The University of Macau (UM) said in a statement Friday that it has launched a health intervention programme in conjunction with Caritas Macau for overseas Filipino workers in Macao.
The statement did not say when the programme was launched.
The statement pointed out that like other demographic groups, non-resident workers from the Philippines 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 public university and Catholic social welfare organisation will co-organise the so-called Health Connection Project for Overseas Filipino Workers in Macao from this month to the end of the year, the statement pointed out.
Under the project, Filipino workers in Macao will be invited to use the “Kumusta, Kabayan” (“Hello, Compatriot”) mobile app as well as its website to understand and improve their mental health conditions.
According to the statement, “Kumusta, Kabayan” is the first app-based health intervention programme for non-resident workers from the Philippines in Macao. The statement described the statement as “a valuable addition to social services available to this community during the pandemic.”
A new version of the system for Chinese communities developed by the university “is expected to be launched after being tested,” the statement said.
“Kumusta, Kabayan” is an electronic health monitoring system designed to improve the well-being of overseas Filipino workers, said, pointing out that it was originally developed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for populations with limited access to mental health services.
With the help of researchers at universities and social welfare organisations, different language versions of the system (including a Chinese version) have been developed and tested in different regions of the world, according to the statement. “It has proven to be useful in helping users cope with stress and emotional disturbance,” the statement said.
In the past two years, as a cooperation partner of the University of Macau and with the support of both the public Macau Foundation (FM) and the university, Caritas Macau has followed the WHO’s guidelines and adapted the system to “Kumusta, Kabayan” app for Filipino workers in Macao, the statement said.
“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 statement said.
The project is supported by the Philippine Consulate General in Macao and the Philippine Overseas Labor Office, the statement noted.
Starting Sunday, Caritas Macau will hold onsite recruitment for the project every Sunday this month at local churches and its service centres as well as the Philippine Consulate General, the statement said.
Information about the recruitment and online recruitment activities will be available on the Facebook pages, websites, and other social media platforms of the WelAnswer Centre of Caritas Macau, the Philippine Consulate General in Macau, and UM’s Centre for Macau Studies.
According to the statement, the programme welcomes all overseas Filipino workers who are aged at least 18 and speak English or Tagalog. Applicants should hold a valid non-resident worker permit (“blue card”), plan to stay in Macao for at least six months, and have a smart phone with internet access.