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Support the Victims of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda).

From the Field


The overview of this project , is seen as a climate change mitigation strategy that seeks to enhance the country’s forest stock to absorb carbon dioxide, which is largely blamed for global warming.

Its history, goes back after Typhoon “Yolanda”(Haiyan), considered one of the most powerful typhoons to have made landfall in recorded history,devastated Tacloban and the nearby towns of Palo,Tanauan,Tolosa and Dulag due to strong winds and storm surges.

The coastal zones in these municipalities are densely populated and with high density built up areas and dwelling of impoverished and marginalized sector. Rapid Geo-reference assessment conducted by the Forest Management Bureau and B+WISER in city of Tacloban and Palo, Leyte revealed that 80% of the damage and casualties occurred in coastal areas.

College Scholar "Gerald Jamlang"

Absence of effective natural greenbelt barriers makes the coastal zones vulnerable to devastations brought about by storm surges. Trees along the beach areas serve as buffer and protection against strong winds and storm surges.

Beach tree species act as carbon sinks and reduce organic pollution in shoreline areas by trapping, filtration, or absorption. They also serve as home to migratory birds and other wildlife and provide a     valuable source of food for animals.

It is in this context that the Leyte gulf mangrove and beach forests rehabilitation project was implemented.

The beach area in Brgy. Baras, Palo Leyte is assigned to Volunteer for the Visayans as its Adopted Beach Forest. It will be reforested with Talisay and Bani species to replace the trees destroyed during Typhoon Haiyan.

This project is coordinated with the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources VIII-CENRO Palo, Leyte. This initiative aims to conserve our natural environment. The forest will serve as physical barrier against waves, storm surges, tidal currents, and typhoons to protect coastal areas and communities.

Last November 15, 2014, Volunteer for the Visayans, with its staff, some college scholars, and members of the boys and girls club participated in its first Tree-Planting activity in Brgy. Baras, Palo, Leyte. A total of 500 seedlings were planted. VFV is tasked to plant 4000 seedlings in this specific site. So, there are 3500 more seedlings to be planted in the coming month!

To learn more about volunteering please click the following:

Written by: Aleth Young, Volunteer Program Coordinator

Posted in Environmental Project | Leave a comment

The Nanay with over 100 children

Since becoming the first to host volunteers for VFV in January 2004, the Llanto family has experienced the globe from the comfort of their own home.

It's not hard to feel at home with a host mother as warm and welcoming as Nanay Marlyn

Living in the Bliss community, Nanay Marlyn and her family have welcomed over 100 volunteers from countries such as Canada, the United States, Holland, The Netherlands, and more.

She says one of the best things about being a host mother is “the ability to mingle with other countries, as well as practice our English.” Learning and exercising English is especially beneficial for her 8 grandchildren, some of whom also live with her.

With four children of her own, Nanay Marlyn is no stranger to the duties of being a mother. She provides breakfast and dinner; a task she says can at times be tricky. For breakfast, “a lot of the volunteers demand cornflakes and fresh milk.” As for dinner, Nanay Marlyn cooks traditional Filipino cuisine because she wants volunteers to have a good sense of her culture. She enjoys making lumpia Shanghai, pork adobo, and squash with coconut milk

Nanay Marlyn stands with one of her eight grandchildren outside of their home in Bliss

Volunteers have stayed with Nanay Marlyn for various amounts of time, ranging from a few weeks to as long as six months.

“I had a male volunteer who stayed with me for one month some time ago. He was a drunkard, and was constantly irritated by the dogs that hung around outside. They barked non-stop, and one night on his way home he became so angry, he actually hit one of them hard on the belly. I had to yell at him to stop or else the dog would have attacked him!”

This weekend she will welcome three volunteers from Australia who will stay for two weeks. It’s time, she says, to stock up on cornflakes!

Want to experience Filipino culture in depth while helping a community in need? Click here to learn more about opportunities volunteering with VFV!

*written by Courtney Cunningham, media intern from the United States.




Posted in News, Volunteer Abroad in the Philippines, Volunteer Program | Leave a comment

At the helm of social change

Wimwim, centre, with her VFV team members

It takes one hell of a lady to command a ship that sees a crew of ten staff members and over 200 annual international volunteers work across 15 different projects aiding communities in Tacloban City as well as remote rural regions.

That woman is Helena Claire A. Canayong, fondly known as Wimwim, Director of Volunteer for the Visayans since 2013 — the year Supertyphoon Yolanda changed the Philippines forever.

“I had the most challenging year to become VFV’s Director,” recalled Canayong.

“We really did our best to make sure our communities were prepared.

“We brought food and supplies to each of VFV’s three community centres and visited each of them to make sure everybody was ready with a plan for what to do after the storm.

“We couldn’t know how severe the storm would be or that it would take five days to get the team together.”

VFV’s primary focus has always been the community’s most vulnerable members — its children. This was no different in the aftermath of Yolanda.

“We were busy dealing with our homes but we realised the children were frightened that VFV was closing because it was still full of debris,” explained Canayong.

“They were worried that when the relief period ended and they went back to their normal lives, VFV would no longer be part of the equation.

“So we made cleaning out the centre a priority and tried to do feedings downstairs to alleviate the stress on the local families while food was so scarce.”

VFV's Director, Helena Claire A. Canayong

This focus on providing a safer, healthier, happier future for disadvantaged Filipino children led to the initiation of one of VFV’s most successful welfare projects and the highlight of Canayong’s nine-year career with VFV.

The VFV Dumpsite Project takes children away from the dangerous life of scavenging plastics and recyclables at the city dump by connecting them with a sponsor who provides food subsidies, clothing, school supplies and weekly meals.

“Creating the Dumpsite Project—seeing former child scavengers going to college or practical arts schools—is my most memorable moment,” said Canayong.

Despite managing all aspects of VFV, from its administrative needs to monitoring and implementing various programs and projects, while still serving as a community worker and constantly battling the time vacuum of bureaucratic red tape — Canayong is halfway through a law degree at Tacloban’s DVOREF College of Law.

“I will continue in my community work but when I was younger I had dreamed of becoming a lawyer so I want to go through with it so I have no regrets later in life,” she explained.

It is this attitude that has the 35-year-old mother of two learning how to skateboard for the first time.

“When I was younger I always wanted to skateboard but my father wouldn’t let me, it was too dangerous an activity for his little girl,” she said.

“I am learning now because I don’t want to wonder about whether I could do it or not!”

Would you like to join Wimwim’s team of passionate community workers making a difference in the lives of disadvantaged Filipinos? Click here to find out more about VFV’s volunteer program!

*Written by volunteer Emma Bailie, journalist from Australia


Posted in Build-A-Home, Build-A-School, Child Sponsorship, Child Welfare, Disaster Relief, Donate, Dumpsite Project, Education, News, Public Health, Volunteer Abroad in the Philippines, Volunteer Program | Leave a comment
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