Interview of Jason Chan

Meeting Jason Chan communication officer for Fondacio Asia 

Sabine MALDAGUE : Hello Jason! Thank you for meeting me ! I hope you are doing fine!

Jason : Thank you Sabine ! All is well here in the Philippines !

Sabine : I invited you here this morning for a short interview about the situation in the Philippines and more specifically about Fondacio’s situation ! So… let’s get started ! Since when are you in lockdown in the Philippines and how are you coping with it?

Jason : We have been in lockdown since the 18th of March. For my family it is going quite well as we have enough food for the moment and we have a grocery store nearby from our home! We all work less but we are coping all right !

Sabine : Can you still work while being in lockdown?

Jason : Yes, as most of my work is online working on Fondacio Asia’s website and on our social networks, I can still do whatever I do in the office from home !

Sabine : Could you give me your typical daily routine?

Jason: I try keeping the same work hours and to work as regularly as if I was still in the office even if no one is there to check on my work but in the same time I can do chores at home that I would usually do after my day at the office and I try to relax more ! I think that it is beneficial for me as I still get my work done and I can enjoy more the company of my family !

Sabine : Did the lockdown impact Fondacio Asia schedule?

Jason : We didn’t have any big specific events planned so no big cancellation, but it still is a big change for of our projects. For example IFFAsia had to cancel their classes as they cannot welcome people from outside. Young Lives Yangon had to postponed their classes. The Young lives center in Laos was quite lucky as the classes ended just before the first cases of Covid19 and the students were sent home before Laos was in lockdown. The Young lives center in Malaysia had been planning to start doing online classes next September and being in lockdown made them start this project a few months sooner.

Sabine : Are you able to continue to attend prayer groups that you usually go to?

Jason : Yes, I attend a prayer group locally with young people. We were able to schedule two meetings on Skype, it is not as good as a physical prayer group but it is better than nothing !

Sabine : Do you think being in lockdown can make you grow personally?

Jason : Lockdown gave me a lot of opportunity to work on my self ! I had the time to work on my Plan For The Year and to access the first few months. It also gives us a time to look at our community and see what we can improve or change and what has been good ! Being in Lockdown also gave me the time to read a book which I didn’t have the time to do before ! And it also gave me the opportunity to get in touch with people I don’t usually don’t talk to, like old school friends to check on them and on their families, to see how they are doing !

Sabine : Do you know what you are going to do after the end of lockdown?

Jason : I guess I’ll just go back to the office ! I don’t have anything planned yet ! I think I will be the same externally but I am hoping that internally I will be a better person thanks to the work I will have done on myself during the time offered!

Sabine : Do you have anything you might want to add?

Jason : Yes, I think it is also a good time to reflect on our society ! A lot of privileged people are complaining because they think a complete lockdown is too much and they want to have the freedom they are used to, but we need to think about all other people coming from very poor families. In our YLDCs, we have a lot of young people coming from very poor backgrounds, I am wondering how they manage in this time because they cannot work and do not earn any money ! It must be very hard for them ! I also want to think about the healthcare workers who struggle to get to work in the hospitals because there is not public transportation, I heard that some people are trying their best to help them and I am very happy about this ! We also need to think about sick people in the crowded hospitals that have to be kept in tents because there is not enough space for them inside the building ! To conclude, I think the crisis offers a lot of insights but we need to be able to analyze them.


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