The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc (RAFI) is activating its Humanitarian Disaster Preparedness and Response (HDPR) team to operate a Donation Hub that will serve as a conduit of local and international donations.

As communities continue to cope with the growing global pandemic, RAFI, with the help of All-Terrain Medical Relief Organization (AMRO) and World Vision, has identified interventions that will reach several different groups of beneficiaries.

As of March 25, 2020, RAFI’s response to COVID-19 includes provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) sets consisting of hazmat suits, masks and face shields for 2,000 health practitioners in partnership with AMRO; provision of health kits to 600 families in partnership with World Vision; deployment of roving handwashing trucks to more than 10 barangays daily; sink installations in 3 communities with no hand washing facilities; and donation of food and hygiene products to more than 150 seniors in elderly homes and 1,175 children in children’s centers.

Complete sets of alcohol, masks and thermal detectors will be delivered to these facilities by March 27, 2020.  Relief goods and food packs will be distributed to LGUs and more PPEs will be deployed to the hospitals and health care centers.

As RAFI expands these interventions to reach more communities, the RAFI COVID-19 Donation Hub will serve as a link between donors and donees.

Kind individuals and organizations who wish to join fight COVID-19, may visit www.rafi.org.ph and RAFI’s Facebook Page or e-mail at covid19donationhub@rafi.ph for more details.

As community quarantine to stem the transmission of COVID-19 takes effect in most regions of the Philippines, many companies have resorted to having employees work from home (WFH) until health and safety is assured and mandate from government is lifted. To guarantee business continuity, companies are ensuring telecommuting infrastructure is in place and employees are expected to deliver expected outputs.

Edwin Marfil, Chief Information Technology Officer of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI), shares that companies with agile cultures will have an easier time transitioning to this setup. In RAFI’s case, he says, “by default, RAFI is evidently agile – from our workplace set up, our internal polices, our equipment and particularly our cloud based IT infrastructure. Right now, the most important tool being used by the team members of RAFI during this pandemic situation is the teleconferencing capability designed for internal communication.”

There are multiple tools available online that can make virtual work effective and working from home becomes productive. More than the infrastructure, a new paradigm of being able to contribute to the company remotely needs to be embraced. Below are some tips to make the most of working from home:

  1. Make a routine. Just like going to work on a regular day, make it a point to keep on schedule. Take your breakfast at the usual time, take a shower, and get dressed before getting started. At the end of the day, make sure you record your output just like you do at work. It is business as usual.

2. Create a space. Have a designated area where you can sit comfortably, with a table and a socket nearby to support your electrical requirements. This will also send the right signal to your housemates that when you are in this space, you are to be left alone. This will help minimize distractions.

3. Check in with colleagues. The biometrics machine may not be on hand, but it’s still best to let your colleagues know that you are available. Check in with them through your group chat the moment you begin your working day. Ensure your online status reflects your in-person status. Integrity is key.

4. Decrease your carbon footprint. Limited social circulation is a byproduct of home quarantine. Make sure you abide by this regulation so that you do not get infected or infect others. To bring your social responsibility to a deeper level, see how you can impact the environment positively. Check out RAFI’s Biodiversity Conversation Unit at www.rafi.org.ph. At this time of crisis, we are called to be kind.

5. Pause when necessary. One perk of WFH is that you can pause when needed. If you are not on the front lines during this time of crisis, taking a short pause amidst the obsession with productivity is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Most breakthroughs come after moments of silence and self-reflection. After all, according to some accounts, Isaac Newton developed calculus while on quarantine. Who knows what you will come up with!

The Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI), in partnership with the Cebu City local government unit and Metropolitan Cebu Water District (MCWD), is spearheading a handwashing campaign dubbed #HUNAW as an intervention to fight the severity of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

As the number of COVID-19 cases in the Philippines increases every day, Cebu City has been placed under community quarantine effective March 16th as a preemptive measure to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization (WHO) advises that the two most basic ways to prevent the spread of the highly contagious virus, which is mainly transmitted from person to person, are maintaining social distance and proper handwashing.

This means that transportation hubs and other places where frontliners and people who go out to buy essentials converge may be particularly susceptible to transmission of the virus. Unfortunately, many of these venues lack adequate handwashing facilities.

Thus, with the #HUNAW campaign, RAFI aims to provide such facilities and raise awareness of the importance of proper handwashing through deployment of portable sinks called “Hunawan Stations” at bus terminals, parking lots, jeepney stops, and other places where people convene around the city.

Another area of concern is densely populated informal settlements, so #HUNAW will also be deploying a roving “Hunawan Truck” with a sink facility and loudspeakers to the city’s underserved areas.

A prototype Hunawan Station is currently installed outside the RAFI building in Brgy. Tinago for a trial run. The #HUNAW campaign is set for an initial run of one month starting on March 26th, with the support of People Management Association of the Philippines (PMAP) and Cebu General Services Inc.

