Members of the Filipino community in Saudi Arabia extended heaps of praise to a group of flight attendants for their effort to assist overseas Filipino workers displaced from their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic.
According to a feature story by Cosmo Philippines, the group’s efforts began on June 16 when Rissy May Rodriguez shared on social media about a group of Filipino men who lost their jobs or haven’t received a salary for months scavenging for leftover food in trash bins in Riyadh.
Rodriguez did not just stop there, though. She urged fellow OFWs to help out by pitching in extra food or donate money so they can extend the help to distressed fellowmen. Her emotional appeal through social media paid off.
Fellow flight attendants who lived close to Rodriguez reached out to her offering their support.
Rodriguez and Mary Grace Castro initiated a fundraising drive through social media and response came not only from the neighborhood but also places like back home in the Philippines.
Castro helped locate the Filipino men in the photos and they found out that there were at least 400 of them who were affected by the pandemic.
With the help of other flight attendants, the group managed to pool cash assistance and other relief goods that they gathered and started repacking.
Included in each bag were hygiene kits, 2 kilograms of rice, canned goods, and assorted noodles.
“In Saudi Arabia, for us na OFW, we are not just having a good time here. May mga taong nagugutom, so in that way, sa platform [social media] na ‘to, we’re so happy kasi nagagamit namin siya in the right way,” Mary Grace said.