filipinos come together as one, supporting each other, reaching out to those who are helpless becomes easier.
In an interview with Ilokana Women’s Organization in Kuwait (IWOK) Founder, Ms. Mariam Alzankawi, she shared her thoughts about the K9 handlers’ situation.
1. How did you know about the distressed employees’ situation?
When we are involved in the community, concerned people share stories with us and ask what we can do about a certain situation or a group of people who need help.
2. What made you decide to do charity for them?
Upon knowing their situation having no salary for almost 3 months, no food to eat, no money for medicines even if some of them are getting sick and definitely, they could not buy load to communicate with their families back home, they are in dire situation and need immediate assistance that’s why I decided to extend a helping hand to the distressed OFWs.
- How did you organize the charity event? Who came to support the outreach program?First, I posted about it on Ilokana Women’s Organization in Kuwait (IWOK) group that these unpaid OFWs need immediate assistance – food, personal necessities for hygiene, medicines and cash. I also did the same thing at the group of Board of Directors (BOD) FILCOM.
It was very fortunate indeed that I got quick responses – pledges for cash, goods, donation and medicines. My fellow BOD’s helped me to collect those pledges.
On the day of the charity, my IWOK group, some of my fellow FILCOM BOD’s were present and Ms. Rosita Ortiz as well.
- Where was the venue of the said event? The accommodation of the K9 handlers is in Mahboula.
5. What is the status of the distressed employees and what do you plan in order to assist them more?
They are 29 unpaid OFWs waiting for help until now. Sad to say that they are staying in a poorly ventilated accommodation. In this humid weather, it is not good for their health that is why some are getting sick already.
They were terminated last May without valid reason and since then, there has been no assistance coming from their company. They filed a case against their company in the hope of being able to get their proper indemnity. They need help from the community and our Embassy. Until their case is finished or until they could be repatriated back home to the Philippines, my IWOK group and my fellow BOD’s will continue to assist and monitor their situation.
Very grateful to PANIK, OFW Movements, IWOK, TROPA, CIK, BISDAK, Aim Global and to everyone who has helped make the first charity possible for the K9 handlers of Mahboula. Thank you very much.