HOW can you help?
Why Involvement Volunteers International?
PROJECT NAME: STREET CHILDREN SUPPORT
LOCATION: TACLOBAN, LEYTE
START DATES: WEEKLY (SAT/SUN ARRIVALS)
ACCOMMODATION: HOMESTAY (PRIVATE OR TWIN SHARE)
MIN DURATION: 2 WEEKS
MIN AGE: 16+
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: N/A
PROJECT COSTS: From US$595 + APPLICATION FEE
Sadly, it is not uncommon in the Philippines to see children begging for food and sleeping on the sidewalk. Scavenging for plastics and other recyclable items at the city dump is a grim reality of life for many children which come from the very poorest of backgrounds with very little hope.
The children, some as young as five, work at the city dump to help supplement their parents incomes. In these areas, $1 p/day is a typical daily earning which is just enough to provide a second meal that day for the family. This is a startling reflection of social and severe financial issues facing developing countries.
The primary aim of the project is to counsel these children and their families to convince them of the value of going to school to break the cycle of poverty. The project collaborates with local government and councils providing incentives like food subsidies, school supplies, clothing and weekly meals to help serve the needs of the families so the children can take part in the education system.
Unfortunately, there is no government funding available so the project operates from donations received through various organisations. As a volunteer, a part of your program fees will go directly to this project as a donation.
Tacloban is approximately 360 miles from Manila. It’s 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.
- Provide assistence and counselling for poor families
- Help to educate them into going to school and gaining an education
- Work with the program, that provides meals and clothing to the families
Food & Accommodation
At the core of your experience is the friendly and warm accommodating local home stay, 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 are 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.
Anyone with a compassionate heart and desire to help those less fortunate. This placement is particularily confronting, so volunteers must have a strong fortitude. You will quite possibly be witness to the most graphic view of poverty you have seen. Social workers and counselors are particularly encouraged to apply.
- 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 330 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.
Each day can vary due to the needs at the time. You will be working for a few hours each day, assisting with the goverment and council programs, helping provide meals and other supplies to the families.
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 extra requirements
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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