Group donates goods to distressed OFWs in Jeddah
03/10/2009 04:26 PM
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia - An association of Filipino Muslims on Thursday donated canned goods, noodles, and personal items to more than 40 distressed Filipino workers in Jeddah.
The United Maguindanaoan Expatriates Association (UMEA) made the donation after visiting the stranded workers at the shelter run by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) inside the Philippine Consulate General compound in Jeddah on Thursday.
Most of the workers – who are domestic helpers who reportedly ran away from abusive employers – were thankful to the group for the donations that they received.“’Wag sana kayong magsawang magbigay sa amin [I hope you will not get tired of helping us]," said Jennebel Cuaresma who spoke for the distressed workers.
Administrative officer Camillo Mendiola also thanked the group for their “unselfish effort" in providing assistance to the distressed.Likewise, UMEA thanked the OWWA officials for taking care of the stranded workers and once again appealed to the Filipino community not to stop giving assistance to them.
“We are thankful that our fellow Filipino community groups are always here to assist the distressed but continuing assistance within our capacity is still needed. This is the only way we can help our less fortunate kababayans here in the consulate especially that we are all experiencing financial difficulties," a UMEA officials was quoted as saying.
UMEA was organized in 1998 to promote camaraderie among Christian and Muslim Filipinos in the Western Region of Saudi Arabia by holding sports competitions to raise funds for distressed Filipino workers and promote awareness of Islam.
It has also organized three cooperatives actively engaged in businesses such as the Soccsargen overseas Filipino worker Maguindanaoan Cooperative, Buluan Sultan Kudarat Multipurpose Cooperative, and the Talayan OFW Multi-purpose Cooperative.
Among the proposed programs of UMEA this year are a computer literacy seminar, the construction of UMEA Mosque in Cotabato City, donation for Ramadan Iftar 2009, and the food distribution for the coming 2009 Hajis.
UMEA’s leaders include Omar “Joemar" Baganian, president; Ismael “Mike" Aliudin, vice president for Internal Affairs; Engr. Guiamalon “Jams" Umal, vice president for external affairs; Engr. Suharto Utto, secretary-general; Rami Adim, treasurer/finance officer; Omar Nassef Bakong, Auditor;Jaime Sukkor, business manager; Abedin Gunao, press relations officer (PRO); Salem Mangatong, sgt. at arms; Sammy Abdullah, Macabenta “Bert" Marmaya, Ustadz Nasser Kulod, Ustadz Ibrahim Ginomla, Engr. Taoufik Biweang and Mangompia “Manny" Ulak, religious affair and Camansa “Rams" Gunao, adviser. - Ronaldo Concha and Kimberly Jane Tan, GMANews.TV