A Story from 204FM Community by Leila Castro
First of all I would like to thank Rod Cantiveros because through this section of Filipino Journal, 204 Filipino Marketplace is able to reach more people including those who are not into social media. 204FM now has 33,000 members. Being a large group, we see from the information and experiences exchanged at 204FM the common sentiments and top problems faced by Filipino immigrants in Manitoba. Knowing these, we try to do something as a community, it’s the bayanihan spirit in us. One of those that keeps on surfacing in posts and discussions at 204FM is the huge concern about safety, so we organized the 204 Neighbourhood Watch volunteer group.
“Walking with Bear Clan, you can really see that people feel safe even if they (Bear Clan) are not the police. I hope and pray that we at 204 Neighbourhood Watch can do this to our community to protect our kids, families and friends.”
Last month I was joined by Joe Baldo and Maj Gonsalves in patrolling with Bear Clan. We did it to gain hands on learning in preparation to doing our own first patrolling. To Maj, more than gaining knowledge on the tactical aspect of patrolling, our walk with Bear Clan became an eye opener to us on the realities of living in our city. Maj shared about her experience, “I was so inspired by all those that Bear Clan is doing. Yes it’s scary, but I am glad knowing that in your own little way you can be of help to the community and make a big difference. Even just walking around your area to look for used syringes and illegal drugs that are irresponsibly left just anywhere, because there is risk that out of curiosity our kids will pick that up and their lives will change forever.
I learned that so many things are happening in our community, and you will be surprised because you never hear them on the news. It’s a nice feeling that Bear Clan/people watch over their neighbourhood and people from that neighbourhood watch over Bear Clan/other people. Walking with Bear Clan, you can really see that people feel safe even if they (Bear Clan) are not the police. I hope and pray that we at 204 Neighbourhood Watch can do this to our community to protect our kids, families and friends.” Maj is one of the active volunteers of the group. She arrived in Winnipeg 2.5 years ago with her husband and two children.
Her family is from Iloilo. Maj is a licensed childcare provider, while her husband, Gilbert, works as Parts Advisor at a car dealer.
This June 26, the 204 Neighbourhood Watch volunteers will do its very first patrolling at the Maples area together with Bear Clan Leader James Favel. We will try to make this the start of the regular patrolling, and eventually to expand to other areas. If you want to be a volunteer, or if you want us to patrol in your location, please join 204 Neighbourhood Watch group or email me at Leilacastro.firstname.lastname@example.org.