can you help?
you can do?
- Help to renovate and re-build homes and community centres
- Work as a team with fellow volunteers and local workers
- Get involved in laying bricks, doing carpentry, painting, laying tiles, and landscaping/gardening
- Assist in decorating and updating local school classrooms, making a nicer environment for the school kids
Why Involvement Volunteers International?
PROJECT NAME: COMMUNITY CONSTRUCTION
LOCATION: LEYTE & PALAWAN
START DATES: WEEKLY (SAT/SUN ARRIVALS)
ACCOMMODATION: VOLUNTEER HOUSE (QUAD SHARE) OR HOMESTAY
MIN DURATION: 1 WEEK (PALAWAN), 2 WEEKS (LEYTE)
MIN AGE: 16+
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: N/A
PROJECT COSTS: From US$270 + APPLICATION FEE
On Novermber 08, 2013 one of the strongest storms ever recorded made landfall on the island of Leyte, Philippines bringing with it devastating storm surges and deadly 300 kilometer per hour winds. The aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as ‘Yolanda’) was a total catastrophe as many coastline communities were completely wiped out and much of the city’s internal infrastructure completely destroyed. The official deal toll stands at approximately 6,000 however many local sources suggest the actual number of Yolanda victims has surpassed 10,000.
Since Typhoon Yolanda the need for strong sustainable living conditions has never been so dire. All across Leyte and Samar, thousands of families are still reeling from the aftermath of the disaster. Homes previously located within 50 meters of the shoreline in many cases are no longer available for rebuilding.
Through this project, you’ll directly help the local people assisting in creating better living conditions for families and school children. Depending on the needs at the time you’ll either be assisting in either home rebuilding or renovations of schools. This may involve simple renovations, eg. painting and landscaping, to complete rebuilds or major renovations to classrooms.
Tacloban is approximately 360 miles from Manila. Tacloban is the capital of the Province of Leyte and has a population of 275,000 people. The city offers international volunteers an opportunity to be immersed in a unique Asian culture, which is at least partially left untouched by Western Culture, especially in the rural areas. In November 2013, Tacloban was one of the most devastated areas of the Philippines when Super Typhoon Yolanda (Hayian) ravaged through the Philippines; therefore, the city and surrounding areas now present an even greater range of opportunities for international volunteers. Tacloban is easily accessible by air from Manila or Cebu through daily flights offered by Philippines Airlines, Cebu Pacific, and Zest Air.
Palawan is a long narrow island surrounded by numerous small islands to make up the Province known (after the largest of its islands) as Palawan. The island province of Palawan has been declared as a nature sanctuary of the world as it is wrapped in a mantel of rainforests, incredible dive sites with colorful marine life, mountains, caves, and pristine beaches. The island is very picturesque and dotted with fishing villages and of course surrounded by beautiful blue sea and green jungle mountains. It has an abundance of wildlife and is mostly undeveloped. The projects are located approx 45 min outside the main city of Puerto Princesa where you will be warmly welcomed into the community.
- Help local workers on various community and home construction projects
- Get stuck in, laying bricks, tiles, carpentry, landsacping, etc
- Renovate local schools by painting, clearing up, painting murals, etc
Food & Accommodation
Homestay (Tacloban, Leyte)
At the core of your experience is the friendly and warm accommodating local home stays who have been accepting volunteers for over a decade. Life inside a homestay is not only safe and cost effective, but is also a great way to contribute to the local economy and to experience the true nature and culture of the Philippines. All homestays have electricity and running water.
You will have a private room by yourself or shared with a fellow volunteer. Mosquito net, electric fan, bed linens and door lock are also provided. The bathroom will be shared with the family and will be basic with cold, bucket baths (hot running showers are uncommon in Philippines) as it’s so tropical and warm! All home stays are English speaking. The home stays have been thoroughly evaluated before being accepted into the program and have been in operation for several years. You will be able to experience the Filipino culture and participate in the daily life of a local.
Breakfast and dinner is provided but volunteers will need to buy their own lunch which costs approx 50-80 pesos. Access to filtered drinking water will also be provided by your home stay. All meals will be served with rice and typically include fish, chicken or pork. Home stays can cater for special dietary restrictions, however we require advance notice so we can place you accordingly.
Volunteer Centre (Palawan)
The volunteer centre provides lodging in quad share rooms with the houses complete with either a fan or air con, T.V, kitchen Wifi, mosquito protection, bed linen and lockable rooms. Limited laundry facilities, so expect to wash your clothes by hand, unless you’d like to use the laundry service for a small fee.
In most cases volunteers are expected to help keep the accommodation neat and tidy.
3 meals per day are provided with mainly local Phlippine cuisine including lots of vegetables, rice, fish, meat and eggs. Meals are served on site at the accommodation
No construction skills are necessary for this placement, however tradesmen of all types (eg. carpenters, plumbers, electricians, builders) are extremely needed. If you are an active and energetic person, who loves to get invovled with a team and to get your hands dirty, then this could be the project for you.