RAFI continues to conduct further site assessments to identify additional areas to set up Hunawan Stations and deploy the Hunawan Truck. The Foundation is also looking for partners—organizations and individuals—to help further amplify the campaign to combat the spread of COVID-19.

If you wish to join us in taking the situation by the hand, please scan the QR code on the picture.

You may also e-mail us at kenyashi.uang@rafi.ph.

TOUCHING PEOPLE, SHAPING THE FUTURE. RAFI is a non-government non-profit organization, since 1966, whose mission is to elevate lives by championing best practices in community development in the Philippines.

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The story of Mico Puton, Trust Staff of RAFI-Microfinance Inc,

Most Outstanding Trust Staff of 2019

 

The sound of the busy streets and the scorching heat of the sun—these have never been a hindrance for trust staff Mico Puton, a dedicated employee who has always gone above and beyond to serve the Nanays.

Mico’s first job was as a production worker at an electronics manufacturing company, but after two and a half years there he began to feel that there was something missing—and that he had to find a better way to provide for his growing family.

Since becoming part of RAFI-MFI, Mico has experienced a huge change in his life. He has a new sense of purpose because he can help those in need, watch the Nanays’ businesses evolve, and see their families living a more comfortable life.

As a trust staff who serves as a front-liner of RAFI-MFI, he devotes himself in the field. He clocks in for work as early as 7:30 AM and then proceeds to his assigned areas until late afternoon. He covers around three center meetings from Mondays through Thursdays, with about 40 Nanays present to share updates on their businesses and money tips to help each other along the way.

Because Mico is always out on his motorcycle, danger is never far away. He reminisces about one late afternoon in March 2019 when he had an accident that put him in the hospital for two weeks: “Pag-uli nako gikan field, nadisgrasya ko. Ni counterflow ang pikas na sakyanan, na blackout ko, sige na ko ug balik-balik sakong gipangsulti. Pagmata nako 7pm naa nako sa hospital, wala jud koy nadumduman sa nahitabo. Wala ko nag expect at. Pero salamat sa Ginoo kay na ayo ra dayon ko ug nakadawat ko ug assistance gikan sa RAFI. (When I was on my way home after field work, I met an accident. The other car counter-flowed and I had a blackout and kept on repeating what I said. I woke up at a hospital and could not remember anything, but I’m thankful to God because I recovered quickly and with the assistance of RAFI.)”

Despite his injuries, Mico was still set on serving the Nanays with the utmost diligence. He became even more inspired when he saw his fellow team members winning awards and recognitions during RAFI-MFI events. From then on, he pushed himself to be the best he could be, with full commitment. His perseverance paid off when he was awarded the Most Outstanding Trust Staff 2019, having 532 clients with a retention rate of 99%; collection efficiency of 100%; and loan releases amounting to ₱17,992,000.00. It was an outstanding performance that gave honor both to Mico and to his entire branch.

Gibuhat lang gyud nako tanan nakong dapat buhaton, mao na dako kaayo ni nga achievement. Nakakita ko sa mga nakadaog sauna so naganahan sad ko kay makit-an ko sa management, nag aim ko ug naghago para sa ako pamilya bahala’g dugay ko maka-uli. Pagdawat nako sa award, niresulta ragyud akoang pagkugi para nila ug para sad sa akong kaugalingon. (I did everything that I needed to do. I consider this my biggest achievement. I had seen the previous winners and was interested because I could be seen by the management, so I aimed and persevered to do as much as I could for my family, even though I always came home late. When I received the award, all of the hard work paid off—for my family and myself.)”

Mico dedicates his achievement to his family, who are very understanding about his job. Even though it takes a lot of his time, they support him every step of the way. He also expresses his gratitude to his branch manager and team members, whom he credits with giving him the fire to strive harder and helping him achieve the coveted award.

He describes himself and other RAFInians as “Heroes of the Nanays,” saying, “Kita nga naa sa RAFI, matawag ta na hero kay naa ta diri para mutabang sa kaayuhan sa mga nanay nga pareha ra sad nato. We give light, we build, we touch and elevate the lives of our nanays. Dako kayo ang epekto nato sa katawhan mao na makaingon jud ko na heroes ta. (Here in RAFI, I could say we are all heroes. We are here to help our Nanays, who are just like us. We give light, we build, we touch and elevate their lives. We have such a big effect in their lives; that is why I can say we are heroes in our own ways.)”

Mico loves his job because it allows him to realize a purpose greater than self, grounded with RAFI’s social mission of elevating lives—and he believes that if you love your job and you continue doing it for people, it will always come back to you in ways you never expected. It is a continuous learning process every day, but all you have to do is trust the process.

#IAMRAFI

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