Self Expression Magazine

Volunteering in The Philippines | May 2014

Posted on the 03 July 2013 by Accordingtoamber @sgwennu
Volunteering in The Philippines | May 2014
 I have never been volunteering abroad before. I've never actually done any traveling on my own. The most exotic it's been was a family holiday to India in 2005, where I was pretty shielded from anything that tourists weren't meant to see.
I've always been a bit sceptical about organised volunteering, because so many are just out to rob gap year students, and make a profit from those that think they're donating to charity! Usually when I Google a volunteering company, or organisation - I can easily find pages upon pages of bad experiences and "reveals" about how un-ethical they are. 

After much research I have finally decided to volunteer with Global Volunteer Network, a non-government non-profit. I can't find anything that's really negative about GVN so that's an awesome sign for me!
I've been dabbling with the idea for a while. I've always LOVED volunteering with local projects, but international volunteering was always tricky. Most projects that seemed worthwhile required medial or construction skills, or were in a part of the world where I'd frizzle. I'm the fairest of them all and don't tan. 
In May 2014, I'm going to heading abroad to The Philippines. 

I know how much I loved reading as a child, and found my local library to be a magical place. Which books did you adore as a child? These were definitely my favourites

I'd really like to help these communities have the same experiences, as currently many Filipinos don't ever see a Library until they reach college - if they even get that far.  Volunteering in The Philippines | May 2014 I'll be in one of the most poverty stricken areas, the beautiful Romblon province, for three weeks working full time, 5 days a week, and in that time I'd like to achieve the following:

  • Ensure that all the local schools now have access to the teaching materials they need, so that Filipino children can grow up with the same level of education and opportunities as their peers across the world.
  • Set up an ongoing event/book festival, something like 'World Book Day' that will get the locals excited about reading for pleasure, and reading bedtime stories to their children. 
You can read all about the project here, on the GVN website!

There is a 'fee' to volunteer, which covers my accommodation, food, travel expenses within The Philippines and to support the work of the non-profit. This makes me grumbly, so I'm paying all my expenses myself, including my flights, visas and insurance.  I still need/want to raise around £2000 to go straight to the project, and to buy supplies before I go over, and to help carry out some essential building repairs.   This is where I'll need your help!
I hate asking for something and giving nothing. So, I'm now training for the Cardiff Half Marathon in October 2013, and would love it if you'd sponsor me! I can't tell you how scared I am about dragging my unfit arse the 13 miles around Cardiff Bay. I need all the encouragement I can get! If you donate £3 or about $5, I'll send you a postcard from The Philippines, to say thank you!  Please 'like' my fundraising page on Facebook, where I'll be letting you know how I'll getting along with my training! I'm also going to be making some pretty art to sell on Etsy and collecting bric-a-brac to do some car boot sales too, so if you're local to me in Wales and have some odd things you were considering taking to the charity shop, please let me know!  Thank you, thank you, for reading all of this and *hugs* to you if you were able to donate even 50p to the cause! 
Have you ever been volunteering abroad, or to The Philippines or know someone that has? I'd LOVE to hear your experiences! Volunteering in The Philippines | May 2014
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