They say that road of life takes an unexpected turn, and you have no choice but to follow it to end up in the place you’re supposed to be. This was the case of Joella Chrissa Favor, a Filipina entrepreneur based in Dubai, who intended to stay in Dubai for a 10-day vacation. Little did she know, she would be playing a huge part in the emirate to urge residents to lead a sustainable lifestyle.
Joella started to build her career as a customer service representative and training apprentice for a US company based in the Philippines. New to the industry, she consistently topped the list of employees with the highest monthly sales.
On the sidelines, she ran a small lending business that helped her clients’ day-to-day expenses, including their kids’ school fees and medical expenses. To further extend her help to the needy ones, she joined a group that does charitable activities.
When Joella went to Dubai for a leisure trip, she did not intend to stay for an extended period of time. But, she had no choice but to accept the things to which fate binds her. After all, there’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be.
After deciding to stay in Dubai, she worked for Juma Al Majid Holding Group, one of the leading companies in the UAE, which operates across multiple industries, including automotive, heavy equipment, fast-moving consumer goods, watches, home appliances, and real estate, among others.
When she thought of considering working for other companies, she faced difficulties in processing her employment visa. She experienced exiting the country multiple times for visit visa renewal. The unfortunate times allowed her to visit Iran, India, Sri Lanka, Singapore, and Armenia for the purpose of visit visa exchange when she had trouble obtaining a residence visa.
Despite all the obstacles that hindered her, Joella did not give up. Through the help of a friend, she was able to overcome her visa-related problems.
Influencing people to do good
When she finally settled, the strong-willed Filipina with a heart for nature established an e-commerce business promoting a sustainable lifestyle.
“The campaign is all about influencing people to do good (and do our part) and contribute to a campaign that reduces plastic pollution in the environment,” Joella said.
Through her company, Sustainable Lifestyle Dubai, she influences people to shift from using plastic toothbrushes to bamboo toothbrushes. Spearheading the ‘1 Million Toothbrush Campaign’, she aims to reduce tons of plastic waste in the country while ensuring her products leave the lowest possible environmental footprint throughout the product lifecycle.
Additionally, the business with a purpose is committed to helping communities with poor access to oral hygiene products to prevent suffering caused by oral disease. She aims to donate part of the proceeds for every million sold toothbrushes to charitable groups.
Doing something beyond the norm, Joella hopes that more and more individual supports this cause. She believes that, in small ways, a huge difference can be made.
“I am passionate about the fact that I can influence other people to do good or better to help the environment and the community. Many people are now supporting the campaign, and it feels good to have a small voice and be recognized by people,” she said.
While promoting a sustainable lifestyle, Joella also works as a business development specialist for a telecommunications company in Dubai.
She is currently a Master of Business Administration (MBA) candidate studying at Wrexham Glyndwr University in the United Kingdom.
“I still plan to continue my regular day job while doing my advocacy and studies,” Joella, a mother, said.
Just recently, she was among the Global Filipino Icon 2022 awardees at the recently concluded ‘The Global Filipino Icon Awards 2022’ in Dubai. Through her advocacy, she was honored for her excellence and dedication to helping the community and the environment.
“I am very honored to become one of the awardees. I feel that my co-awardees have achieved a lot in their endeavors. I hope we can all work together to achieve a common goal in helping reduce plastic waste. As a member of the Filipino community, let us work together to influence people so we can achieve anything together,” she concluded.
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This story has been featured in Volume 3 Issue 6 of The Global Filipino Magazine. To get a copy, you may contact Mr. Raymart Patulot at +971 56 663 4184. If you have an inspiring story or know someone with one, please send an email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.