Lou Olvido-Parroco is a seasoned Senior HR Manager and Life Coach based in Dubai.
My husband and I are both passionate about getting involved with humanitarian and community projects since our university years. Here in the UAE, we are active members of the Couples for Christ community and of numerous Filipino organizations where we get the opportunity to be a part of many humanitarian projects.
During the last five years, we have tried to launch different charity projects each year, and all these turned successful with the help and support of our family and friends. So far some of the major projects that we have successfully rolled out are:
‘Shoot for Shelter’ This was a series of photography workshops ran by my husband who is a respected talent in the field of photography in the UAE. Out of the workshops minimum attendance fees, we have raised enough funds that provided homes to two poor families in the Philippines through Gawad Kalinga Foundation.
‘Color for Her’ As a way of seeing the realization of my unfulfilled wish of providing my mother the finest of lipsticks that she did not have, I have conceived the idea of collecting lipsticks from friends who have the heart to share. This project was also aimed at providing an emotional boosts to Filipinas, particularly to Nanays who are unable to afford themselves a lipstick, the smallest measure of vanity every woman desire to have. This project had gathered more than a thousand tubes of lipsticks which we have distributed to female metro aids, cleaners, street vendors, fish vendors and public school teachers in various places back in the Philippines.
‘Hearty Party’ In an aim to promote health awareness which is a declining priority for many Filipinos in the UAE, we organized a series of two-hour dance parties featuring Zumba and aerobics. The proceeds from the minimal entrance fee were donated to the Anawim Foundation in the Philippines, particularly the adopted elders suffering from heart diseases.
‘Jumpstart, Kabayan!’ This project was aimed at helping our kababayans who came here on visit visa as a way to find better paying jobs. This is a one full-day free workshop conducted by myself which coached and gave participants pointers on how to make effective resume, how to prepare for interviews, how to answer tricky questions, ways to maximize job-hunting, appropriate grooming during interview, understanding what benefits an employee shall be entitled to as per the UAE Labor Law, etc. I will be running four sessions of this workshop again in May.
It is not ‘who’ I have become, but ‘what’ molded me to do what I love doing for others today. It is the difficulties I had been through in my early years that has inspired me to do these charity projects. I like to give because I feel how it is to have nothing because I’ve been there.