Community Outreach Adventure Trail

Outreach programs are schemes to find people most particularly indigent ones whom eager philanthropists or people with humanitarian mission can extend selfless help or volunteer their precious time and effort to simply give back to the less fortunate ones. It can also be considered as volunteering works. Outreach programs or volunteering works may vary in terms of time element and kind of activity or project. There are considered short-term and long-term period which most likely happens in far off countries wherein you are going to sign up with a certain volunteer abroad organization to plan your volunteer program/project and trip.

In the case of the cause which I participated, it is not categorized as short-term or long-term as it only lasted for a day, but it’s the same gratified feeling that you can get out of extending your helping hand to a certain community which is experiencing “insufficient” ( i just don’t like the idea of considering them “poor”) supply of basic commodities such as electricity, water and food because it is being located in the outskirts of the town.

Candolonon is one of the mountain baranggays located in Argao, Cebu, Philippines the southern part of Cebu province. It is located approximately about 10 kilometers (more or less) from the highway. There are only two means of transportation accessible to the place due to narrow roads and steep hills. You can arrived there by way of foot (walking will take for around 1 & 1/2 hour) or a public utility motorcycle that will charge $1-2 as fare rate. My idea of participating in this community outreach activity set by Ronald Marzon, my former grade school classmate sparked up when I had the chance to work as a volunteer abroad blog writer. I believe in the saying that says good timing has its way of surprising someone. Yes, because the moment I feel the need to put into practice my volunteering abroad learning, I happened to stumble upon Ronald’s Facebook account and discovered he’s on for an outreach mission.

Though I know it’s not gonna be a distant country that I am going to volunteer but at least it is part of the ways on achieving a successful volunteer abroad mission – starting a volunteering endeavor in ones local community. Without any hesitations, I contacted my friend and asked if it’s open for participants and how can I contribute to help. And since I am one of his trusted friend ever since the world begun , so I am cordially welcome. Then I learned that, he will be needing more used clothing and a little amount for the “flavor-of-the-road ice cream” and the rest like toys and food are already set as he has a former Japanese student who sent and mailed a package filled with goods and stuffs for children. And since God, the giver and provider of all blessed me with a perfect job that fared me well, I thought it’s about time to give back something to the world. πŸ˜‰ By the way, Ronald Marzon is working as an ESL teacher in one of the renown universities in Cebu City. I also learned that some of his fellow teachers will join in the program along with other two Japanese students.

So my most awaited date has come. My date with charity as I’ve describe in my previous post. And because I have two sons who are always keep tracking and sneaking on the business of their mom, it’s expected that I also have my own buddy guards. The feeling of excitement had been enveloping my system since that day Ronald said yes to my plea. It seems I can’t wait for the day – the very first day to put my new endeavor and learning into practice. Oh well, I also want to thank Odesk for these, for without them there can be no in depth knowledge and enthusiasm for volunteering and as well as the little amount to go with the children’s happiness. Ronald laid the idea of bringing ice cream and balloons since these are stuffs well loved by children in the urban mainstream but are infrequently tasted and seen or played by children in the remote mountain baranggays.

The night before the said date, I already sorted out some unwanted clothes in my closet. Some of them from my kids, some mine which I can’t wear already since I trimmed down and some are slightly used clothes of my brothers who are both working already in the city. I should have packed the clothes individually, but since I’m not familiar of the locals living there, I opted to the idea of packing them all in one box and entrust it to somebody there who will take charge of segregating and distributing. Excitement does not keep me from falling asleep, I worried for my online tasks to get pending on the following day because of the activity. So, for my better end, I decided to accomplish my tasks and render over time. But I didn’t mind if I’ll go sleepless and stressed on the day of the outreach program, the thought and excitement about extending a helping heart and hand keep my awakening senses. I successfully finished my assignment at around 3 am and realized I got only 3 hours to sleep as I have to wake up early by 6 am.

I awoke by the sound of my mobile phone’s alarm. It’s December 14, 2013, today’s the day. My first big day has finally come. The opening salvo of my volunteering endeavor. Hey, you might be thinking that I am rich and living life in luxury. No, I am not. As a matter of fact I’m just a mother earning an average income to supplement my husband’s earning for our kids welfare. I just have a willing heart to give in any way I can. Everybody can take their part to volunteer regardless of their status in life just as long as they have the drive and passion to pursue it. So without any further ado, allow me to take you to a trip of your lifetime. First we have to meet and greet the place of our very first volunteering endeavor. The place that will make history in the life of a Jill. πŸ˜‰

outreach1

I believe that every journey begins at home. So here I took a picture of some of the clothes that I sorted out from my closet which will go for the people of Candolonon. (Please bear with my pictures as I don’t have power cameras yet.) I hope that along with these clothes, tho they are already used come comfort for the people in times of cold weather most especially that they are located in the mountainous area, temperatures are expected to be kind of intensely cold.

outreach2

These area here I called it the drop-off station it’s because if you are going to take the motorcycle ride you have to choose between riding you’re way to the top or stepping down here and trekking up by foot. And because I bring along my two kids, I have to ensure their safety by climbing up the steep hills by foot. So, come on let’s begin our first trip. From here, I guess we only need about 3-4 kilometers to walk in order to arrive in the designated are for the outreach program. By my estimate, the motor ride from the highway to my so-called drop-off station is I guess 5 kilometers already. I’m not good at calculations but just imagine the hour and a half walk from the center of the community down to the highway. Just perfect enough to burn a million calories. πŸ˜‰

Here's a quick view or bird's eye-view of the final destination. Taken from the drop-off station.

