Harnessing the Full Power of Facebook

and not just using it as a distraction from our work!

Facebook is now more popular than ever. With over 500 million users, the social media website has successfully institutionalized itself as part of the social norm, completely altering the way in which 1 in 13 people on the planet (and most probably every single Filipino) lead their daily lives.

For us at Volunteer for the Visayans, Facebook is by all means our most powerful tool, offering us a multitude of different quick and easy ways to provide up-to-the-second updates regarding our various ongoing community based projects, not to mention an affordable and easy way for us to promote our volunteer abroad program and to give appropriate shout outs to our fantastic supporters all around the world!

VFV's Facebook Cause has raised $4,000 for the construction of a new community center in the Philippines.

Despite this, VFV does not have, nor has ever had a social media expert on its staff (although we were able to secure a small amount of time with social media guru Ruth Sylte from the Manitou Heights Group). As a result VFV has been left to experiment with the many different features and applications that Facebook offers – hoping to one day harness the full power of social media as to raise awareness, support and credibility for the organization… and after more than a year handling our own Facebook Page, we think we’ve just about cracked it!

A few months ago, thanks to the help from our good friends at the Goabroad Foundation, Volunteer for the Visayans began its first Facebook cause with the grand vision to one day raise enough funds to build a Community Center in barangay Sto. Niño, Tacloban City.

The dream was to build a fully-functioning community center that could initially provide a safe and comfortable environment for VFV staff and volunteer abroad participants to augment further services to the recipients of VFV’s Dumpsite Project. After which, the existence of the community center would hopefully be an appropriate venue to give birth to additional projects and services that would in turn contribute to empowering the community and offering local residents alternative means to break free from the shackles of poverty.

With more than half a decade of experience in developing grassroots community based projects; VFV hoped that they could somehow replicate the success they had achieved in their home community of Bliss Sagkahan by developing similar services in Sto. Niño, however before any ostentatious construction efforts could begin, they were going to first need some funding – and the Facebook Causes application certainly seemed the best place to make a start.

VFV set the target to raise $4000 and after finally publishing the cause, the donations started to slowly trickle in. Before long, the daily task of checking the cause account balance had become like a bad habit, with staff checking back every few hours to ‘get their hit’  of donation and like updates.

Today, VFV volunteers and local carpenters are already in the thick of it as the construction efforts happily continue. With a septic tank dug and the walls already erected it seems as if everything is coming together, all thanks to a little and highly addictive invention called Facebook. So Mark Zuckerberg, we salute you! sure Facebook may have made you the 52nd richest billionaire in the world but at the same time we can’t look past the abundance of doors that a simple ‘Like’ button has offered non-profits such as ourselves!

For those of you that have a few dollars to spare, we’re still looking to add more coins to the coffers  so that we can furnish the inside of the community center upon completion. If you don’t have the cash but still want to help and stay in touch with our ongoing projects in the Philippines, then why not Like us on our facebook page and share our content with your friends. As the founder of Buddhism once said “Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”

From the bottom of our hearts we wish to thank everyone who has currently contributed to our Cause, whether you’ve donated, shared or simply liked, it’s all the same to us – we’d love to send you all an individual Wall Post articulating our sincerest thanks and fondness for your help, but we’ve already spent too much time logged in today!

We hope to add more friends in the weeks to come, but for now we’re logging off!


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