Like other demographic groups, overseas Filipino workers in Macao have also experienced physical or mental health challenges caused by uncertainties during the COVID-19 pandemic. To better support this community and to enhance their well-being, the University of Macau (UM) and Caritas Macau will hold the Health Connection Project for Overseas Filipino Workers in Macao from August to December this year. Under the project, Filipino workers in Macao will be invited to use the ‘Kumusta, Kabayan’ mobile app as well as its website to understand and improve their mental health conditions. ‘Kumusta, Kabayan’ is the first app-based health intervention programme for Filipino migrant workers in Macao and is a valuable addition to social services available to this community during the pandemic. A new version of the system for Chinese communities developed by UM is expected to be launched after being tested.
‘Kumusta, Kabayan’ is an electronic health monitoring system designed to improve the well-being of overseas Filipino workers. It was originally developed by the World Health Organization (WHO) for populations with limited access to mental health services. With the help of researchers at universities and social organisations, different language versions of the system (including Chinese version) have been developed and tested in different regions of the world. It has proven to be useful in helping users cope with stress and emotional disturbance. In the past two years, as a collaborator of UM and with the support of both the Macao Foundation and the university, Caritas Macau has followed the WHO’s guidelines and adapted the system into the mobile app ‘Kumusta, Kabayan’ for overseas Filipino workers in Macao. The app can provide useful information and resources for workers who want to learn more about their mental health. The app is expected to help them improve their well-being and overcome challenges in their daily lives. Users of the app can monitor their health condition by answering health-related questions on a weekly basis. The project is supported by the Philippine Consulate General in Macau SAR and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office.
Starting 9 August, Caritas Macau will hold onsite recruitment for the project every Sunday in August at local churches, service centres under Caritas Macau, and the Philippine Consulate General in Macau SAR. Information about the recruitment and online recruitment activities will be available on the Facebook pages, websites, and other social media platforms of the WelAnser Centre of Caritas Macau, the Philippine Consulate General in Macau, and UM’s Centre for Macau Studies. The programme welcomes all oversea Filipino workers who are aged 18 or above and speak English or Tagalog. Applicants should hold a valid working visa in Macao, plan to stay in Macao for at least six months, and have a smart phone with internet access. Participants will receive a surprise gift by joining the programme while loyal participants will have a chance to win a bigger prize.
For enquiries, please call the WelAnser of Center Caritas at 2871 2965, the Philippine Consulate General in Macau SAR at 2875 7111, or UM’s Centre for Macau Studies at 8822 8130.