DUBAI // A Filipino migrant advocacy group is selling roses for charity in the weeks leading up to Valentine's Day.
Sulong OFW (Go Forward, Overseas Filipino Workers) launched the fundraiser on January 29 after a Filipino approached its founder, Hans Springael, and asked how he could help needy compatriots in the UAE.
"A rose is a symbol of love, caring and friendship," explained Mr Springael, a customer service supervisor in Dubai. "We give [them] on almost every occasion, especially when visiting loved ones in the hospital."
Wendell Maramag, 38, a fibre-optic technician in Dubai, said he planned to buy the group's roses for his wife, Arlene, who celebrates her 37th birthday on Sunday.
"The roses will surely bring a smile to her face," he said. "But I'm also happy that the money will go to charity."
The funds from the "Buy a Rose" campaign will be used to provide financial assistance to Filipino patients in UAE hospitals.
Sulong OFW hopes to sell at least 10,000 blooms during the campaign, which may be extended beyond Valentine's Day.
"I really hope this fundraising campaign does well," said Mr Springael.
"There are so many distressed Filipinos here who need our help."
The price of three red roses is Dh35.
* Those who wish to support the project can contact Mr Springael on 056 712 0918 or 050 784 6400 or email email@example.com.