From Fulfillment to Commitment: Hear From Your Everyday Hero

“Giving is limitless. I’d love to see every NGO working hand- in-hand with the government and the private sector, as everyone helps each other towards one goal. No one gets left behind. I believe every Filipino has a role in fulfilling this dream. “ – Jasmine Salem of iVolunteer

Meet Jasmine Salem: Auditor, Finance Associate Director, Everyday Hero.

As iVolunteer’s Associate Director of Finance, Jasmine Salem or “Jas” handles fundraising activities as well as the financial books of the organization. She is also the team’s Executive Secretary, and is in charge of iVolunteer’s legal requirements and documentations. As a state auditor, Jasmine loves how her day job coincides with her responsibilities in managing the organization. It makes her understand more about how the government and NGOs can work better together in nation-building.

For Jasmine, volunteering allows her to connect with her community and offers opportunities for her to make it a better place. She wants to see a world where serving others is a top priority.

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THE KWENTISTA (Storyteller)

For one dedicated man who relentlessly pursued his passion for service, volunteering isn’t just a part-time activity. It became his way of life.


The Advocacy

Rey Bufi (Kuya Rey) is a simple gleeful person. His love for kids and his hope for our nation brought him to where he is right now.  He believes that if we want to have a progressive society, we must start with the children.

His passion started as early as his undergraduate years as a Philosophy student, where he actively participated in school activities in addressing societal issues like literacy. His degree demanded a lot of reading to which he was not exposed much in his younger years. The struggle inspired him to teach kids aged 7-10 the importance of reading. He believes that if we want to build a better nation, we must start young. Also, as the youngest in the family of seven, he also saw the importance of helping out in household responsibilities.

This hope paved way to the small beginnings of The Storytelling Project (TSP). He founded this non-profit organization that aims to instill love for reading through their 21-day storytelling program in remote communities. They also incorporate basic subjects such as math and science as well as dancing and singing in every session so that kids will grow to see reading and learning as fun, and not as a burdensome activity.

“Serving God is serving others. I am not a very religious person. I believe that faith is something personal. Service to people makes you human. Naniniwala rin ako na tayong mga tao ay likas na mabuti (And I believe people are naturally good.)” he said.

First Time Volunteer

He recalled his first experience as a volunteer way back his college days in Montalban, Payatas smiling. He was then invited by a friend to join an outreach for kids. Soon enough, he explored more volunteer activities as he worked for a telecommunications company. One of those, Kuya Rey committed his Saturdays read stories to kids in Palanan, Makati and Malibay, Pasay even after his affiliation to this telecommunications company where he worked for.

He admitted that he was shy at first. “May feeling ako na di ako pwedeng mag suggest ng initiatives. Tapos noong may napanood akong magaling na kwentista, nasabi ko sa sarili ko; naku di ata ako storyteller, iba yung galing niya!(I was so shy that I felt I can’t suggest any initiatives. And when I saw a storyteller, I felt inferior, he was admirable.) But in the end I realized, we are all storytellers, we have our own way of telling stories.”

To gain his confidence, he practiced and attended workshops and after all of that, he felt that he is ready to tell stories to kids as a certified “kwentista.”

A leap of faith

Realizing that he wanted to put more time in his outreach activities, he quit his full time job and took a part time job to fully manage TSP. He got a job as insurance agent as a part time job as he on the other hand is taking small vital steps for TSP. He ventured off to various provinces for a month, stayed in the schools, and began his reading advocacy.

This became one of the toughest chapters in his life. His family and friends began to question his choices pointing out that he should secure a stable job for his future family. Despite all these, Kuya Rey remained focused and steadfast in his advocacy.

Now, he is starting to reap the fruits of his labor. “I do workshops for teachers, for NGO’s, and mostly I work as a CSR provider. I also provide services for a telecommunications company in their CSR project which happens to be storytelling. Masaya na nagagawa mo yung gusto mo, may sweldo ka pa.”

Better Kids

With baby steps and taking on one community at a time, the TSP saw visible results of their efforts. They noticed that through their reading activities, they are also training children that they don’t force them to write a book report or enumerate the setting or characters. We give them the confidence that the material is easily understandable.

Key Take-Away(s) in Volunteering

As a volunteer veteran, Kuya Rey has shared to us some key points he learned as a volunteer:

  • In volunteering, we get intangible things. Influencing a kid or two in your lifetime might mean that these kids will influence more kids, the advocacy continues.
  • Most of the time, kids teach us more than we teach them. Kids teach us patience. They teach us to appreciate things- small or big. And best of all, they teach us the purity of the heart. They don’t hold grudges.
  • Kuya Rey believes that there are two types of volunteerism. First, if you have discovered it thru others and second, if that you have known that it is what you wanted for a long time.

