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ENFiD-NL: Joining the Fil-Euro Agents of Change

By Rohlee de Guzman
The Hague-The Netherlands
November 22, 2012

The Hague-November 17: The Dutch branch of the European Network of Filipino Diaspora (ENFiD-NL) was formed on Saturday, 17 November 2012 at the Philippine Embassy in The Hague. The founding organisations is composed of Stg. Bayanihan, Stg. Habagat, Bisayang Dako sa NL (BisDak), United Migrant Domestic Workers (UMDW), Damayang Pilipino sa Holland, Siena Kolektiba and the representative of the Philippine Embassy (PE), the Hague, Vice-Consul Cynthia Pelayo. ENFiD-NL will be the Dutch partner formation of ENFiD- Europe.
The representatives of founding organisations of ENFiD-NL. Standing from left: Sofia Oreel and Lein Balaoing from Stg. Bayanihan, Pops de Wit of Damayang Pilipino sa NL, Coring delos Reyes of UMDW, Doris Alfafara of Stg. Habagat, Jessie Ligan of BisDak, Rose Sloema of Stg. Bayanihan. Seated from left: Rohlee de Guzman of Siena Kolektiba, Vice Consul Cynthia Pelayo and Diana Oosterbeek-Latoza of Stg. Bayanihan

‘Batuhan ng utak’
Upon arrival at the PE after defying mist and cold, the representatives of the seven founding organisations animatedly greeted one another. Most of them long-time acquaintances and friends in the field of support and services to fellow Filipinos in the Netherlands and abroad. After a brief presentation about the Diaspora to Dialogue (D2D) Conference held in Rome in September 2012 and about the ensuing body borne there, the ENFiD, the attendees discussed the pros en cons of joining ENFiD and what difference would it make for their organisation if they join the ENFiD. After three hours of ’batuhan ng utak’ (brainstorming), it was concluded that ENFiD has a potential to be a unifying factor of Filipino organisations in Europe and by joining it, the individual Filipino organisations in Europe could have a greater access to and broader network for resources (skills and expertise and possible fundraising).
Moreover, the attendees believe in the potential of ENFiD-Europe to bring a structured system in synergizing the countless initiatives, projects and programs within the Filipino Community in Europe. ENFiD also has official link with the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) and the Philippine Embassies and Consulates. They act as supporting partners although they are not members of ENFiD. This is positively conceived by the attendees to be of help in facilitating future activities and communication. From the part of ENFiD-NL attendee Diana Oosterbeek-Latoza of Stg. Bayanihan said, “This is our chance to participate at a regional level in Europe on matters which concern us all. ” With these conclusions, the attendees unanimously agreed to form ENFiD-NL to join the growing Fil-Euro agents of change.

So now…

ENFiD-NL aims to activate the involvement of youth and other Filipino organisations in the Netherlands. It also raised the idea of mainstreaming the plight of undocumented ‘kababayans’ in thematic and sectoral discussions within the Filipino community.
Information on ENFiD Europe and ENFiD NL will be published at the PE website and the mailing address of ENFiD-NL will be the PE in the Hague. The meetings of ENFiD –NL will be hosted by the PE. An Interim Secretariat was designated composed of Rohlee de Guzman, Doris Alfafara and Vice-Consul Cynthia Pelayo.
Invitation to next meeting set on January 12, 2013

Invitations for the next meeting set on Saturday, 12 January 2013 will soon be sent to Filipino organisations and groups. In this meeting the following topics, among others, will be discussed: how to effectively activate the youth, is there a need to facilitate individuals who do not formally belong to any organisations but are interested and active and how to do this, will the ENFiD-NL be formally registered.  Filipino organisations in NL are cordially invited to come to this meeting. Intention to attend can be forwarded to the PE, office of Vice Consul Cynthia Pelayo, multilateral@philembassy.nl.

About author Rohlee de Guzman:

Rohlee de Guzman worked for years as Policy Advisor for Center for Development Cooperation-Limburg and is now Advisor/Consultant at M&C Advisory in Heerlen. She is Acting Chairperson of Siena Kolektiba, a collective of Filipina migrant professionals in Europe.

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