Ayuda sa Amsterdam Heroes: Chris SB
Chris is the Foundation’s president. He created and has been spearheading the Ayuda since the Pandemic started. Chris lives in Amsterdam with his husband David.
The Foundation was set up to assist and improve the lives of LGBT Filipinos in Europe. However when the pandemic started in March last year there were many LGBT Filipinos in the Netherlands that were struggling and affected through loss of work. Discriminated and refused assistance, Chris chose to extend the Foundations mandate to support ALL Filipinos.
“The LGBT community knows what it’s like to feels to be refused service just because of our gender, identity or expression. We will not let anyone experience that, in their time of need”.
What is your name and where do you live?
My name is Chris and I live in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
How long have you been living in Europe?
Where in the Philippine are you or your family from?
Both my grandfathers from both families are from Sta Ana, Manila. I was living in London before I move here in Amsterdam. I consider myself Manileño, Londoner and Amsterdammer.
Why did you decide to move or stay in Europe?
I moved to London in 2001 to do a Master’s Degree in International Relations and Diplomacy. Then I studied Law and then I got offered a job in an immigration law firm. Eventually I worked for an International Non-Governmental Organisation based in London before I moved to Amsterdam where I currently live.
I moved to Amsterdam for Love.
Please share what made you volunteer in Ayuda sa Amsterdam program?
I am the chairperson of the Filipino LGBT Europe. As a foundation for Filipino LGBTs in Europe, our mandate is the welfare and rights of Filipino LGBTs . When the pandemic started, our main concern was to help the LGBT community. But when non-lgbt persons also started to ask us for our help, we extended our mandate to include ALL. No one should be left behind. The LGBT Community experience discrimination a lot of times and we know how it feels to be refused service just because of our gender, identity or expression. We will not let anyone else experience that.
Please share your experience working as a volunteer?
It’s almost a year since we started our Covid-19 response. We started in March with Online Zumba to boost the morale of the community. We did that together with volunteer Zumba Instructor Walter and Brian. Both broadcasting from their houses in The Hague and Frankfurt. Then we did two fundraising efforts so we can send money to support the Golden Gays in Manila in June. With the help of our volunteer Liason Officer Aaron in Manila we delivered grocery packs and money to the lgbt elders. Then we started distributing Food Aid in May and we met more volunteers. We now have non-lgbt volunteers helping an LGBT organisation. How great is that! The community is coming together for a common goal! I am deeply moved and motivated by this. This pandemic made us realise our strength that we can do great things when we work as one.
Do you have a motto in life?
A great man from South Africa, Nelson Mandela once said “The greatest glory of living lies not in never failing, but in rising every time you fall”. We are defined not by our mistakes, but rather on how we are able to rise from them. This gives me guidance in my life.
What do you want to achieve in the program?
Every migrant person you see is a hero, a personal HERO of their own family. They send money every week back home to the Philippines. They do this so their kids can go to school, their sick parents can have their weekly maintenance medicine, and so the rest of the family can have decent meals to eat.
It is very important for the people we help to survive this pandemic. Like everyone else, from time to time, we also need help. Everyone needs a helping hand, even HEROES needs a helping hand. We want these HEROES to survive so they can continue to be HEROES of their families.
“It is very important for the people we help to survive this pandemic. Like everyone else, from time to time, we also need help. Everyone needs a helping hand, even HEROES needs a helping hand. We want these HEROES to survive so they can continue to be HEROES of their families.”
Ayuda sa Amsterdam Heroes is a feature mini series to highlight the spirit of volunteerism and camaraderie during covid-19 pandemic. May their stories spark bravery and heroism to all of us and may it serve as a beacon of hope to those who needs help.
DO YOU NEED HELP?
If you need help, you may read more on what we do via the link below. We do weekly distribution of food aid in Amsterdam.
Alternatively, please send an email to AyudasaAmsterdam@FilipinoLGBT.eu.
DO YOU WANT TO HELP?
Do you want to volunteer or help us with us with our work? Please kindly send an email to AyudasaAmsterdam@FilipinoLGBT.eu.
Alternatively, you may also make a donation via the link below: