Unity through Diversity

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Mother & Daughter

Isabel, whose grandmother was Spanish, is from the Philippines. Her grandfather was a doctor who was one of the founders of the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) in Southeast Asia. She spoke in depth from the perspective of a mother to three mixed race children and as a Filipino living in England bringing up her mixed family; Rachel the middle daughter of three, the eldest Angela; a ballet dancer and model who runs her own ballet school and the youngest Rebecca, who performed in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Bombay Dreams and is currently a series regular on the UK TV series Holby City. Rachel spoke in detail, about her childhood in Nottingham, her life in the film industry, and her own perspective of being of both British and Filipino heritage, and says that she feels very much apart of both worlds. Rachel’s father is Baron De Longueuil, a doctor and hypnotist of English-Scottish, French-Canadian descent. Now living in the USA, she spoke about the contrast of life in America with her experiences growing up in England.

Both Rachel and Isabel are very proud of their Filipino heritage. The two of them now run a registered charity called The Padua Charitable Fund that raises money to build houses, hospitals and schools in poor areas of the Philippines. By 2024 they hope to reach their goal of ending poverty for five million poor families in the Philippines. As if that wasn’t an all-encompassing task in itself, Rachel is also global ambassador to a new and successful organic cosmetics company called Human Nature. Their philosophy is based on producing natural, locally sourced products, Fair trade, support for local farmers in developing high value crops, and ultimately in providing world-class yet affordable organic skin and hair care from the Philippines. Human Nature is the brainchild of Gawad Kalingavolunteers Anna Meloto-Wilk, Dylan Wilk and Camille Meloto. All three had the desire to do even more for their country, and Rachel wanted to do what she could to help.

We wondered where Rachel developed such a strong philanthropist spirit. She explained that it largely stems from her mixed heritage; she feels she has had the privilege of learning about and enjoying two distinct cultures and has been able to travel a great deal in her lifetime. Having seen such deprivation in the Philippines she became steeled into action, driven to do something about reversing this poverty.