Muscat – The Filipino community in Oman has come together to provide aid to the needy during the lockdown.
The Filipino Community Social Club (FILCOSOC) has been actively monitoring and helping affected community members by supplying essential grocery items across Sohar, Buraimi, Sur, Ibra, Nizwa, Ibri and Salalah.
Aisha Ballena, public relations director at FILCOSOC, said, “We as a community club do not have any source of income but we are able to help the affected Filipino expats with the support of the Embassy of Philippines in Muscat, community members and we have few big-hearted generous donors as well.”
She added that the aid is being given to families and individuals who have been affected due to the lockdown and for many others facing uncertainty at work due to staff layoffs. “While some restaurants are running, they have asked half of the staff to take unpaid leave. In some areas, we came across people of other nationalities and we helped them too.”
Norie Wardat is a mother of three kids who used to send money every month to support her kids’ education back in the Philippines. Her beauty salon has been closed for one and a half months and she and her 21 colleagues are surviving only with the support from the Filipino Buraimi Social Club. In Ibra, 23 Filipino expats are struggling due to COVID-19 lockdown.
“Though it is a small community here in Ibra, the funds we got from the embassy are not enough for everyone. The Embassy of Philippines relief will take time to come, so whatever I could do personally I gave.
“I have posted on my Facebook page asking people to support us in Ibra,” said Sherwin Auman, a volunteer of FILCOSOC in Ibra.
(Text and photos by Syed Fasiuddin)
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