Hundreds of Yolanda survivors hired in job Fair
by FFE PH News Staff
Sunday’s Oplan Trabaho at the Luneta Park was a ray of hope for Yolanda survivors who have chosen to find their luck in Metro Manila. For hundreds, it was also a step towards recovery.
Annalyn Duterte, 23, only managed to finish high school yet she was one of those first hired in the Oplan Trabaho as a call centre representative. She said ‘I’m nervous because this is my first job, but I know I can do it.’
23-year-old IT student Reñer Alvinez was meanwhile hired as an encoder for clothes shop Bench. He said that the typhoon destroyed their house in Leyte, forcing his family to go their separate ways. As classes are still suspended, he took his chance and came to Manila. After being hired, he said ‘I’m here, I need to start. I will grab this opportunity.’
Not everyone who came to Oplan Trabaho found a job though. But 31-year-old Elmer Ouejada remained optimistic, saying maybe it was because he needed more time to cope with the tragedy.
Others like him still benefitted from the job fair. There were entrepreneurs who were ready to teach volunteers in livelihood seminars. Ronald Lao, a volunteer for Oplan Hatid, even said he will provide a taho livelihood to those interested. Lao, himself unemployed, said his joblessness allowed him to volunteer ‘So I could devote my time helping others.’
There were also etiquette training booths teaching the dos and don’ts of job interviews, skills which the jobseeker needed in future applications.
One of the organisers of the affair, James Deakin, said ‘Never would I imagine this. It’s humbling to see this.’ Oplan Trabaho, like volunteer initiative Oplan Hatid, is a purely voluntary work initiated by concerned private citizens. The 2,000 volunteers and private companies, whom Deakin calls ‘charity SWAT team’, made all these opportunities available for the survivors.
‘With the will to do it, you can achieve wonders. It’s magic.’
Deakin thanked the volunteers. He also gave a message to survivors: ‘Don’t lose hope, there are people out there who still love you and care about you. This is a living proof that if we will give people a right vehicle to help, there’s no shortage of help.’