by: Alyssa Camille Pangilinan
What would you do if you are getting paid to travel the world? Most of you will probably say “Of course! I will visit all the tourist attractions, explore their culture, and try all their authentic cuisines”. Well, that would be the case for most people, but this multi-cultural group of colleagues and friends found it as an opportunity to be the catalyst for change, take action and make a difference to the society. It started when a group of cabin crew based in Doha, Qatar decided to sort out their excess personal stuff, sell them through a garage sale and donate the proceeds to a charitable cause. Little did they know, some colleagues and even strangers got inspired with their actions. Thus, Meet TheWorld Initiative (MTWI) campaign was formed last September 6, 2016.
“Meet the World – since the people we will be doing our charity projects for will be meeting cabin crew volunteers coming from different parts of the world and Initiative – because we initiate charity projects”
–said Yanne, one of the founding members of MTWI
This cabin crew lifestyle of crossing borders and being checked by immigration officials. The struggle of being in different time zones and then waking up forgetting which country you are in. The privilege to travel the world paved the way to reach more people and overcome boundaries. An opportunity to share their stories and be proud of their culture while spreading kindness. A chance to become a blessing to other people and be an instrument of hope to others regardless of race, color and nationality.
What started as an awakening became a life with purpose. A life where you were able to see a glimpse of hope in the eyes of the restless and weak who cannot even utter enough words to express how grateful they are for the act of kindness. A life where you can give back to the community and support the individuals who are struggling to make a living.
No glitz and glamour, just purpose and compassion
More often than not, we keep seeing articles covering success stories of cabin crews, how they do the grueling training, how often they travel and the perception of how glamorous the job is. We keep seeing them in an elegantly styled uniform wearing a hat with their airline’s logo making them look stunningly gorgeous. We see a lot of passengers admiring them for their charisma and posture.
But then, how come we rarely see articles showing the essence and the motivational drive of these individuals who utilize their resources to touch the lives of those who are in need? This article is dedicated to all the people behind this organization- for coming up to this idea, taking action and for giving your time and effort one country at a time. Here are some of the projects spearheaded by these passionate globetrotters.
Casa del Migrante El Samaritano (Migrant temporary shelter) MEXICO
This shelter who creates a space of safety and accommodates migrants transiting the country is located in Bojay, Hidalgo. It is run by volunteers and its mission is to receive migrants, provide them with food, rest, personal hygiene and medical attention. They received groceries and two washing machines from MTWI.
“It was heartbreaking to talk to them and to hear their stories. What shocked me the most was the face of some of them, you can read in their eyes and see how much they have suffered”.
-said Ballantine, one of the members of MTWI.
Gifts of Joy (Home for kids and elderly of Mother Theresa) TACLOBAN CITY, PHILIPPINES
It is the time of the year when children expect to receive gifts and enjoy the holiday season. MTWI gave love on Christmas day to these lovely children through sponsoring their party. They provided food and drinks for 150 persons including toys that will be available for use in their play area last December 2018.
Sharing kindness in the street of CALICUT, INDIA
“Why not just make someone have a nice day instead? Like for people who have to work really hard, sometimes on harsh weather just to put food on their table. As a cabin crew, we know memories can be one of the nicest gifts we can give to people”
-said Trisha, one of the members of MTWI
And so, the volunteers who had a layover flight in India decided to give food, drinks and money to coconut vendors and garbage collectors. Before this, they already gave clothes to the locals of Calicut especially those children living near the beach side.
Hospital blankets (fund-raising drive) BULAWAYO, ZIMBABWE
MTWI started a fund-raising campaign to help Ingutsheni Hospital in getting thermal blankets for its patients. They used their proceeds from the garage sale they had organized to buy the necessary blankets for the public hospital last March 2018.
In partnership with Rescue Team NAIROBI, KENYA
MTWI visited Rescue Team Kenya, a charity that works with a very small school in a slum to give the donations in-kind, share their time and bond with the children. They collected in-kind donations not only for the children but also for their families.
Rescue Team Kenya is a non-profitable organization started on the 21st of February 2014 which envisions to bring hope for the needy children. The mission of the organization is to make sure all of the children have a good opportunity to attain a good future by providing love, food, shelter, clothing, education, safe drinking water , medical care and career opportunities. It is mainly based at Mukuru slum Nairobi, Kenya where the charity also owns a community school for almost 68 orphaned and deprived children.
To be able to do more projects and tie-up with other organizations, Meet TheWorld Initiative took the decision to register it and be an official non-profit organization. What started as a diversified small group of flight attendants ultimately became a network for their fellow cabin crew to donate things and transport them from one country to another. This campaign became an eye-opener for many. They accomplished a wide range of projects and missions all around the world from giving groceries to the home of disabled kids in Bangkok, donating in Metta Mama & Maggha Foundation in Indonesia, helping the families affected by the big fire happened in Jolo, Philippines, giving 31 school bags and dental kits to the children in Cochin, India , donating to UN Refugee Agency and even giving groceries and clothes to the expatriates living in Qatar . During this pandemic, they were also able to reach a helping hand by giving 45-48 bags of groceries to those who lost their jobs due to the closure of businesses.
MTWI org. envisions a world where people care for one another. A world where compassion is a lifestyle. They believe that every person has the power to make this world a better place by spreading kindness, hope and unity. For them, that is their mission. To be the agents of change through overcoming boundaries.