Kuya Rey’s Advice on Volunteers

“Find your passion. Explore volunteer opportunities. Find where you enjoy most. Coz it’s easier to leave things when you get tired and you’re not happy with it and when you think you’re tired of what you’re doing, always go back to your happiness.”

Let’s start a culture of reading.


by Jhala Grace Salas



Two Stories, One Message



Offering the work of their hands

Rachel and Joseph’s passion for their careers, the heart for service, and their strong faith naturally brought them together. Through sheer dedication and love for the arts, Rachel and Joseph were able to successfully set-up their own graphic design business, Pixel Pencils. In every step of their entrepreneurial journey, they believed that God has guided them and blessed them tremendously. “We strive hard to earn money. But we strive harder to use what we earned in more meaningful ways — not because of what we have nor what we can do, but because of His will to provide everything we need,” they shared.  This statement is a testament of how they offer back to the Lord all their triumphs and blessings, because for them, they are instruments from whom others could also be blessed.

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On to a New Adventure



Celebrating a New Adventure

It’s not everyday that we hear a story of a 20-year-old fresh graduate celebrating her birthday with a group of kids from an NGO, together with her friends and other volunteers. Raissa happily shared how she had a very eventful birthday when she spent it with the children from Mano Amiga Academy, complete with belly dancing and a whole lot of fun activities.

Even before organizing a party for the girls of Mano Amiga, Raissa has been actively volunteering in her university’s Pastoral Office, and has also been attending volunteer work during weekends through iVolunteer. And apart from joining different immersion activities, she would make sure she follows through with the project she was involved in. For Raissa, volunteering should be relevant and impactful, which then requires her to proactively monitor the progress of the activities she has attended. She has also volunteered for the Citizens’ Disaster Response Center (CDRC), where she helped with the silk screen printing of eco-bags for relief goods. And since then, she has become an active volunteer in CDRC.

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Guide to iVoluntutoring: 8 Reminders for New iVoluntutors

Be a voluntutor

Are you new to iVoluntutoring with He Cares Foundation? Here are 8 tips for beginners like you.

  1. Be informed. Know the venue, exact time and phone numbers of the contact persons for the tutorials. You just don’t want to miss the tutorials, don’t you?


Jerwyn, one of our students who regularly attends the tutorials. Photo Credit: Jason Bangayan, He Cares Foundation


  1. Be on time. Be at the venue at least 30 mins. to 1 hour before the students/ children arrive. Attend the orientation especially if it is your first time to have enough knowledge on your role as a tutor. It won’t hurt to dedicate more than an hour to tutor a kid; the experience will surely be more fulfilling.

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Project Planet – It’s Time to Put Our Planet First


Last July 30, 2016, iVolunteer Philippines hosted a Community Meet-up (CMU) entitled Project Planet, led by guest speakers from the Department of Environment & Natural Resources (DENR)  and Let’s Do it Philippines at Integreon in 6750 Ayala, Makati. The spotlight was both on the environment and us citizens, as stewards of our natural resources. The significance of building habits and participating in sustainable initiatives were key takeaways from the experts, who inspired everyone to actively play the role of a responsible custodian of our environment.



Ms. Elenida Basug of the DENR

Fast Facts

Ms. Elenida Basug of the Department of Environment & Natural Resources (DENR) opened the session with a few of the most important facts on three environmental factors – air quality, water quality and solid waste.  All of these are controllable, showing how our everyday activities add up, and eventually becoming very grave threats to our environment. A quick look at such information offers an overview on what immediate steps we can take as well as what habits to break, in order to lessen our own negative impact on our natural resources.

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iVolunteer Philippines wins Best Campaign of 2016 at the Philippine Rice Bowl Startup Awards

Ricebowl 1

The very first Philippine Rice Bowl Startup Awards 2016 named iVolunteer Philippines’s Go Volunteer expo last March 5-6, 2016 as this year’s Best Campaign, which is a breakthrough award for iVolunteer.

The awarding was held at A SPACE Greenbelt, Makati, Philippines last July 15, 2016

The Philippine Rice Bowl Startup Awards

The Philippine Rice Bowl Startup Awards is the local version of the ASEAN Rice Bowl Startup Awards, which is part of a larger award-giving body–the Global Startup Awards that aim to connect startup ecosystems across different nations.

For this year, the Philippine Rice Bowl Startup Awards acknowledged exemplary entrepreneurs to further inspire more communities of start-up enthusiasts, serial entrepreneurs, and diverse mentors.

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