Volunteering: food for the soul

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Project Pearl’s feeding activity at Tondo Manila

We all love to eat. We always look forward to a hearty meal after a hard day’s work. Even just a quick but sumptuous merienda in the afternoon is enough to light us up. And we also know sharing our food with good company, especially our loved ones is just priceless. We love it so much, it’s usually our first question or greeting – “Kumain ka na ba?!” And oftentimes, we do not really mind if we put on a little weight, as long as our stomach is full, because for most of us, it doesn’t take much to make us happy.

Now, imagine skipping a meal just for a day. We become grumpy, impatient, and frustrated. In short, an irreversible damage ensues, and our whole day is automatically ruined. In reality, not all of us could afford to whine if for some reason, there is no source of food when it’s time to eat. Some of us have no choice but to go on through the day finding ways to fill in empty stomachs, or maybe trying to forget about it completely. Yes, these children know the drill so well.

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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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On to a New Adventure

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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?

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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.

 

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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

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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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Volunteer Management System: A Strategic Step towards Volunteer Preservation

VMS Workshop

 

Jasmine Salem of iVolunteer shares a brief summary of the Volunteer Management System model, as discussed at a recent workshop last July 2, 2016.

Way back in my University days, I perceived volunteer management as merely posting an announcement for volunteer searches, filtering those volunteers as per an organization’s criteria and then, briefing those confirmed set of people.

As volunteerism evolved into a more sustainable and relevant activity, a system in developing volunteer programs is now often applied to ensure an efficient and strong volunteer involvement. And last July 2, 2016, iVolunteer Philippines led a Volunteer Management Systems (VMS) workshop in Makati together with other groups and volunteer leaders. We had Jay Neil Ancheta from Habitat for Humanity as our main resource speaker, who was with his co-facilitators, Krishna Jennifer Sonza and Nathaniel George Hipolito from Jesuit Volunteers of the Philippines. With their extensive knowledge and experience, they enlightened the iVolunteer Staff and iVolunteer Partner Organizations on VMS.

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An Extraordinary Journey for an Extraordinary Volunteer


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Volunteerism has made such a significant impact in Gemma’s life that it has been ingrained in her personal life – her values and beliefs all point to sparking positive change. She has even initiated her own programs, such as her Be D.E.A.F. (Doing Extraordinary Actions Fulfillingly) project, a volunteer raising awareness workshop in Cagayan De Oro. Truly, Gemma is on a mission bigger than herself, and she plans to share her unyielding zest for service to anyone who is willing to join her in this journey.

In light of the upcoming elections, Gemma’s volunteering journey is truly a testament that anyone of us can spark change within our own communities as long as we have the humility and commitment to serve.

Defining Life Through Volunteerism

Hailing from South Cotabato, Mindanao, 26-year-old Gemma Ordoyo has already charted an extraordinary volunteering quest, both in her hometown and even within Manila. With her unwavering dedication, she was able to lead her own projects with the help of some of her friends and family members, as inspired by the many volunteer activities she has participated in. One project she headed was for the Special Deaf Youth of Cagayan De Oro, and another for the Minimum Security Inmates of New Bilibid Prison. She takes pride in these personal projects, as it keeps her passionate in sharing the spirit of volunteerism by engaging in initiatives she cares for.

Before she participated in different volunteering projects, Gemma was first part of Save the Children Philippines. Her involvement with them opened her eyes to her mission of serving others. She realized that sharing a part of herself gave more meaning to her life: “Dito ko pala makukuha ang depinisyon ko sa buhay.”  And as a socially responsible citizen, she draws inspiration from the different stories of defeat and victory, colorful personalities, and the natural undiscovered beauty of the places she visits. For Gemma, there is a whole new world to learn about and discover beyond her own beliefs, thoughts, and community. She is now currently based home again in South Cotabato, and is an Online Social Campaigner – Volunteer of the M.A.D. (Making a Difference) campaign, particularly for their scholarship project. In every volunteering project she participates in, Gemma ensures she keeps the fire and passion burning in her.

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10 Reasons to Volunteer

It’s a common question to ask those who volunteer why they do what they do. Between the demands of work, personal life and everyday responsibilities, why do people enthusiastically spend their time helping out without pay, and sometimes in less-than-stellar environs? Volunteering is surely an investment in time and energy, and it is no small feat on the part of the volunteer. There are plenty of reasons to volunteer, according to volunteers we know, and here’s several of the common ones:

To give back to the community

Volunteering is an act of service, and many volunteers are compelled to offer their time and effort to give back to the community. Whether it’s the community that helped to raise them or one that holds a special place in their heart, volunteers help in community building by supporting the non-profit organisations that make the community.

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It’s a GO!

Preparations for the Go Volunteer! Event are now in full swing, as iVolunteer Philippines held its kick-off session last January 23, with over 20 Non-Profits and Partner Organizations in attendance. The kick-off event, held at the Office Project in Salcedo, Makati, brought together iVolunteer’s various Partner Organizations – both current and new, to share what everyone should look forward … Continue reading It’s a GO!

On Service and the Filipino Youth

Today’s young have managed to keep up with the fast changing times. With technology so pervasive these days, we are more connected than ever to our friends, our families, and even to the rest of the world. With this increased connection comes a stronger sense of awareness and concern for our surroundings and our community. Today’s youth is no longer naive and indifferent, nor is he a mere spectator in the sidelines. Instead, we are all becoming more responsive to the plight of our neighbors and are beginning to recognize our growing capacity to make a difference.

In recent times, we have seen more and more of our Filipino youth rise to the challenge of confronting various social issues. Who would have thought that a status message on Facebook would eventually lead to the birth of the Yellow Boat Project – an organization that currently helps hundreds of rural children get to school safely, by providing their communities with boats? Who would have imagined that the idea of a kariton classroom for street children, while simple, will be embraced by the country and the world? Looking at these successful examples, one can’t help but think – what makes the young effective at effecting change?

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iVolunteer at Bel Air’s Clean Up Flea Market

One fine Sunday, March 2, 2014, I volunteered to be part of the rummage sale at Bel-Air Village in Makati City.  This is one of the fund raising projects of  iVolunteer organization.

1 Bel Air Clean Up!

It was a Clean UP! Flea Market activity inside the subdivision, the venue was at Park 3 Solar Street.  From 7am to 3pm, mostly resident vendors sold pre-loved items which included clothing, shoes, bags, accessories, luggage, CDs, books, toys, household items and a lot more.

4 over 120 vendorsThere were over 120 non-food tables that filled the whole covered court.

2 IVolunteer tables 30 and 31There were few food tables found on the side of the court for the shoppers and vendors.

iVolunteer had two tables.  We were divided into two teams.  On one table were men’s clothing and miscellaneous items headed by Hazel and Olenny.  My partner for the women’s clothing was Mana. She is a one petite lady that I could pass as her mother, except that she has nice big eyes compared to my twinkling small eyes. I’ve met Hazel, Olenny and Mana in the past. They are part of the iVolunteer core team. Continue reading “iVolunteer at Bel Air’s Clean Up Flea Market”