Monday, March 01, 2010

Pinoys in Dubai launch fund-raising for deaf-mute baby

Pinoys in Dubai launch fund-raising for deaf-mute baby

Filipinos in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) launched last Friday a fund-raising campaign to help a two-year-old deaf-mute child get a hearing aid implant in his brain.

Beneficiary of the campaign, “A can of hope, a Dirham for Enzo," is Braeden Enzo Manuel Puras, a two-year-son of an overseas Filipino worker (OFW) couple in Dubai, according to a report in the UAE-based news site Khaleej Times.

The campaign involved distributing five cans each to Filipino organizations, companies, establishments and individuals, facilitated by the Filipino Offroad Auto Club (FORAC). Participants and well-wishers are being urged to drop currency coins in these cans.

A total of 205 cans were personally distributed by Enzo’s parents Wayne and Rowena Puras during the February 26 launch. Collections will run until March 24, and donations will be counted and handed over to the Puras couple on March 26 in Safa Park in Dubai.

“We got an overwhelming response from the people. We are looking forward to March 26, the counting date, and hope to collect 200,000 coins," said FORAC president Liza Concepcion.

The amount will go to treatment through cochlear implant and speech rehabilitation for Enzo to be able to hear and speak.

The treatment, as estimated by the American Hospital in Dubai, costs Dh216,000 (about P2.7 million).

The Filipino family has raised Dh70,000 (about P877,000) for it, but the big task of collecting the rest of the amount (Dh146,000 or about P1.8 million) remains.

All 500 cans are properly labeled with serial numbers, according to FORAC, and some will also be circulated privately among friends, families and individuals who wish to help Enzo.

There will be a monitoring chart to be signed by all the recipients of the cans, Concepcion said.

A medical report, as well as a letter of appeal from the parents of Enzo and Philippine Consul General Benito Valeriano’s endorsement of the campaign, will also be handed out along with the cans.

Enzo had earlier been confined in intensive care unit after his birth on January 15, 2008 for respiratory distress. In August last year, the Puras couple noticed that Enzo could utter only one sound, and a check at the hospital showed that the baby has a hearing a problem.

A further check at the American Hospital showed that Enzo was completely deaf, a condition that has also affected his speech.