“Tales from the iVolunteer Team” is an ongoing series of personal stories from the team that runs the Philippines’ first volunteerism portal. Today’s post comes from Mana Domingo, our Director for Internals and Organization Development.
Nowadays, I eat, drink, sleep, and have fantastical dreams about iVolunteer Philippines. I am, what you can say, a fanatic. Everywhere I go I happily and giddily introduce myself as “Hi, I’m Mana from iVolunteer Philippines!”, to be followed by, “Oh, I used to work as a…” when asked about my day job. I passionately believe in and love what iVolunteer stands for — “Every Filipino, A Hero”. What’s more, I can totally relate to it. I feel that if I’m so blessed with all the opportunities I’ve been given, why should I not give back? Even better, why should I not give others the opportunity to give back as well?
It has only been half a year since I joined iVolunteer Philippines, but I feel like I’ve already learned so much. My first real experience as an iVolunteer was in helping organize Project EDSA, a peace mural painting project which you now see running across the three walls of Camp Aguinaldo in Metro Manila. It was such a fulfilling experience to work behind the scenes, even though I was only able to paint about three letters (an “A”, an “S”, and maybe an “O”? I can’t remember!). I met a lot of good people who share the same passion for nation-building and I felt like I finally did something tangible that made an impact on the world, no matter how small and temporary it may be.
- A volunteer paints the walls of Camp Aguinaldo during the Project EDSA mural painting activity
And that was only the beginning. More and more opportunities and challenges have cropped up through my experiences as part of the core team of iVolunteer. It really is no joke to serve as the Internals head of iVolunteer. I feel like a mother hen to the core members, it takes a certain amount of TLC and careful navigation around the different personalities found at the helm of our big iVol-ship (hehehe, comment below if you found this witty as I did :p). Oddly enough, I’m enjoying it. I feel like this is where I need to be… and where I’m needed to be, at least for now.
- Mana (bottom row, leftmost) together with other iVolunteers at the Project EDSA mural painting in Camp Aguinaldo.
My biggest challenge however, is how to involve you, our members and iVolunteers, in this growth process. We are a very young organization, with our own birthing pains. But this is OUR organization, OUR community — a community of Filipino volunteers that are all HEROES.
And what’s a community if we don’t know each other? So I wish to reach out to YOU, our dearest iVolunteer, and invite YOU to be part of our big iVol-ship. We have a lot exciting events planned for the next months, and we want to involve you in the planning, preparation and celebration of each of these events.
Interested in learning more about how you can help and give back? Comment below or send us a shout-out at firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure to check out our website, www.ivolunteer.com.ph, for our current list of volunteer opportunities as well!
- The Mother Hen of iVolunteer
Mana is a certified volunteer addict for social good. She is a blue-blooded Katipunera, earning her undergraduate degree in Economics from ADMU and her MA in Economics from UP Diliman. She has consulted for ADB, World Bank, CODE-NGO, PBSP and has worked as an economic researcher for the Presidential Management Staff in Malacanang. She is currently taking her sweet time in finishing her PhD in Economics but would love to see her work translate from number-crunching and high-minded economic analyses to real and tangible social change. When she’s not glued to her laptop screen, Mana likes to travel, sketch, go to meetups and watch action films.You can reach Mana at email@example.com.