- 3 meals p/day weekdays / 2 meals p/day weekends
- Arrival airport transfer (Sat/Sun arrivals)
- Filtered drinking water, coffee & tea
- 1 day orientation
- Daily transportation to project
- In country 24/7 support & emergency assistance
- Fundraising support
- University course credits (where applicable)
- Certificate of Completion
- Travel Insurance
- Tours, Souvenirs & spending money
Your first day will consist of comprehensive overview of the program including what to expect, health and safety, introduction to Filipino culture and introduction to staff and fellow volunteers. A guided city tour is also included for Tacloban placements.
An arrival airport transfer from either Tacloban or Davao airport is included in the cost. Volunteers must arrive on the weekend for a Monday start.
Public transport can at times seem chaotic to outsiders, however after orientation our staff will familiarize you on how to get too and from your volunteer placement. The common method of transport in and outside of Tacloban City is by Jeepney. Most fares range from 8 to 25 Philippine Pesos ($0.20 – $0.50). For shorter distance, tricycles (motorcycle with sidecart) and pedicabs (rickshaws) can be hailed from the curbside for small fares.
For long distances outside of town; buses and vans can be caught from the bus terminal in Abucay, Tacloban City. Fares range from around 100 to 300 Philippine Pesos depending on your location. Should you require any assistance with transportation during your time as a volunteer, you may always seek advice from your volunteer coordinator.
Work hours are generally from 9am to 4pm with a couple of hours free for lunch.
Beaches of Boracay
This small island is known for its outstanding natural beauty, and pristine white sand beaches. White beach stretches for 4km and is a popular place to visit. There are plenty of cafes and nightlife, including fire throwers and live music at the bars.
Bohol Chocolate Hills
Take a visit to Bohol island, around an hour from Cebu, and check out the 1200 hills of all shapes and sizes. This stunning natural formation is quite a sight. You can hike or take an ATV ride up the hills.
The Philippines have many amazing dive spots, and some of the most pristine water in the world! With plenty of fish, coral reef and even whale sharks, this is a divers heaven. You can even learn to dive here.
Twin Lagoon on Coron Island
You may have seen images of this spectacular beauty spot online- and it doesn’t disappoint! As well as some incredible diving, you can also explore some stunning viewpoints, secluded beaches, or go on a boat tour around these turquoise blue waters.
For those who love adventurous activities, why not try ziplining?! Check out the stunning one on El Nido, with beautiful views over the beach. It’s 750 metres and will give you that adrenaline kick for sure.
There are plenty of gorgeous places to kayak in the Philippines, and it’s secret lagoons are some of the best spots. Paddle your way through the stunning rock formations and crystal-clear waters.
This very pretty town has a Hispanic heritage that is evident as you walk through the artsy cobbled streets. Vigan town is on the island of Luzon and is a great weekend trip, with museums, cafes, workshops and quirky sights. For photographers, you can get some pretty shots at dawn, when the town is empty.
Underground River, Palawan
Puerto Princesa is a beautiful river that goes underground, through impressive limestone caves. Book a boat tour to take you through the caves.
The capital city, Manila is a hustling and bustling place, with plenty of culture. Be sure to check out the museums, art galleries, old buildings, cafes and bars.
No construction skills are necessary for this placement, however tradesmen of all types (eg. carpenters, plumbers, electricians, builders) are extremely needed.
The Philippines consists of more than 7000 islands and is a land apart from the mainland of Southeast Asia. The people are, simply, Filipinos – and proud of it. Welcoming, warm and relentlessly upbeat, it is they who captivate and ultimately ensnare visitors.
Islands are jungle-clad, mountainous and flanked by aquamarine waters and a world renowned coral reef. But you’ll find plenty of variations on this theme, from marooned slicks of sand in the middle of the ocean to sprawling, overpopulated mega-islands like Luzon and Mindanao.
About half of the Philippines’ 88 million people live in rural areas. Poverty is most severe and most widespread in these areas and almost 80 per cent of the country’s poor people live there. Agriculture is the primary and often only source of income for poor rural people.
Overall, more than a third of the people in the Philippines live in poverty. There are substantial differences in the level of poverty between the regions and provinces and the poverty gap between urban and rural areas is widening.
November to April is the most popular time to visit the Philippines, as this is when there is the least rainfall.
June to October is wet season and November to May is usally dry. Shoulder months can be a great time to travel as you can still get some good weather but there are less crowds. The island weather can vary, so it’s worth checking the weather for which islands you will be visiting at which time of year.
The Philppines has a big Latin and Spanish influence, due to the previous Spanish rule. Evidence of this can be seen throughout the Philippines. The Filipino people are very welcoming, like to have close family bonds, and getting together with friends and family to eat, sing and dance. They are also very religious and most go to church at least every Sunday.
Filipino people have a great respect for thier elders, saying the phrases ‘po’ and ‘opo’, when speaking with thier elders. They love a good party and festival, particually Christmas which they can celebrate right into the second week of January!
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IVI is an Australian charity & non profit organisation founded in 1989 and is one of the pioneers of overseas volunteering successfully placing over 20,000 volunteers globally.
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