YOLANDA – Everyone was surprised at the devastation wrought by this typhoon when it hit the Philippines late 2013. From Manila, I felt helpless when I saw how Yolanda swept through the Visayan region and its dreadful aftermath. We were very much aware of the immediate help that came from all over the country and the world to relief the victims with short-term support. As the media exposure subsided, I cannot help but wonder if a sustainable rebuilding plan has been put in place to give those impacted with a fresh new start.
Right before the summer of 2014, I was excited when an opportunity came up for iVolunteer to help Gawad Kalinga recruit volunteers for the Bayani Challenge 2014: Walang Iwanan. It’s the seventh year of the program and focused on helping the Yolanda victims rebuild their homes across 12 provinces, with the help of one million volunteers.
Have you guys made plans for summer yet? Check it out—Gawad Kalinga (GK) is once again asking you, your friends, and family to join Bayani Challenge, a two-month project (April 09 Araw ng Kagitingan to June 12 Araw ng Kalayaan) that will contribute to the effort of ending poverty in the Philippines. =)
Bayani Challenge is part of Barangay Walang Iwanan, a campaign to mainstream a lifestyle of volunteerism and bayanihan at the barangay level to create an impact on at least 250 families in each of the 20,000 barangays. This places us in a clear trajectory to reach 5 MILLION families and #endpoverty for them by 2024!
What can YOU do?
Bayani Challenge 2015 is broken down into different municipalities (sites) all over the Philippines. When you sign up for the site of your choice, you’ll be committing to three to five days* of fun and exciting activities, complete with Kalinga fellowship sessions at night.
* Recommended amount of days by GK. If you can’t commit to the recommended number of days, GK is flexible and would be more than happy to have you over for just a few!
Depending on the needs of the area, the local secretariat may assign your team to the following activities:
When you do click on that button, it’ll pre-enlist you to your municipality of choice. Heck, click as many COUNT ME IN buttons as you’d like—the same way you would create a destination wishlist. 😉
A GK representative assigned to the municipality of your choice/s will get in touch with you to confirm your registration and provide site-specific details. This becomes your chance to narrow down the site/s you want to be a part of and finalize the registration process.
The list of volunteer opportunitiy sites and dates are still subject to change, so remember to check this article, http://bit.ly/GK2015, and/or Facebook for the latest updates. You may also email us at email@example.com for more information. If you have questions about site-specific details though, it’s best you click that COUNT ME IN button and wait for a local GK representative who will contact you after you sign up.
I liked today’s meetup. It felt like I had a bucket and was just catching all the information raining down from heaven. You see folks, I am studying disasters myself and would not pass up on the opportunity to hear from a person with first hand experience. JB, the iVolunteer Director even teased, ‘Nakinabang ka nanaman’ and he was right — I did gain something again. But really, the bigger picture is this — volunteering creates for me the world with the healthiest give and take system I can ever imagine. Wouldn’t anyone want to live in that?
Last September 27, 2014, we arrived at around 6:30am to get a head start on the activities. Various corporations, NGOs and volunteer groups were present at different points along the Las Pinas-Paranaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA) for the International Coastal Cleanup.
The volunteers from ivolunteer and Haribon were split into groups of four to five people. A data recorder was also assigned per group to record information on a standardized “Ocean Trash Data Form” for every trash collected. The event was well-organized and volunteers from different age groups and walks of life dotted the Manila Bay coastal area.
Under the heat of the sun and equipped with gloves, pickers and sacks, volunteers enthusiastically picked up everything and anything that should not be on the beach – including extraordinary trash such as crib and appliances. As expected, the trash washed up on the shore were mostly plastic – food wrappers, sachets, plastic bags, plastic cups, cup holders and the like. These shoreline litter are both an eyesore and a threat to wildlife. Aside from habitat destruction, marine animals such as whales, dolphins, turtles…and even sea birds get entangled in them and often mistake these litter as food.
I am always an understanding daughter to my parents and diligent student in school. I know I have not been a headache to my folks especially when it comes to materials things. At age 14, of course I also want to have the latest fashion trends or have the best device there is to feel kind of “cool” to everybody. But don’t get me wrong, that is only a wish since my family can’t really afford buying such expensive stuff for me. Yet, there are times that I can’t help but envy other rich kids, thinking why I had not been them and why I only get to enjoy simple things in life.
Last July 26, 2014, was a day I will never forget; the day that changed my views of desiring material things. This was when I first volunteered for Project Pearls’ event in “Helping Land” in Tondo, Manila. First time volunteers in that place were greeted with a path of thick mud all the way through the venue. It was not the exact sight I thought it would be. It was worst! I was shocked to see how bad it was in that place, yet as determined as I was in helping, I knew I could do it!
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Welcome to the new official blog of iVolunteer Philippines! It has been almost two full years since we last created a blog entry for iVolunteer (which you can find in our original blog here) and so much has changed in the organization and in our online presence since then. Two years is an eternity on the … Continue reading Welcome to our new blog!