There were a few groups I had belonged to and for different reasons I only stayed involved with one of them. It name is Friends of Mindanao. The group designed its name as not to limit its attendance to only expats. Anyone is welcome including Filipinos.
The group was originally started as a networking group for Expats and Filipinos looking for business networking and connections. Since it is difficult for Foreigners to open a business the group took on a more social flavor. The group had an open, friendly atmosphere where all were welcomed. At each meeting new guests were welcomed and all introduced themselves so all knew a little of each other’s background.
Well, as I have seen in most groups, a few have to do it all and the rest just come to listen. The man who started the group passed away a few months back and his partner in the group and in business took over. I took care of the membership list and emailing all members of important updates for the group. There was another member who helped MC the meetings and another who looked for and arranged some field trips. The man who helped start the group now has business in Manila and is only in Davao two weeks a month, the member helping as MC is moving back to the states as I will soon and the member running the field trips is only here about six to nine months a year since he has a business back home.
In the past few months, we have asked other members to stand up and assist with the group and all you get is grumbling and sitting on their hands. It is interesting, these are usually the same people who are first to complain about problems but get quiet when asked to help.
In a country where there is a fair amount of Foreigners with different financial levels, different relationship situations and even different home countries, we all have something in common. We are all Expats living and trying to survive here. With a group like this, others might be going through the same problem or have had such a situation in the past. With this group, there is a good chance someone has had the same problem and can assist you to help with a solution or advice to get past it.
Sometimes you even meet someone who will turn out to be a good friend. I have made friends through this group and know other that have also. Too bad many are too self-centered, too lazy, or just is not willing to step up and help this group survive.
I had a similar situation years ago. I was asked to become Scoutmaster of a Boy Scout troop. I took over the troop because I felt they needed to continue. With Boy Scouting, the boys need to have camping trips and most campgrounds are a fair distance from our area. I met with the boys fathers and asked who would help with transportation and extra adult supervision on the trips. I would get many different excuses why they could not help. The boys would get upset that other troops had regular camping trips, why was it we did not. Eventually I had to disband the troop and find other troops for the boys to join.
When a group dies, the members lose a useful organization to belong to. In addition, the ones that will not help will be the first to complain that the organizers caused it to end. Well as I officially announced this morning of my soon move back to the States, at least I will not be here to hear their complaints.
If any of the members follow this site, I thank you all for the time I have spent getting to know each of you and am sorry you were not willing to step up and help keep it alive.