A group of friends have set up a fundraising campaign to run, walk and exercise a combined total of 11,000 km in honour of Filipino healthcare workers who have lost their life during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The initiative is called BalikBayani - inspired by the Tagalog words “Balikbayan” which refers to a Filipino countryman who has returned home from working abroad, and “Bayani” meaning “hero” - and the team are aiming to travel 11,000 kilometres, the distance between the UK and the Philippines, to symbolise the final journey home of those lost. There are more than 100 team members from the Philippines, UK, Canada, Singapore, Italy and the USA, and together they raised £20,000 for the RCN Foundation COVID-19 Support Fund, to support families of the Filipino health care workers who passed away in the UK in this most difficult of times.
Deepa Korea, RCN Foundation Director says: “The BalikBayani initiative recognises the dedicated Filipino frontline health and social care workers who have died from COVID-19, whilst working to keep communities safe. We are very grateful for donations to the RCN Foundation COVID-19 Support Fund, which will offer practical support to the families in the UK left behind, at this most difficult time.”
Bianca Handbury-Morris, event organiser says: "We now know that the Filipino health and care community in the UK has been disproportionately affected on the frontline fighting COVID-19. This is why our group at BalikBayani have come together to raise funds for the families that have lost their loved ones. We're so grateful to have partnered with the RCN Foundation who have been a tremendous source of support for the Filipino community. Filipino health and care workers have cared for our families. We must now care for theirs."
Read stories of the friends taking part on Twitter @Ba11kBayani