By Rene Castro
She goes to sleep at past midnight. At night she is hooked on the social media groups she manages. During the day, in between work or chore hours, she is either talking on the phone about community projects or initiatives, or is conversing on messenger with someone asking her help. Every week she leads her 204 Neighbourhood Watch volunteers in patrolling. Twice a month, she writes articles for her column in Filipino Journal. For Leila Castro, it is the life she wants.
Three years ago, Leila opted to leave her IT Project Management career. “I have chosen to spend the bulk of my time doing things for the community. I do these things for free. It is a lot of work, physically and mentally draining, and many times I get to use my own resources. But I am happy. ”
As young as 12 years old, Leila was already doing volunteers works. Every Saturday, she was visiting the sick at hospital charity ward, the senior people at the home for the aged, and the children in the orphanage. During her university years, she was quite vocal about her advocacies for Women Issues, and Ecology and Sustainable Development. She was an active volunteer of Center for Social Concern and Action (COSCA), the social action arm of the school. She graduated from De La Salle University with a degree in BS Computer Science, and the recipient of Community Development Leadership Award.
In August this year, Leila received a call that she was in the final list of Our Manitoba Heroes 2018. She later found out that she was nominated by her 204 Neighbourhood Watch volunteer Kathy Chionglo. Former long time MAFTI President Mrs. Gemma Dalayoan did the write-up. ‘Our Manitoba Heroes’ is a celebration of Manitobans who do extra ordinary things everyday.
About the author..
Rene Castro is the husband of Leila Castro. Rene is an active volunteer of 204 Neighbourhood Watch and an officer of the Manitoba Association of Filipino Teachers Inc. (MAFTI)