Every year, iVolunteer recognizes outstanding volunteers who exemplify the organization’s core values: Integrity, Professionalism, Inclusivity, Nationalism, and Change Leadership. These volunteer champions are living proofs that everyday heroes do exist.
The 2022 iVolunteer Champion for Inclusivity is Christian Bondoc, a Human Resource Manager in Tarlac City who is a staunch animal welfare advocate. Apart from his love for animals, he is interested in farming and learning about other cultures. Volunteers like Christian, who advocate for inclusivity, give voice to the helpless, and in doing so, they help pave the way for equal access to opportunities.
Christian is the lead volunteer of the Animal Kingdom Foundation (AKF), an organization that aims to prevent animal abuse and suffering. AKF works to safeguard and promote the well-being of animals by pushing for better living conditions and by working to eradicate causes that give pain to animals. While the primary purpose of AKF is to rescue abused and neglected animals, they also conduct vet missions and vaccinations.
Dogs are treated as bantay, especially ‘yong mga native dogs natin, ‘yong mga aspin. Sana let’s not forget the animals.~ Christian, 2022
AKF visits communities and collaborates with Local Government Units (LGUs), other agencies, corporate groups, and Non-Government Organizations to drive their advocacy. They have an education program on how to care for animals properly. They also have a rescue and rehabilitation center in Capas, Tarlac. Here, rescued animals receive medical care and are rehabilitated until they are ready to be adopted by their new family. Today, AKF is one of the most respected animal welfare non-government organizations in the country, working and lobbying not only for the welfare and protection of companion animals but also for farm animals.
Christian has been a volunteer for 12 years. He lives his life with purpose while trying to inspire others to also life a fulfilling life. For him, being a volunteer starts with interest and compassion. He started as a pet owner and was just visiting animal shelters when he thought about what more he could do to make a change. He is motivated by the idea that he is helping the lives of animals, especially those in the dog slaughterhouses.
Even the pandemic did not stop him from helping animals in need. During that time, Christian and his team were still working on projects like the education program where they taught students about animal welfare through online classes. They also launched a program called We Feed As One that encouraged volunteers to feed stray animals that have no source of food within their respective areas. They also had a program called Pet Community Pantry where they gave away dog food and supplies to owners whose income was affected by the pandemic. Indeed, the pandemic was a hard time for everyone, including animals.
Christian and the AKF Team currently works with different LGU and private companies in various animal welfare initiatives. For example, they are working with the Veterinary Department of Quezon City to guide them in their animal welfare projects and activities. They are also collaborating with Robinsons Land Corporation, and hopes that through these collaborations, more people will help push their advocacy.
As a Volunteer Champion, Christian showed us his dedication to help animals in need—a dedication that spanned years and survived even the pandemic. Like all the other Volunteer Champions, Christian hopes to motivate more individuals to volunteer. He believes that volunteering not only provides self-fulfillment but also a support system. He encourages everyone to find something that they are passionate about and to find a way to help make a difference in that advocacy.
Written by: Ayanna Plaza, iVolunteer Philippines
Photos from: Christian Bondoc, Animal Kingdom Foundation
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