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In 2003, the original portal was recognized as a finalist–Best Website category of the Catholic Mass Media Awards. It was a surprise-filled message that prodded us, “You’re on the right track. Move on, farther, better!”
We also realized that we couldn’t stay online all the time. Not with the digital divide in the country. And not with the host of challenges that kept presenting themselves to us!
In 2004, our first Volunteer Experience Essay Writing Contest churned six winning essays about volunteering for Bulacan’s children, Metro Manila’s street kids, children with leukemia, the coasts of Calatagan Bay in Batangas, Davao’s paraplegics, and Laguna’s San Cristobal River.
We chilled out with 250 volunteers in two iV Evenings: at Café Papemelroti with artist Robert Alejandro, at Conspiracy Bar with singer Noel Cabangon. In December, we celebrated our national month in Intramuros’ Clamshell with 300 plus volunteers and organizations!
During the 18th World Volunteer Conference organizaed by the International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE), we also participated in the advocacy work of the Volunteer Family in the World Summit on the Information Society convened by the United Nations.
In 2005-06, we convened the first ever Exchange Arena, a project that aimed to facilitate partnership building among the business sector, government and civil society through employee volunteerism.
We piloted a model of institutionalizing a volunteer management system in the municipality of Libon in Albay. Another pioneering work.