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From the Field

Teaching kids some lessons for life

Emily with her class at Cangumbang Primary School

Volunteers with VFV help to improve the education of students by teaching in and around Tacloban.

Volunteers are appointed to government schools where they conduct lessons alongside Filipino teachers.

The children have a curriculum to follow however volunteer teachers generally have the freedom to decide on what to cover in their lessons.

Australian Emily Tweddell, 25, has been teaching Grade 3 and 4 and Cangumbang Primary School. She usually takes either the morning or afternoon session and Filipino teacher Harold M Chiquillo leads the other session.

Emily said: “The hardest thing is thinking of relevant topics to teach. I’ve thought of what is most useful for the children. I did some geography lessons – world geography and Philippines geography. Some of them didn’t even know where The Philippines was in the world.”

She also focussed on English and sentence structure and as she has a background in arts and crafts she did a number of creative lessons where the youngsters could make masks and draw pictures of their hands.

Emily said that for the teaching placement volunteers need to be fully prepared and plan their lessons in advance. “My biggest bit of advice to new volunteers is that you have to go with the flow. It is not as strict here as in the Western world. Standing on desks or being rowdy is part of the norm. The main thing is getting kids to school and getting them interested in the lessons so they hopefully take something away at the end of the day,” she said.

And the kids certainly seem to be enjoying the lessons. Jelliane, nine, said: “We like maam Emily because she speaks waray waray. She teaches us lots of things. I really liked making masks and drawing our hands.”

All volunteers are given basic lessons in the local language waray waray during their placement by VFV staff.

Emily marks a student's work

Sir Harold said: “The teachers are a great help for us. Some of them are also very generous and conduct feeding programmes and give us school supplies. The work they do is very good for the school.”

To find out more about volunteering visit http://www.visayans.org/volunteer

*Written by volunteer Michelle Curran, journalist and editor from the UK

Posted in Child Sponsorship, Child Welfare, Education, News, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Challenge

Tent City in Tanauan, Leyte

Make a difference. Create a story that is more than about kindness. A story that will change the life of the writer and the  reader. One that will inspire the young and old. One that will speak about the true beauty of humanity.

Volunteer for the Visayans continues its effort to writing simple stories that contributes to the world to become a better place, thus, making a difference. Since being founded on the year 2004, been through ups and downs, been struck by super typhoon, nevertheless, VFV rises to spread the storm surge of love, true giving, hope and volunteering to their fellow victims. VFV exists as a small group but comes out with huge impact!

VFV combines international volunteerism with community development and child sponsorship to address issues facing education, public health and social welfare within the area of Leyte. In detailed, VFV has provided thousands of free meals and thousands of free medical services, provided thousands of school supplies to countless schools. As of today, the organization has had 27 Build-a-Home projects plus 1 on going Build-a-Home project in San Roque, Constructed 6 classsrooms, and Rehabilitated 58 children working in a local dumpsite, provided repetitive social welfare services to 153 children from low-income families.

This incoming month of August 2014, VFV will be wielding another relief effort to the displaced families in the tent city in Tanauan, Leyte. Tanauan is 19km away south of Tacloban and is one of the most devastated town amongst other towns thumped by the recent catastrophic disaster.

VFV had been challenged by time and nature and did proved to themselves and to you that no matter how strong the typhoon was and how exigent a challenge is, VFV is stronger!

Today, VFV challenge YOU to write your story and make a difference!

VOLUNTEER and experience a life changing experience with VFV!

DONATE to help our children live a better tomorrow!

Do you accept the CHALLENGE?!

Posted in Disaster Relief, Donate, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Service to the community through the years

Almost ten years into its official existence in the Leyte, Philippines, Volunteer for the Visayans continue to make a difference and impact individuals and communities in small ways.  Its core programs are namely, the sponsorship, volunteer, and community. Through these programs, VFV delivers services in areas of child welfare, healthcare, education, and community development.

Sponsored kids together with the coordinators and volunteer

The sponsorship program delivers basic social and educational support to children from less privileged families. Through their sponsors, kids gain access to elementary and secondary education. There are also kids who receive sponsorship through college. Additionally, they receive grocery subsidy, a free meal daily, and healthcare assistance.  After-school tutorial is implemented to enhance the reading, writing, reading, and comprehension skills of these sponsored kids. Through independent donations, VFV can build homes for deserving sponsored kid families.  A few things need to be considered in choosing the right recipient for housing, including the state of the family’s house and land ownership. To date, there are more than 150 sponsored kids from Tacloban City, Palo, Tanauan, Sta. Fe, Babatngon, Ormoc City.

The volunteer program manages volunteers in placement under public health and nutrition, education, social welfare, construction, community development, and media. Most projects are available all year round for individuals and groups 18 years of age and above and open to students and professionals alike.  These placements are based in the province of Leyte. Volunteers not only share and learn in their respective fields, they also immerse in the unique Filipino culture. Living with a Filipino host family and interacting with the local community contributes to the overall cultural experience. Aside from the regular placement, volunteers can get involved with side projects such as women empowerment, youth development, environmental awareness, and community health and awareness.  On certain occasions, volunteers schedule visits to the countryside and scenic spots to experience the natural beauty of the tropical island. They sunbath in white-sand beaches and swim in cool blue waters,  hike to waterfalls, visit the Chocolate Hills, scuba-dive, swim with the whales, and see wildlife creatures endemic to the country.

Volunteers on a weekend excursion accompanied by VFV coordinators

The community program consists of outreach projects geared towards community development and empowerment. Women are given livelihood trainings and assistance to provide them the means to earn a living. They also receive first aid and basic health lectures. Adolescent boys and girls develop responsibility, sportsmanship, team work, and self-confidence through varied activities such as participation in environmental projects, health sessions, sports, dance, music, livelihood, and community service. Children who labored at a local dumpsite were taken out of it and enrolled in schools to give them a chance to a brighter future. They are provided basic social and educational support. They receive the same privileges as sponsored kids. VFV reaches out to far-flung rural elementary schools, deliver assistance by distributing school supplies trice a year and facilities repair when funds are available.

Sponsored kids under the Dumpsite Project

VFV is a small social welfare agency operating in Leyte Island. With limited resources, it creates small projects and engages in practical activities. Through the years of working in small ways and little steps, VFV is proud to effect some changes in the community.

Continued support and belief in the organization’s ability to deliver services strengthen VFV and inspires its staff to work harder for those who depend on them. VFV is indebted to its donors and sponsor whose support and confidence in its ability, without doubt spur the organization to strive to continue improving the quality of its services.  Children, youth, women, men, and communities are foremost in the minds of the VFV staff as they take on the challenges of humanitarian work.

Posted in Child Sponsorship, Child Welfare, Dumpsite Project, Volunteer Program | Leave a comment
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