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"Habitat Ambassador - First Filipina Finalist to the Global Awards for Fundraising"

When Alexandra Eduque first read the e-mail from UK-based nonprofit global network, Resource Alliance, that informed her that she is a finalist to this year’s Global Awards for Fundraising, she had to press the refresh button twice to make sure it was real.

“It was so surreal. I thought I was dreaming. I never expected them to even notice me, much less to be a finalist,” says the 23-year old youth leader and Habitat for Humanity Philippines ambassador who became the first Filipino to ever make it to the finals of the Global Awards for Fundraising – an international awards program endorsed by the national associations of fundraisers around the world. The Global Awards is organized by Resource Alliance that recognizes and celebrates the outstanding achievements in fundraising.

Short listed from more than a dozen entries from all over the world, Alex will be competing with two other finalists for the Outstanding Volunteer Award category this October in the Netherlands. This award gives value to individual volunteers whose work creates significant impact on the fundraising success of an organization.

Alex is being recognized for her achievements as a Habitat youth volunteer (for eight years now) and for being the founder of the Habitat Youth Council. Since its inception four years ago, Alex and her Youth Council have raised more than P100 million, have mobilized over 8,000 youth volunteers to build over 500 homes for Habitat. In addition, the Youth Council also pioneered disaster relief, and has served over 28,000 families.

“I created the Habitat Youth Council with the vision of giving the youth an opportunity and a platform to help out. I believe that the youth plays a vital role in raising awareness and thus, can be instrumental in generating funds to address the issues of poverty and housing in our country. I truly believe that so many are willing to help out, they just need to be shown how,” Alex, who just graduated from Barnard College of Columbia University states. “The issues on shelter have direct and indirect effects on the young generation in their journey to develop to their full potential,” she adds.

Asked why she decided to participate in the Global Awards for Fundraising, Alex explains, “I wanted to show the world that in our own small way, young people can be instrumental in creating social change. By working together and with more informed youth, we can improve the lives of many and instill in them a sense of pride, dignity and hope.”

“Right now, I am still so overwhelmed, and it has not fully sunk in to me yet that I have made it to the finals, and that on its own I already feel is an achievement enough,” says Alex. “However, if I am lucky enough to bring home the first place prize, then I think it is a very prestigious recognition to Habitat for Humanity Philippines in their plight to serve the less privileged, and allowing the youth to play a role in it… But right now, it’s only something I can dream about,” Alex adds.

The Global Awards for Fundraising 2013 ceremony will be held on October 16 at the International Fundraising Congress in The Netherlands. Four awards will be given: a) Big Idea, Small Budget Fundraising; b) Innovative Fundraising Campaign; c) The Global Fundraiser; and d) The Outstanding Volunteer.