Volunteer Testimonial: Kelsey Schmidt

Kelsey Schmidt volunteered on the Volunteer for the Visayans Nutrition Public Health Project between June 17 and July 14, 2011.

Going to the Philippines has been the greatest experience I have ever had.  It was fun, challenging, life-changing, exhilarating.  I could go on and on.  I am a twenty-one year old and had never traveled on my own or to the other side of the world for that matter.  It was such an adventure, and I met so many awesome people: the VFV staff, volunteers, and host families.  Filipinos are the most genuine people out there.  They really do care for you and make you feel at home.  Everyone looks out for one another.  My host family taught me that Filipinos live for today and don’t worry about tomorrow.  I’ve heard that many times, but they really live by it.

Kelsey and Megan led sustainable initiatives to help improve the lives of malnourished children from low-income households as well as helping to raise local awareness about the importance of nutrition.

For four weeks I worked on a feeding project in a town about a 45-minute Jeepney ride away from Tacloban.  The project was brand new when I arrived, so I was more implementing the project rather than seeing results from the kids.  I talked to another volunteer three weeks after I was home though, and they are already making great improvements.  I have a forever place in my heart for these children.  After a couple of weeks there, I was already calling the kids by their name.  It was always a challenge to prepare a meal for 30 children on a limited budget and on one burner, but to watch the kids eating and loving a healthy meal was more than worth it.

I always had a blast going on my weekend trips with the other volunteers as well.  We traveled to different parts of Leyte, Biliran, and Samar, but the possibilities are endless with the Philippines’ 7,000 islands.  I saw and experienced so many things that I would have never had the opportunity if I had not gone on this trip: snorkeling, eating chicken feet and intestines, climbing and hiking, and waterfalls just to name a few.  I loved this trip and highly recommend it to anyone who wants to make a difference and have an amazing time doing so.

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