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Moving Forward — Together

In the advent of the coronavirus pandemic, a wave of panic alongside the spread of the disease forcing governments from across the globe to take the necessary health actions, which includes closing of establishments, forcing everyone into self-quarantine, just to avoid the risk of infecting a great many.

Amidst this health crisis, economies have been greatly hit – workers are either let go or forced to work still, others are granted the opportunity to work from home, while others who are self-employed have to make ends meet. Front liners, most especially, are at most risk since they have to attend to patients and ensure their welfare, all to keep the virus at bay.

However, in the process of quarantine, they are not the only ones at risk amidst the pandemic, there is another group many have forgotten, worst, neglected, and taken for granted – the informal workers. They are small-scale vendors, drivers, to name a few. They, together with our medical front liners, are left to make ends meet despite the threat of being infected.

Thankfully, these people were never forgotten by the people. Little did they know, help was on the way.

As it is within these trying times when heroes slowly emerge from the shadows, when initiatives are born to shed light on those afflicted, and where we can exercise our humanity.

Left and right, initiatives have been coming to light, enabling compassion to arise amidst the panic – that we are stronger than the fear that this pandemic has brought us, that together, we can beat COVID-19.

One such initiative is powered by the combined forces of energetic minds from the young blood dwelling from our very own City of Golden Friendship, one hoping to appeal to the people to hear their plea.

The FundForward Initiative is a local crowdfunding platform that aims to support small-scale, vulnerable communities greatly affected by COVID-19. It is powered by the youth of Cagayan de Oro city, empowering those who are leading positive actions in their communities – big or small. The project sets its sights on giving the youth a chance to fully work their magic to giving aid where it is needed, to give voice to the voiceless, and to fully exercise their compassioned selves.

“I think there are different initiatives out there and their focus might not be the same with us — and that's okay. In times like this, I believe we need to see past the competition but understand that we can't get out of this if we won't work side-by-side reinforcing each other. May more initiatives to help others arise!” says Adam Anay, Project Head of the FundForward Initiative. He, together with a small band of volunteers, are working together to make this project happen.

“We want to help as many small-scale, youth initiatives in the city. I think that is the end game. As long as there are people who are willing to help, we continue to help.”

The FundForward Initiative recognizes small communities greatly affected by the pandemic, aiming to build a community of young donors to make an impact in their very own city, to give them a chance to help in however way they can.

“…the idea that there are some good initiatives in the city and are not given the proper audience. If more people can know about this, then the faster we can bring help to those who are experiencing difficulty brought by the pandemic.” he further adds.

Compared to the initiatives, this project focuses solely on the youth – who, in the words of Dr. Jose Rizal – are the hope of our country. In a way, this project aims to fully evoke a sense of empathy in charity work, a spirit of volunteerism – bayanihan, if you may, and most importantly, support vulnerable communities.

“We have been labeled for the longest time apathetic and [seemingly] not caring for the world, it’s time to change that.” Anay shares when asked about the project being powered by CDO youth. “It’s our future at stake— we can start the change the world needs once the pandemic is over.”

We do not know when exactly the pandemic will end, or what trials will be faced along the way, but when people come together for a common cause, their drive will be stronger than the pandemic itself. Humanity continues to thrive. Life finds a way. We can only pay kindness forward.


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