Analyn Pelayre, a Filipino immigrant from London, England, came back to the country to spend her birthday organizing feeding programs in different communities including the Tzu Chi, Great Love Village at Palo, Leyte.
Eighteen years ago, Analyn Pelayre moved from Cebu to England together with her family in search of a better life. This year for her 28th birthday, she returns to the country to give back to others and share her blessings.
Last 27th of June, Analyn Pelayre, a Filipino immigrant based in London, England, celebrated her birthday at the Tzu Chi Great Love Village at Palo, Leyte. She collected donations from her friends in lieu of birthday presents enough to give a kilo of rice to each of the 250 families. She also interacted with the villagers present, especially the children at the daycare, and told them about her life abroad.
When asked about her inspiration, she recalls coming from a less privileged community in her childhood and realising that she could do more for others around her. She regularly gives away extra supplies that she and her co-workers might have. But this year, she decided to embark on a bigger journey and organize feeding programs for her birthday.
“What I found is that every year I’ve always celebrated for myself and as I grew older I realized that there is more to me than me and I want to give back. I wasn’t just given in this world to think about myself, you know, to dream about a big house and dream about a brand new car.”
Analyn first came across the Great Love Village and Tzu Chi Foundation through searching for foundations that were present in Leyte after Typhoon Yolanda. Analyn shared that she felt inspired by the way that the Tzu Chi Foundation has assisted the people of Leyte and how Tzu Chi has provided them means of sustaining themselves so they may maintain their own lifestyles.
“I think that’s what the most important thing is: giving them the tools that actually empower them to create something with those tools,” she said, commenting on the livelihood programs that were present at the village.
"In a span of 11 days, I'm doing 4 feeding programs," she shares, summing up the activities she has done in other less privileged areas aside from the Great Love Village in Leyte.
With her actions, Analyn hopes to inspire, not only the people that she has donated to for her birthday, but also those who have seen what she has done through social media.
“Social media has created a platform for everyone to have access to and see around the world. It’s like an outlet as well as everyone expects you to celebrate your birthday just enjoying and having fun so when people see that you’re doing something out of the ordinary, they’ll think, “Oh, I want to do that as well.”
Analyn shares that she wishes to take on more projects and become more active in volunteerism as she has become inspired by her birthday celebration and wishes to do more. Due to the attention that her online posts have garnered, she wishes that next year she would be able to invite more of her friends to partake in volunteerism as well.