Love is help in action
Maria Josefina Mamuyac has been a valuable volunteer for the Philippine Red Cross movement since 2003. Every year, on the same day in September, the local blood donation center hosts her popular ‘bloody birthday parties’: “I invite all my friends and ask them to make a blood donation.”
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“Life should be lived with a purpose, I believe. And for me, loves moves. Love can get someone in action; moreover: love is help in action. That is – for me – the essence of being a volunteer. We want to help others, serve others. That is why I became a volunteer for the Red Cross in 2003.

Being a Red Cross volunteer has helped me to become a better person. It has kept me grounded. In challenging times, it makes me grateful, appreciative and value everything I have. It also helped me to discover that I have a gift and the power to make a difference. Thanks to my time with the Red Cross and the courses they offer I had the chance to become a First Aid and Basic Life Support instructor and member of the Emergency Response team.

When you work in the medical field you know how valuable blood is, and what consequences it has when there isn’t enough donor blood available for patients. Therefore, I decided to support the Mass Blood Donation campaign which takes place every year on my birthday. These parties became known as the ‘Bloody Birthday party’. I invite all my friends but instead of bringing a gift for my birthday I ask them to donate blood. If they cannot or don’t want to donate, they have to bring someone else that can. In return I give them tokens of appreciation for their support for those in need.

This work has helped me discover my own light and empower myself. With that power I can now inspire others, especially young volunteers that are still searching for their position. It has helped me to think outside myself and given me to possibility to help others. And as I said before, love is help in action.”

In 2018 Maria Josefina Mamuyac received the Philippine Red Cross Volunteer Award for her years of loyal active service.

Maria Josefina Mamuyac

Philippines, 2003

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7 young women for every 10 young men complete upper secondary school in low-income countries. If we want more future female leaders, we need to close the gender gap in education.

– UN Women

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