Most Influential Filipinos in the Gulf – FILIPINO DIGERATI CLUB (FDA)
At the Filipino Digerati Club (FDA), an organization filled with people whose expertise or professional involvement comprises of Information Technology, it is all about connecting Filipinos through technologies and skills – and sharing thoughts and minds for personal development. The group has provided personal programs, computer literacy and education classes, high-quality computing and office procedurals to around 17,000 students in the last six years. Team building activities and internal seminars and mentoring were also provided to gain more knowledge. The group encourages cross-functional responsibilities in order to prepare and build a mere volunteer in holding higher positions in the organization in the future. “FDA sets up different branches in different Emirates and trainings are conducted regularly every Friday,” says President Lillian Bautista. “FDA has gone far to, at least, five Emirates as part of reaching out to co-Filipinos from sub-urban places instead of them going to the Dubai branch which might be considered far for them. FDA is the only group with most branches. FDA has also the most number of offered courses, including livelihood programmes.”
Interestingly that has also become its main challenge – putting up different branches. During those times, there were no volunteers living on such Emirate and it took a while before establishing a new set of volunteers from the location until leaving them on their own. “Despite all the troubles or struggles FDA meets, being positive contributes to a better outlook in life,” she says. “All volunteers provide free services, not just to help others but to make themselves happy and fulfilled at the same time. It is always sweet music to the ears whenever a sincere “thank you” from Kababayans is received. It is very rewarding whenever a FDA graduate would inform that he or she was promoted at work, gained a better job or has put up his own business.”
As of now, FDA has more than 15,000 course graduates – some give updates about what’s going on with them; others send messages whether they are still in the UAE or otherwise.