Besides giving back to your loved ones back home and helping the Philippine government through your remittances, there are many ways on how you can help Filipinos worldwide as an OFW. Yes, you read that right: you can help other Filipinos too, be they in the Philippines or in other countries working abroad like you. And when Filipinos work together—well, you know something amazing is bound to happen! From us at OFW on Air, here are some simple ways on how you can help your fellow Filipinos, no matter where you are in the world:
- Be kind to other OFWs. OFWs should be doing everything they can to help each other. All the more so that you are outside of the Philippines — you should stick together! Don’t bring each other down! Sabi nga ng aming motto dito, we rise by lifting others. So, at every chance you get, be kind to other OFWs and do your best to help them.
- Volunteer. When you have the time, try volunteering at outreach programs geared towards Filipinos back in the Philippines. For example, if there are programs aiming to provide relief to Filipinos struck by typhoons or other such tragedies, go and offer your services. Also, if your community abroad hosts culture festivals, go and volunteer as well. You may have the opportunity to promote the Philippines in such events. Normally, there are Filipino organizations abroad who participate in these festivals—join them in spreading the Filipino vibe worldwide!
- Report issues to the proper authorities. When you are experiencing any issues while working abroad, be sure to report them immediately to the proper authorities. These issues may include having a bad employer, being wronged by a fake recruitment agency, experiencing discrimination abroad, and so on. Reporting such incidents will let other OFWs and OFW aspirants know what not to do and where not to work for as they pursue their respective OFW journeys. Also, these reports will inform the government of what improvements need to be done to further protect the welfare of OFWs abroad.
- Play an active role in improving the infrastructure for OFWs. On the flip side of things from tip #3, you should also report any shortcomings on the part of the Philippine government in their aim to improve the lives of OFWs. There are NGOs and OFW organizations you can approach for this purpose. Reporting such issues should at the very least let the government know that something is wrong and that they should take the necessary steps to fix it as soon as possible. It is the responsibility of the government to help OFWs as much as it can, given the vital role they play in boosting the Philippine economy.
- Tell your story. This may be one of the simplest things you can do to help your fellow OFWs and, more importantly, future OFWs who are planning to start their journey abroad. Share your experiences as an OFW—how is it like, are you enjoying it, what challenges are you facing, etc. Be an inspiration to others! There are many outlets for this. Of course there is our wonderful podcast, OFW on Air, where OFWs are interviewed and given the opportunity to tell Filipinos about their OFW experiences. There is also social media, like Facebook and Twitter, where you can share these stories. Sharing your OFW story to others will help give people an idea of what the OFW life is really like, and whether or not it is right for them.
- Set a good example. Remember that as an OFW you are in effect representing the country and all Filipinos on the international stage. You represent our values, attitudes, work ethic, and culture, among other things. Knowing this, you should then do your best as OFWs to give foreigners a positive impression of who we Filipinos are and what we Filipinos can do. Show what the Filipino is made of! Setting a good example will also set a good precedent for future OFWs: now that foreign employers know how wonderful Filipinos are, they will be more inclined to give jobs to Filipinos and the demand for OFWs will improve substantially.
So to all OFWs around the world, please do your best to help each other out and to help your fellow Filipinos back home. Know that even though you are working abroad, miles and miles away from the Philippines, there are many opportunities for you to help out other Filipinos! Ipagpatuloy natin ang bayanihan!