Here’s a quick view or bird’s eye-view of the final destination. Taken from the drop-off station.

Here are 3 girls whom I met along the way. Got a chitchat with them and found out that the eldest girl had stopped going to school since parents can't well afford to send. She is supposed to be in Grade 7 this year. I have a mind for sponsorship if God is willing He can increase my earning and by that time I made a promise to the girl to help her with her studies as a working student. That if God permits. Only time knows. The younger one is Grade 4 in the same school where I studied my elementary years before and it's so surprising to know how dedicated this girl is to her studies, despite the fact that she has to walk an hour everyday for school. I salute and say Kudos! to this little girl.

Here are 3 girls whom I met along the way. Got a chitchat with them and found out that the eldest girl had stopped going to school since parents can’t well afford to send. She is supposed to be in Grade 7 this year. I have a mind for sponsorship if God is willing He can increase my earning and by that time I made a promise to the girl to help her with her studies as a working student. That if God permits. Only time knows. The younger one is Grade 4 in the same school where I studied my elementary years before and it’s so surprising to know how dedicated this girl is to her studies, despite the fact that she has to walk an hour everyday for school. I salute and say Kudos! to this little girl.

And since I instructed Ronald to just go ahead of me because my buddy guards are keeping me on my toes, I was left behind and have this box carried up until somebody meet me the halfway. Glad that Ronald is sending S.O.S already. Mind you, cellphone networks is still ranging in this area but only too low, about 1 bar.

And since I instructed Ronald to just go ahead of us because my buddy guards are keeping me on my toes, I was left behind and have this box carried up until somebody meet me the halfway. Glad that Ronald is sending S.O.S already. Mind you, cellphone networks is still ranging in this area but only too low, about 1 bar.

I have taken picture of the bundle of tree trunk those little girls are harvesting to make firewood and sell for a living. Probably the only industry that can be made useful in the area tho it's unfriendly to mother nature. But taking this means of living out from them is like taking the food in their plate.

I have taken picture of the bundle of tree trunk those little girls are harvesting to make firewood and sell for a living. Probably the only industry that can be made useful in the area tho it’s unfriendly to mother nature. But taking this means of living out from them is like taking the food in their plate.

Here is an upper view of my so-called drop-off station. That coco tree down there is where I and my kids step down from the motor ride. It took about 15 minutes walk from down there in the foot of the mountain till here where I stood and took the picture. Whew! Good thing that I can already smell that we're almost there. My kids are keep on asking, " Are we there, yet mom?" ;-) Said I never invited them to come.

Here is an upper view of my so-called drop-off station. That coco tree down there is where I and my kids step down from the motor ride. It took about 15 minutes walk from down there in the foot of the mountain till here where I stood and took the picture. Whew! Good thing that I can already smell that we’re almost there. My kids are keep on asking, ” Are we there, yet mom?” πŸ˜‰ Said I never invited them to come.

This is the very first native house that welcomes us. But apparently, house is closed because they are gathered already in the designated area for the activity. This is the typical native house of Filipino people most especially those who are situated in mountainous areas. Most of us, sometimes forget about the existence of this way of living and keep on complaining about the discomfort of living in big houses and keep on renovating, while for others here are hard to afford materials for a desirable and comfortable home.

This is the very first native house that welcomes us. But apparently, house is closed because they are gathered already in the designated area for the activity. This is the typical native house of Filipino people most especially those who are situated in mountainous areas. Most of us, sometimes forget about the existence of this way of living and keep on complaining about the discomfort of living in big houses and keep on renovating, while for others here are hard to afford materials for a desirable and comfortable home.

outreach12

Finally, we’re here kids. Whoah! A sigh of relief after that long steep climb of the hill. And since we came in late, we witnessed that they are already starting their children’s parlor game. Happy to see the kids experience the balloons that are seldom seen here. And since we’re finally here, let’s take a rest and breathe for a while, grasp some nature fresh air and take a gulp or two of refreshing water. And since I have taken you to a long reading too, please follow my trail on the next post about the activities we had here in this small community called Candolonon. Stay tuned!!! πŸ˜‰

Advertisements

1 Comment

    Trackbacks

    1. To Be or Not To Be Happy this New Year’s Eve? | Jill-of-all-Trades

    What's your opinion?

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

    Connecting to %s

    %d bloggers like this: