The Philippines is a country known not only for its exquisite handicrafts but also its devastating typhoons. According to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), an average of 20 typhoons hit the country every year. In 2013, the wrath of Typhoon Haiyan affected over 14 million people across different provinces; a staggering 7,360 people were left dead or missing. Haiyan still remains to be the most powerful and destructive cyclone that the Philippines has ever experienced. Because of tapering relief efforts in hardest hit areas Samar and Leyte, social enterprise Abre Linea was brought to life. Watch the following clip to learn more about the brand and their story.
VIDEO: The Abre Linea Story
I’ve constantly mentioned in previous posts that social entrepreneurship can help bring forth the most significant changes we can ever hope for in this world. Marrying expertise with a genuine desire to help can inspire a community-driven movement whose principal focus is the people. The story of the Abre Linea team is a testament to this notion.
The brand was born because Haiyan survivors weren’t getting enough help! They saw a glaring problem and decided to take action. These days, it’s become so convenient to voice out our opinions with regard societal issues that frustrate us, all thanks to social media. While this is commendable as it shows that we somehow care, it’s also important that we channel caring through doing. We can rant, point fingers and complain for as long as we want. Without individual action, our hopes and dreams will remain as they are -- merely a product of our imagination.
When diseases plague communities and natural calamities strike, let’s try to ask ourselves, “Is there something that I can do to help ease these people's suffering?” “What specific action can I take to aid victims of natural disasters whose loved ones perished or are still missing?” Sometimes we hesitate to act because we think we can’t do much or we’d rather leave it to other people to do the work as we cheer for them on the sidelines. Help is help, no matter what form it takes.
Anyone has something to offer. Perhaps you can start with the skills you excel in, whatever it may be. A teacher can provide counsel to children whose schools had been swept away by a massive flood. Anyone who is good with their hands can volunteer to build houses for those who lost theirs. If you are a creative spirit, perhaps you can create a documentary to get the word out on how others can help.
Think about the people most affected by the issues that matter to you. If these issues speak to you so profoundly, it shouldn’t be too difficult to get inspired to act.