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Online communities serve as platforms for advocacy during pandemic

Kyle Chua
Online communities serve as platforms for advocacy during pandemic
The founders of online groups Filipina Homebased Moms, Let's Eat Pare, and Bounce Back PH share how they've tried to uplift the community during the pandemic

At Digicon 2020, an annual conference tackling the intersection of digital platforms, e-commerce, and digital marketing, the founders of popular Facebook groups Let’s Eat Pare, Filipina Homebased Moms, and Bounce Back PH shared insights about how members are helping each other weather the storm of COVID-19. 

As the threat of the coronavirus pandemic continues, millions of Filipinos are looking online to find a sense of belongingness among like-minded individuals. 

One of the most popular places to join a community is social media, specifically Facebook, which has thousands, if not millions of groups catering to niche ideas and interests. 

At this year’s Digicon, MK Bertulfo, the founder of the Facebook group Filipina Homebased Moms, said that her community grew significantly since the pandemic started. (READ: 5 essential tips to help startups get ahead from the tech VP of design firm Frog)

Filipina Homebased Moms (FHMOMS) is an entrepreneurship and freelancing group that helps moms around the country find work-from-home jobs. 

Bertulfo shared that she initially started the group in 2017 just to help her friends and family land an online job, but the community later grew, attracting moms from provinces and other parts of the country. 

Meanwhile, Mark Del Rosario, founder of popular online community Let’s Eat Pare – a community devoted to finding the best dishes and places to try in the country – said that he created the group in 2016 out of passion. 

Del Rosario envisioned the platform as a place where people and restaurant owners could post what food they’re eating or what they have to offer. 

Both groups later evolved and launched programs and advocacies that supports its members and the community at large. 

FHMOMS, for instance, has a computer rent-to-own program that gives its members an affordable opportunity to start an online job in the middle of the pandemic. Let’s Eat Pare, on the other hand, provides opportunities for MSMEs and various food businesses to grow their market. 

Some communities, however, were formed out of an effort to help people from the very start. 

One such example is Bounce Back PH, a movement comprising entrepreneurs and professionals who want to connect with each other during the pandemic. 

The group’s founder, Jason Dela Rosa, said that it was originally supposed to be a small group of people helping each other out during the initial stages of the lockdown in March. 

But as time passed, more people joined the community in search of a place to connect with others and discuss what’s going on. 

“It grew because of people wanting to help people,” Dela Rosa added. 

Now, the community is a place where business owners come together in donating to frontliners and giving training opportunities for Filipinos who lost their jobs, among other advocacies. – Rappler.com

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